Moscow: A Russian fighter jet intercepted a U.S. bomber over the Baltic Sea in international waters on Tuesday.
According to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry that was published on state news agency TASS, “On June 6, Russia’s airspace monitoring identified an air target flying along Russia’s state border over the international waters of the Baltic Sea. A Sukhoi-27 fighter jet of the Baltic Sea Fleet’s air defense force was dispatched to intercept the target.”
A Russian Air Force flight demonstration team perform with their SU-27 jet fighters over St. Petersburg, Russia.
“The crew of Sukhoi-27 jet approached the aircraft staying at a safe distance, identified it as a U.S. strategic bomber B-52 and escorted it for some time,” it added.
The Pentagon also confirmed that the intercept occurred.
“A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress flying a routine mission in support of multiple planned exercises in international airspace over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-27,” a statement from Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza, a U.S. Army Defense Department spokeswoman, said, as reported by CNN.
“The crew involved is still supporting the exercise. There are a number of intercepts that take place on a regular basis. The vast majority are conducted in a safe manner,” the statement added.
The U.S. Air Force, earlier this month, deployed B-52 bombers and 800 airmen to the United Kingdom in support of joint exercises with the NATO allies and partners, expected to primarily take place specifically in the Baltic Sea, the Arctic and along Russia’s border with several NATO partners.