Russian fighter jet 'greets' US Navy aircraft by flying past just 20ft away

Defence ministry says Kremlin aircraft 'executed a greeting manoeuvre' in Black Sea

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The Independent US

A Russian fighter jet came within 20 feet of a US Navy aircraft in the Black Sea, according to a Navy spokesperson. 

The Russian Su-27 approached the P-US 8A Poseidon aircraft that was “conducting routine operations in international airspace,” US Naval Forces Europe spokeswoman Captain Pamela Kunze said. 

Capt Kunze said the interaction had been considered “safe and professional” by US Navy commanders in charge of the mission. 

Russia’s defence ministry confirmed the aircraft had approached the US Navy pilots on Tuesday, and had “executed a ‘greeting’ manoeuvre”.

The fighter jet had been deployed after "an air target approaching the Russian state border had been located,” the spokesperson said. 

According to Russian reports, the US reconnaissance plane “changed its course to move away from the Russian border" after the interaction. 

It comes after four Russian warplanes buzzed a US Navy ship in an “unsafe and unprofessional” manner in the Black Sea in February. 


The Pentagon said an armed Russian Su-24, a supersonic attack aircraft, flew within 200 yards of the ship, a distance much greater than 20 feet. 

Capt Kunze: “US Navy aircraft and ships routinely interact with Russian units in international seas and water and most interactions are safe and professional.    

“Distance is only one of many variables considered when defining what is safe and professional.”