Russian MoD released a clip showing a Su-27 Flanker approaching a high-flying U.S. B-1B Bomber somewhere over the Baltic Sea. Interesting, even though it does not show anything nefarious.
A video of the intercept was released by the MoD. We can see a Su-27 intercept one of the B-1s (the video must have been filmed by the accompanying Flanker).
Unlike what has happened during the recently famous “unprofessional” intercept of a U.S. Navy P-8 by a Su-35, this clip shows the Flanker remaining at safe distance from the BONE.
Moreover, it must be remembered that the B-1 is a supersonic bomber, much faster than a P-8, so an interceptor can find it much more difficult to reach and shadow such a fast “bogey”, compared to a target with airliner performance like a Poseidon MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) and ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft.
Russian Su-27 and Su-30 fighter jets were scrambled to intercept US Air Force B-1B strategic bombers over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Friday.
“Su-27P and Su-30SM fighters from the air defense alert quick reaction forces of the Southern Military District were scrambled to intercept the targets,” the Russian MOD said according to the State-run TASS News Agency.
The crews of the Russian fighters approached the air targets within a safe distance and identified them as B-1B strategic aircraft, after which “the US bombers changed their flight course and flew away from the state border of Russia,” the statement runs.
As Russia’s Defense Ministry stressed, the flights of the US strategic bombers over the Baltic and Black Seas “were timely uncovered” by the air defense alert quick reaction forces of the Western and Southern Military Districts. The US aircraft were tracked by Russian radars at a considerable distance from Russia’s border.
“The flights of the Russian combat planes proceeded in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace,” the ministry said.
After accomplishing their mission, the Russian fighter jets safely returned to their airbases, it said.
Close encounters between Russian fighters and U.S. spy planes and bombers have occurred for decades now.
For years, the way these “interactions” occurred has remained classified or rarely made the news until a few years ago.