Following reports about a tense standoff between Russian bombers and Canadian military aircraft in the Canadian Air Identification Zone last week, RT has published video of a similar encounter between US and Russian fighter aircraft that took place in the skies above the Baltic Sea.
Though the report didn’t cite timing of the incident, RT reported that a Russian Su-27 fighter jet intercepted a US P-8а Poseidon reconnaissance plane which had been rapidly approaching approaching the Russian maritime border in the Baltic Sea, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Russian radar picked up the approaching jet, and a Su-27 was scrambled in response. As the Russian jet closed in on the target, which it swiftly identified as a US Air Force reconnaissance plane, the US aircraft pulled away. The Russian jet then returned to base.
Incidents like this one have become increasingly common since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Back in November, the US complained about an “unsafe” intercept of another plane by an Su-27. As video of that incident showed, the Su-27 made a pass directly in front of the mission aircraft. Moscow insisted that the pass was, indeed, safe.
The intercept of the US aircraft follows a similar incident last week involving a Swedish surveillance aircraft that had been flying over the Baltic Sea.
The P-8 Poseidon is a modified version of a Boeing 737 that was developed for use by the Navy. It first entered service in 2013. The P-8 doesn’t only patrol and perform reconnaissance missions – it can also carry torpedoes and other weapons. Meanwhile, the Su-27 is a fourth generation fighter jet that was introduced by the Soviets in 1985. It is equipped with a 30mm gun and air-to-air missiles.