Russian fighter jets intercepted two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer strategic bombers over the neutral waters of the Black and Baltic Seas on May 29, the Russian Ministry of Defence announced.
The footage of the interception was released by the Russian MoD. According to the MoD, the mission was carried out by Su-27P and Su-30SM fighter jets from the air defense duty forces of the Southern Military District.
“The crews of Russian fighters approached a safe distance from air targets, identified them as B-1B strategic aviation aircraft, after which the American bombers changed the direction of flight from the state border of the Russian Federation.” said an MoD statement.
“Flights of Russian combat aircraft took place strictly in accordance with international airspace use regulations. After completing the task, Russian fighters returned safely to the airfields,” the statement added.
The two B-1B bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota were conducting a long-range, long-duration strategic Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission throughout Europe and the Black Sea region.
This marked the first time that a Bomber Task Force mission integrated with Ukrainian Su-27 Flankers and MiG-29 Fulcrums and Turkish KC-135s. The flight also included integration and interoperability training with Polish F-16s and MiG-29s and Romanian F-16s and MiG-21s, which provided escort and combat patrol overwatch in the Black Sea region.
Additionally, the B-1s integrated with Greek F-16 air policing for an overflight of Skopje, North Macedonia.