Russian Su-35 fighter jet intercepts US P-8A ISR aircraft with inverted manoeuvre over the Mediterranean Sea

Russian Su-35 fighter jet intercepts US P-8A ISR aircraft with inverted manoeuvre over the Mediterranean Sea

A Russian Su-35 fighter jet flew within 25 feet of a US P-8A Poseidon ISR aircraft during an “unsafe” high-speed, inverted maneuver over the Mediterranean Sea, a statement from the US Navy said on 15 April.

“While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible,” the US Navy statement said, citing the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas. “We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents.”

“The US aircraft was operating consistent with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity,” it added.

The Russian SU-35’s intercept lasted 42 minutes. 

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has not yet responded to these statements. However, the MoD has repeatedly stated that all Russian Airforce’s operations are carried out in strict accordance with international rules.  

The P-8A is multi-mission aircraft employed for a wide range of missions including long-range intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

Neal Path

Neal Path is a reporter covering international affairs and defense news. He leads a team of specialist technical journalists and defense forecasting analysts, working across a range of online products. Neal Path is a defense technology specialist and has written widely on most areas of defense technology, but his particular areas of interest include missile defense, precision weapons, naval warfare, sensor capabilities and military operations.

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