Last spring, Russian bombers, spy planes, and fighters jets were repeatedly caught stalking the Alaskan coast. The unusual maneuvers were part of a larger campaign of subtle military aggression by Russia toward the United States. And it seems that the Russian Air Force’s adventures in international airspace have continued in 2018 after a U.S. spy plane was intercepted and buzzed by a Russian jet while over the Black Sea.
According to defense officials, the intercept was not exactly a safe maneuver:
The American pilots reported that the Russian jet came within five feet of the US plane, according to two of the officials.
The Russian jet’s action forced the US Navy aircraft to end its mission prematurely, one of the officials said.
The Black Sea has seen several similar incidents recently since the U.S., NATO, and Russian forces all operate in close proximity to each other in the region (which has caused other issues).
In November, a Russian fighter jet made an “unsafe” intercept of a U.S. surveillance plane where “the aircraft crossed in front of the U.S. plane from right to left while engaging its afterburners, forcing the [U.S. plane] to enter its jet wash, an action that caused the U.S. plane to experience ‘a 15-degree roll and violent turbulence.'” That intercept reportedly saw the Russian jet come as close as fifty feet to its U.S. target. Five feet, obviously, is even more aggressive.