Watch a Russian Su-27 Fighter Intercept a US B-52 Bomber
Last Friday, August 28th, caused some tension between the U.S. and Russia. Two Russian Su-27 fighter jets intercepted a pair of U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers in what the Pentagon is calling an "unsafe" way.
It's the manner in which the Russian fighters intercepted the U.S. Air Force bombers that was dangerous, as they shadowed and flew in front of the American aircraft, per the U.S. Air Force's report.
The B-52 bombers were taking part in a training flight that included all 30 NATO members.
100 feet away
Interceptions from other countries' fighter jets aren't what caused the recent Air Force ruckus. It was the manner in which it happened.
U.S. officials called the incident "unprofessional and unsafe," as it included a fly-by at just 100 feet (30 meters) away, and involved flying in front of the B-52 bombers' noses, restricting the bombers' options to maneuver safely.
"Actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions, are unnecessary, and inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules," said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander.
"While the Russian aircraft were operating in international airspace, they jeopardized the safety of flight of the aircraft involved. We expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent accidents," he added.
The incident happened on August 28th, during Allied Sky, which is meant to show solidarity between the U.S. and the 29 other NATO countries. Alongside the U.S. B-52 bombers flew the U.K.'s Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters, Norwegian F-35s, and Danish F-16s, among others per Popular Mechanics.
"U.S. security commitments to the NATO Alliance remain ironclad," explained Gen. Tod Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command, in a statement.
"Today’s bomber task force mission is another example of how the Alliance sustains readiness, improves interoperability, and demonstrates our ability to deliver on commitments from across the Atlantic."