Russian fighter intercept of U.S. Navy surveillance plane called dangerous by Pentagon

A Russian Su-30 fighter jet intercepted a U.S. Navy P-8A Posidon surveillance plane in international airspace over the Black Sea days ago in a very unsafe manner, causing the Navy plane to fly through jet wash that led to “violent turbulence.”

The Russian fighter flew within 50 feet of the P-8A, leaving it in the fighter’s afterburners, U.S. European Command officials said Tuesday.

“The Russian SU-30 crossed in front of the P-8 (from right to left) in afterburner causing a 15 degree roll and violent turbulence,” EUCOM spokeswoman Meghan Henderson said in an email. “The P-8 was forced to fly through the jet wash of the SU-30.”

The interaction — from the time the Russian jet appeared until the P-8A lost contact — lasted 24 minutes.

“This interaction was determined to be unsafe,” Henderson said. [source]

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Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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