A U.S. surveillance aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted by a Russian fighter jet on Wednesday, the Navy said in a statement. The 6th Fleet said the Russian SU-35 flew within 25 feet of the U.S. P-8A Poseidon plane in an "unsafe" high-speed, inverted maneuver, putting the American "pilots and crew at risk."
"While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible," the statement said. "We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents."
The Navy said the incident lasted approximately 42 minutes and the crew of the U.S. P-8A aircraft reported wake turbulence following the interaction.
Citing the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas, the Navy said "unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for midair collisions."
Last June, another U.S. aircraft flying over the Mediterranean Seaby a Russian fighter jet.