Russia intercepted a U.S. B-52 strategic bomber on Tuesday as the lumbering plane flew over the Baltic Sea by scrambling a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet based in Kaliningrad.
Russian air defense systems detected the bomber at around 1000 Moscow time as it was flying over neutral waters parallel to the Russian border, the defense ministry said in a statement, per Reuters.
"The Russian SU-27 crew, having approached at a safe distance, identified the aircraft as an American B-52 strategic bomber and escorted it" until such time as it changed course and flew away from the border area, the ministry said.
The B-52 "Stratofortress," a long-range nuclear-capable bomber, is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Cold War and entered service in the 1950s.
Russia said the SU-27 had been scrambled from its Baltic Fleet air defense unit which is based in Kaliningrad.
In another sign of Moscow's unease over NATO's proximity to its borders, Russia also scrambled a MiG-31 jet fighter later on Tuesday to intercept a Norwegian patrol plane over the Barents Sea. Russia's Defence Ministry identified the plane as a P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft.
The Defence Ministry said the Norwegian plane had flown close to Russia's state border with its transponders switched off.
The Norwegian military confirmed the encounter and said it was "normal."
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