Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed on Friday that a US surveillance aircraft P-8A Poseidon was intercepted by a Russian Su-30 fighter jet over the Black Sea on May 9.
At noon on May 9, Russia’s airspace control means detected an air target over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, which was approaching the state border of Russia. “The Su-30 fighter jet of the air defense forces on duty in the Southern military district was scrambled to intercept the target,” the ministry said.
The Russian pilot identified the target as a US surveillance aircraft P-8A Poseidon. “The Russian fighter jet performed a maneuver of ‘greeting’ for the US pilots and after that the US surveillance plane changed the flight route towards moving from the border with Russia. The Su-30 fighter jet safely returned to its base airfield,” the ministry said.
Earlier in the day, NBC broadcaster reported citing the US Navy that a Russian fighter jet flew within 20 feet of a US Navy P-8A Poseidon over the Black Sea on May 9. The report said this was a Russian Su-27 fighter jet. The US aircraft “was conducting routine operations in international airspace,” according to Captain Pamela Kunze, a spokeswoman for US Naval Forces Europe. The interaction was considered safe and professional by the US aircraft’s commander, she said.