U.S. EP-3 Intercepted in the Black Sea

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160424-N-DZ642-107 ARABIAN GULF (April 24, 2016) An EP-3E Aries, assigned to the "World Watchers" of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) 1, left, escorted by an EA-18G Growler, assigned to the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, performs a flyby over aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations, and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bobby J Siens/Released)

On Nov. 5, 2018, a U.S. EP-3 Aries aircraft flying in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-27. This interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-27 conducting a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, putting at risk the pilots and crew. The intercepting SU-27 made an additional pass, closing with the EP-3 and applying its afterburner while conducting a banking turn away. The crew of the EP-3 reported turbulence following the first interaction, and vibrations from the second. The duration of the intercept was approximately 25 minutes.

Unsafe actions‎ increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for midair collisions.

 

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