An airspace patrolling incident took place recently over the Black Sea; Russia’s fighter plane Su-27 Flanker approached the P-8A Poseidon, the U.S. reconnaissance aircraft. NBC News reported that with reference to Pamela Kunze, U.S. Naval Forces Europe spokeswoman.
‘Russian SU-27 came within approximately 20 feet of a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon while the U.S. Navy aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace’, the article says.
Commenting on the incident, Kunze said that ‘the interaction was considered safe and professional by the P-8A's mission commander’.
‘U.S. Navy aircraft and ships routinely interact with Russian ships and aircraft in international seas and water and most interactions are safe and professional’, she said. ‘Twenty feet is extremely close and other encounters at much greater distance have been deemed unsafe and unprofessional by the U.S. military in the past. Speed, altitude, rate of closure, visibility and other factors that impact whether an incident is characterized as safe or unsafe, professional or not professional’, the official concluded.