Two Russian jets flew within 100 feet of a US B-52 bomber on Friday morning in a “dangerous and unprofessional” manner as the pilot carried out routine training in international waters in the Black Sea, said on Saturday the US Air Force in a statement.
The Air Force said the Russian pilots of the Su-27 Flanker had repeatedly crossed within 100 feet of the nose of the B-52, causing turbulence and limiting the American pilot’s ability to maneuver.
“Actions like these increase the potential for mid-air collisions, are unnecessary and incompatible with good air control and international flight rules,” said General Jeff Harrigian, Commander of the US Air Force in Europe- Air Forces Africa. “As the Russian planes evolved in international airspace, they endangered the flight safety of the aircraft involved. We expect them to operate according to international standards established to ensure safety and prevent accidents. ”
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The air force operates regularly in the region according to recognized international security standards, the statement said.
American B-52s flew over the 30 NATO countries on Friday in solidarity amid tensions with Russia, which is not a member.
“This one-day mission, titled ‘Allied Sky’, aims to demonstrate NATO solidarity, improve readiness and provide training opportunities aimed at improving interoperability for all participating aircrews of the United States and NATO allies, ”said the statement from the European Command.
General Tod Wolters, Commander of US European Command, added: “By further strengthening our enduring relationship, we are sending a clear message to potential adversaries of our willingness to meet any global challenge.”
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Two US F-22 fighters also intercepted three groups of Russian Tupelev planes as they entered the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Thursday evening amid a “surge” in air traffic. foreign military activity, Gen. Glen VanHerck, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report.