A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-35 fighter aircraft on April 15, the Navy said in a statement.
On April 15, 2020, a U.S. P-8A Poseidon aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-35.
The interaction was determined to be unsafe by the U.S. Navy due to the Su-35 conducting a high-speed, inverted maneuver, 25 ft. directly in front of the P-8A aircraft, which put its pilots and crew at risk.
The crew of the P-8A also reported wake turbulence following the interaction. The duration of the intercept was approximately 42 minutes.
“While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). Unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for midair collisions”, read a statement released by the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet.
The U.S. aircraft was operating consistent with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity”, the statement added.