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Two Russian Aircraft Make Dangerous Intercept of US B-52 Bomber

Two Russian Aircraft Make Dangerous Intercept of US B-52 Bomber

Saturday, 29 August 2020 06:03 PM

Two Russian aircraft made an "unsafe, unprofessional" intercept of a US Air Force B-52 bomber over the Black Sea on Friday, according to a statement from US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs.

The area is considered international waters and a region open to all nation's aircraft.

The Russia pilots crossed within 100 feet of the nose of the B-52 multiple times and also caused turbulence to the B-52 restricting its ability to maneuver, according to the statement.

"Actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions, are unnecessary, and inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules," said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, in the statement.

"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 said.

American B-52 Stratofortress bombers were flying over all 30 NATO countries on Friday in an exercise the U.S. military said was meant to demonstrate the alliance's solidarity, amid growing signs of cracks.

Four of the long-range jet bombers based in Britain were flying over European members of NATO, integrating along the way with several partner nations' fighters and refueling aircraft. Two other Stratofortresses based in North Dakota were flying over Canada and the United States.

The single-day mission is part of regular flight missions that have been taking place in Europe since 2018, but is meant specifically to “demonstrate NATO solidarity, enhance readiness and provide training opportunities” by involving the airspace of every member nation, the U.S. European Command said.

It comes amid an escalating dispute between NATO nations Greece and Turkey over jurisdiction over waters in the Mediterranean, and strong-arm tactics from U.S. President Donald Trump to press NATO allies to spend more on defense that have left many of them resentful and concerned about America’s commitment.

“U.S. security commitments to the NATO Alliance remain ironclad,” said 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.”

He said such operations also served to emphasize the American “commitment to global security and stability.”

“By further enhancing our enduring relationships, we send a clear message to potential adversaries about our readiness to meet any global challenge,” Wolters said.

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Two Russian aircraft made an "unsafe, unprofessional" intercept of a US Air Force B-52 bomber over the Black Sea on Friday, according to a statement from US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs.
russian, aircraft, make, dangerous, intercept, B-52, pentagon
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2020-03-29
Saturday, 29 August 2020 06:03 PM
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