A Russian Su-27 Flanker fighter jet came perilously close to an American intelligence gathering aircraft, the US Navy reported this week. The Russian jet made a high-speed pass near the U.S. EP-3 Aries II aircraft, at one point turning on its afterburners and placing the American air crew at risk, Popular Mechanics and ABC News have reported.
The two very high speed passes made by the Russian fighter of the US reconnaissance aircraft occurred in international airspace over the Black Sea on Monday, in an intercept that the US Navy labelled “unsafe” and “irresponsible."
The crew aboard the EP-3 reported “turbulence following the first interaction, and vibrations from the second.”
Eric Pahon, a Pentagon spokesman said that what made the intercept was unsafe was that “they didn’t establish radio contact, they came really really close to our aircraft,” ABC News reported.
“There’s just absolutely no reason for this type of behaviour,” said Pahon, who noted that the American aircraft was flying a routine mission in international airspace “and the Russian aircraft kind of came out of nowhere and did not one, but two passes close to our aircraft.”
The second pass was much more serious, the Navy says. It alleges that the Russian jet turned on its afterburners as it banked away from the American plane.
The video, posted by the U.S. Navy on YouTube, is taken from a forward-looking infrared camera aboard the EP-3. The Su-27’s engines become white-hot as the Russian pilot hits the afterburners. According to the Pentagon, the incident lasted approximately 25 minutes, Popular Mechanics said in its report.
Check out the vid here