Russian fighter jet gets within 10 feet of US Navy plane


A Russian fighter jet came within 10 feet of a U.S. Navy surveillance plane in the midst of routine operations in international airspace over the Black Sea, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

{mosads}The Pentagon slammed the incident as unsafe, the latest in multiple such encounters between Russian and U.S. aircraft or ships.

“We have deep concerns when there is an unsafe maneuver,” a Pentagon official said in a statement. “These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries, and could result in a miscalculation or accident which results in serious injury or death.”

During Wednesday’s incident, a Russian SU-27 Flanker first maintained a distance of 30 feet, then closed to within 10 feet of the U.S. P-8A Poseidon, according to the statement.

The entire incident took place at 11:20 a.m. and lasted about 19 minutes, the statement said.

Earlier in the day, Defense Secretary Ash Carter gave a speech at Oxford University in England in which he spoke harshly about Russian aggression.

“Despite the progress that we made together in the aftermath of the Cold War, Russia’s actions in recent years, its violations of Ukrainian and Georgian territorial integrity, its unprofessional behavior in the air, in space and in cyberspace, as well as its nuclear saber rattling, all have demonstrated that Russia has clear ambition to erode the principled international order that has served the United States, our allies and partners, the international community and in fact Russia itself, so well,” Carter said.

The incident was also reported just as a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was announced.

In recent months, the Pentagon has blasted Russian behavior at sea and in the air as “unsafe and unprofessional” multiple times.

In June, the United States and Russia traded accusations over who was to blame for ships from each country getting dangerously close to each other in the Mediterranean Sea.

That followed incidents in April, when Russian aircraft repeatedly buzzed the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea and a Russian aircraft barrel-rolled over a U.S. reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the same area.

Also, in January, a Russian fighter jet flew within 15 feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the Black Sea.

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