Russian fighter intercept U.S. patrol aircraft on spying mission

The U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft was allegedly intercepted over the Black Sea by Su-27 fighter jets of the Southern Military District’s air defence quick reaction alert units, according to the Russian National Defense Control Center. On July 24, 2020, the Center reported that Russian airspace control systems had discovered an air target above the Black Sea’s neutral seas.

200329-N-CR843-0212 ATLANTIC OCEAN (March 29, 2020) – A P-8A Poseidon aircraft assigned to Patrol Squadron (VP) 4, transits over the Atlantic Ocean during a photo exercise, March 29, 2020.VP-4 is currently forward deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations and is assigned to Commander, Task Force 67, responsible for tactical control of deployed maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadrons throughout Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Juan Sua/Released)

The statement reads, “A Su-27 fighter of the air defence fast reaction alert units of the Southern Military District was scrambled to intercept the target.” According to a military news statement, the Russian fighter’s crew recognised the target as a US P-8A Poseidon surveillance jet. The Russian fighter made a safe return to its base after the American aircraft departed from the state boundary of Russia. The National Defense Control Center declared that no crossing of the Russian state border was permitted.

The Russian Su-27 plane’s whole mission, according to the Center, “proceeded in strict compliance with the international standards of accessing the airspace.” The P-8A Poseidon, a multi-mission capable replacement for the venerable P-3C Orion, is the newest maritime, patrol, and reconnaissance aircraft in the U.S. Navy. It is a Boeing 737 that has been militarized and is used for a variety of tasks. According to the U.S. Navy website, the P-8A’s main use is for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.

With the delivery of its 100th P-8A maritime patrol aircraft to the U.S. Navy in May, American aerospace giant Boeing celebrated a significant achievement. On May 14, Boeing delivered the 100th P-8A to the Navy as the worldwide fleet—which also includes the Indian navy and the air forces of Australia and the United Kingdom—approaches 300,000 flight hours of submarine-hunting and global aerial reconnaissance missions.

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