A U.S. P-8A Poseidon aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-35 on the 15th of April.
The United States say that the interaction was determined to be unsafe due to the SU-35 conducting a high-speed, inverted maneuver, 25 ft directly in front of the mission aircraft, “which put our pilots and crew at risk”.
The Russian jet was essentially flying upside down directly in front of the American Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
The crew of the P-8A reported wake turbulence following the interaction. The duration of the intercept was approximately 42 minutes.
“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.”
The U.S. say their aircraft was operating consistent with international law and “did not provoke this Russian activity”.