Venezuelan fighter aircraft recently made an “unsafe approach” to a US Navy aircraft flying in international airspace, “endangering the safety of the crew and jeopardizing” the aircraft’s mission, the US military said
The incident, which occurred on Friday, involved a “Russian-made” SU-30 Flanker Venezuelan fighter aircraft and a US Navy EP-3 Aries II aircraft conducting a “detection and monitoring” mission, US Southern Command said in a statement. In a Sunday tweet, the Southern Command said the incident happened in international airspace over the Caribbean Sea.
Here are more details of Incident: Venezuelan Su-30MKII Flanker fighter jet Aggressively Shadowed a U.S. Navy EP-3E aircraft
U.S. Southern Command Released 4 videos of Venezuelan fighter jet Aggressively Shadowing a U.S. aircraft. Here are Videos
According to U.S. Southern Command, the Russian-built multirole aircraft “aggressively shadowed” the EP-3E aircraft, flying at an unsafe distance from the interlligence gathering aircraft “jeopardizing the crew and aircraft.”
“After reviewing video documentation, we have determined the Russian-made fighter aggressively shadowed the EP-3 at an unsafe distance in international airspace for a prolonged period of time, endangering the safety of the crew and jeopardizing the EP-3 mission,” the statement read.
SOUTHCOM said that the U.S. “routinely conducts regionally-supported, multi-nationally recognized and approved detection and monitoring missions in the region to ensure the safety and security of our citizens and those of our partners.”
The EP-3 aircraft was “adhering to international standards and rules” at the time of the incident, SOUTHCOM said.
The Navy plane, an EP-3 aircraft is generally used by the Navy for anti-Submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare and has a range of 2,380 nautical miles, according to a Navy fact sheet.