Russia Releases Video Of A Su-27 Flanker Intercepting A U.S. RC-135

Yesterday, Russian MoD released a clip showing a Flanker approaching a high-flying RC-135 somewhere over the Baltic Sea. Interesting, even though it does not show anything nefarious.

Russian means of controlling the airspace over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea detected an air target approaching the state border of the Russian Federation.

“To intercept the target, the Su-27 fighter from the duty force for air defense was raised in the air,” the Star of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense told Zvezda.

The crew of the Russian fighter approached a safe distance from the air object and identified it as a US reconnaissance aircraft RC-135.

The ministry noted that after the removal of a foreign aircraft from the state border of the Russian Federation, the Russian fighter returned safely to the home airfield. ■


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. Then reports of Russian Su-27s buzzing (and sometimes performing barrel rolls over) U.S. RC-135s started to emerge and the Pentagon often protested for the “reckless” and “unprofessional” behavior of the Russian pilots flying dangerously close to this or that American aircraft.

A former RC-135 aircraft commander who flew the S, U, V, W, and X models, commenting the intercepts, once told us “what passes for dangerous and provocative today was ho-hum to recon crews of my generation (although we weren’t shot at like the early fliers from 1950-1960).”

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