US says Russian jet flew within 5 feet of navy plane
WASHINGTON: A Russian fighter jet buzzed a US spy plane over the Black Sea on Monday, US officials said, in what the state department characterised as an “unsafe” flyby.
In a statement, the department called the intercept “the latest example of Russian military activities disregarding international norms and agreements.”
US officials said the two planes came within a scant 5 feet of each other. In the statement, the state department said the Russian plane crossed “directly in front of the EP-3’s flight path,” in a reference to the Navy spy plane.
This is not the first time that the US has accused Moscow of flying dangerously close to US aircraft and ships.
Russia routinely has demonstrated its displeasure with US military flights over Syria, the Baltics and the Black Sea by flying planes close to US ships and spy planes.
In 2016, for instance, there were three encounters in one month. On April 29, a Russian fighter plane performed a barrel roll near an Air Force reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, and Moscow said the US plane did not have its transponder turned on, an accusation the United States denied.
Su27 fighters during a military parade in Moscow.