For the second time in four days, Russian pilots flew in an “unsafe and unprofessional manner” while intercepting a U.S. Navy P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

According to the U.S. Navy here, a U.S. Navy P-8A aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted twice by a Russian SU-35 over a period of 100 minutes.

“The first intercept was deemed safe and professional.  The second intercept was determined to be unsafe and unprofessional due to the SU-35 a conducting high-speed, high-powered maneuver that decreased aircraft separation to within 25 feet, directly in front of the P-8A, exposing the U.S. aircraft to wake turbulence and jet exhaust. 

In response, the P-8A, which was operating at a constant altitude and airspeed, descended to create separation and ensure safety of both aircraft. The unnecessary actions of the Russian SU-35 pilot were inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules, seriously jeopardizing the safety of flight of both aircraft.

While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). Unsafe actions‎ increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for midair collisions.”

This incident follows the April the 15th interaction over the same waters, where a Russian SU-35 flew inverted within 25 ft. of the U.S. P-8A.

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Ian M

Over a wodka in the Syrian base Officers mess that evening: ” Sergei, you vill neffer guess vot I did zis efternoon!

Ulya

Why would they be speaking English? Just teasing Ian, your comment made me smile

Herodotus

More to the point Ulya….with a German accent?

Daniele Mandelli

Maybe they are Volga Germans!

David

Maybe the American’s should escort it with an f22. That would make for an interesting day out !

dan

Not surprising. Both the Commies and the Chicoms don’t know the meaning of the world “professional.”

Nicholas

Both mentioned nations do have a lot of “professional” military pilots in their ranks though.

Mark B

They are a little sensitive? What are they hiding?

Ulya

Good morning, just a quick question, whenever I see these articles about unsafe flying it is always America plane complaining, does UK have same problem when our planes escort yours?

Daniele Mandelli

Morning Ulya.

Not aware of any, though the movements of our spy planes are shrouded in secrecy so might not hear of incidents anyway.

However, your long range aviation are naughty ( Bear, Blackjack types ) as when they conduct their long range patrols around the UK ADR ( UK Air Defence Region ) they do not have transponders on.

Not a great idea when flying into airspace full of commercial flights.

Whether western aircraft do similar I do not know.

Daniele Mandelli

In addition, it is not just Russia to be fair. The Chinese are also adept at intimidating flying. Again against US P8 aircraft nosing around.

Also there was the Hainan incident.

The US do like to snoop around other nations borders though so it is not surprising incidents can happen.

Ulya

I agree it is naughty they don’t have transponders on, it does seem pointless as they are hard to miss on your military radar I assume. I do read stories in our media of US aircraft flying near our border with no transponders all so and the media likes to make how you say, a song and dance when US planes do aggressive moves but it is always American planes, never other NATO countries. Seems to be just silly Russia/US game maybe? Thank you for the reply, I was just curious

Daniele Mandelli

Not at all Ulya.

Unlike some others I do not make a big fuss when Russia sends its planes spying on NATO and the US. It is all a big game which has been played out for decades, and the west has done it far more to Russia than the other way round.

I would however be amazed if an RAF pilot behaved in such a manner.

Ulya

I don’t think UK pilots would do such a thing, 5 brothers, all ex or current military, all speak with respect of UK professionalism. Hence (new word for me) my interest in sites like this.
Side note, new adventure, have been given choice of Germany or the UK which made me smile. Not decided yet, still hoping for Syria

Daniele Mandelli

Syria!!!

dave12

I bet Russia has more respect for Porton Down chemical weapons testing facility and CBRN unit in finding Novichoks so quickly , the GRU thought its would take a long time to trace it.

Daniele Mandelli

Porton is a world class facility Dave. One of the UKs Jewells.

dave12

Yep, totally.

HF

I’d think they were quite happy for it to be discovered quickly.

julian1

there was a famous incident of an RAF hawker hunter flying along the river thames in London, and BENEATH the upper walkway of tower bridge in the ’50s. A stunt for which he was severely reprimanded

Daniele Mandelli

Wow. Had no knowledge of that. If it was filmed will check that out.

julian1

I think its documented in the book “Empire of the Clouds” which covers the early jet age and the exploits of the test pilots…the days when Britain had 5 or 6 separate manufacturers…all entirely self-funded in those days!

HF

Was that based on, or the basis, of two splendid documentaries about the UK aircraft industry in the 50’s ?

julian1

not sure, I just read the book

Daniele Mandelli

Thanks Julian will look into that.

spyintheskyuk

I do remember seeing a still of the event, so someone seemed to know it was happening or was just in the right place at the right time with a quick reaction.

DaveyB

There’s quite a few articles on the feat, but also a number of pictures showing the Hunter pass through the bridge with a red London bus underneath on the bridge. There looks like there was not a lot of room spare.

DaveyB

It also coincided with a demonstration against the Sandy’s report, i.e. removing manned aircraft in favour of missiles. A squadron of 12 Hunters from Marham took off and flew out over the coast to Holland, they then turned around and approached the coast at 500ft. Like FL Pollack, they used the Thames as their reference and followed it all thew way to London. They stayed at 500ft over the city and flew due West, turning North when the hit Reading, then flew back to Marham all below 1000ft. They only time they were detected on Radar was when they took-off… Read more »

Andy

America doesn’t just snoop around China in P8’s, but B52’s, B2’s and B1’s also, that’s pretty intimidating. Not to mention dual CBG’s, MEU’S and SSG’s.

Just imagine the outcry if it was the other way around.

Daniele Mandelli

Oh I know Andy, just simplifying things as the original point was opposing interceptor aircraft aggression, and the well known cases are against P8s.

Sentinel based in Kandahar, obviously not for the Taliban. RC135s off the coasts of Russia. In times past D12 drones into China, SR71s and U2s around the edges of Russia, and U2s into Russia. Even SAC flew directly into Russia previously.

Oh yes, a record as long as your arm.

Rfn_weston

Janes is reporting Split buy of Eurofighter & Super Hornet for German Air ForceTornado replacement… Assuming SH for Nuclear delivery & EF for other tastings/roles….

At any other time, a good opportunity for MOD to order a few to replace older T1’s or bolster RAF & reduce F35 to around 96 total to save a few quid as has been speculated!

Likely to be the last production run in any case!

Rfn_weston

*taskings not tastings haha

julian1

yes, saw that. apparently there is verbal approval to proceed with the deal. really hope the RAF can get more typhoons but it would only be at the expense of fewer f35s and of course with defence cuts, we may get neither

julian1

do these USN poseidons fly from Italy? I wonder if the RAF Typhoon contingent from Akrotiri get intercepted much by the Russian aircraft? I wonder if the RAF would fly top cover for them if its a regular thing (the dangerous flying rather than the intercept.)

spyintheskyuk

Was wondering the same thing