A U.S. surveillance plane experienced “violent turbulence” this weekend in an “unsafe” encounter with a Russian fighter jet, U.S. European Command (Eucom) said Tuesday.
On Saturday, a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon was flying in international airspace over the Black Sea when it was intercepted by a Russian SU-30, Eucom spokeswoman Meghan Henderson said.
“This interaction was determined to be unsafe,” Henderson said in the emailed statement. “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.”
The P-8 was forced to fly through the jet wash of the SU-30, which got as close as 50 feet away, she added.
Such encounters are not uncommon in the region. The United States has slammed a number of the incidents as unsafe and/or unprofessional.
Most recently in June, a Russian Su-27 fighter jet flew within five feet of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea.
Elsewhere, in October, two U.S. F/A-18 Hornets scrambled to intercept two Russian bombers that were flying toward the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in the Sea of Japan.