Watch as a Russian jet cuts off U.S. Navy spy plane over the Black Sea

The brief clip shows a Russian Su-27 jet crossing directly in front of an EP-3 Aries aircraft on Monday

Brock Vergakis
The Virginian-Pilot

The Navy released a video Tuesday of a Russian fighter jet cutting off a U.S. spy plane in international airspace over the Black Sea.

The brief clip shows a Russian Su-27 jet crossing directly in front of an EP-3 Aries aircraft on Monday.

The Navy said the Russian jet flew within five feet of the U.S. aircraft, causing the EP-3 to fly in the Russian aircraft’s jet wash.

“The Russian military is within its right to operate within international airspace, but they must behave within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents on and Over the High Seas,” the Navy statement said. “Unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and midair collisions.”

The incident is the latest in a series of interactions between Russian aircraft and U.S. assets that the Navy has deemed unsafe in recent years.

The Navy said the Russian intercept lasted for nearly three hours.

The EP-3 is the Navy’s only land-based signals intelligence reconnaissance aircraft and has a crew of at least 22, according to the Navy’s website.

Russia’s state-owned news agency, Tass, reported that the EP-3 was flying toward the Russian border when it was intercepted. After the U.S. aircraft changed its course, the Russian jet returned to its base, according to Tass. Russia said the Su-27 acted “in strict compliance with international rule of airspace use.”

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