Two Su-27 interceptors escorted two French fighters and a tanker plane away from Russian airspace over the Black Sea, the Russian navy stated, as video of the encounter within the sky appeared on social media.
The Southern Military District deployed the interceptors on Wednesday morning because the trio of international plane appeared on their radars, the National Defense Control Center (NDCC) stated in an announcement.
The two interceptors “identified the air targets as a group of French Air Force planes that consisted of a KC-135 aerial refueling tanker and two Mirage 2000 tactical aircraft and shadowed them over the Black Sea,” the NDCC stated.
After the French plane turned away from their approach to the Russian airspace, the Russian fighters returned to base. Their flight was “in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace,” the NDCC added.
No violations of the Russian state border have been allowed.
Wednesday’s interception comes amid elevated exercise of NATO plane and ships within the Black Sea, on the invitation of Ukraine. Last week, Kiev proposed to the US-led alliance to extend air operations within the “airspace over the sovereign territory of Ukraine and over open waters.” This was a reference to the Crimea peninsula, which separated from Ukraine and joined Russia in a 2014 referendum.
In 2020 alone, the Russian Defense Ministry detected an estimated 2,900 fight plane and 1,100 spy planes that approached the nation’s airspace.
The air and sea incursions weren’t restricted to only Europe. In November, the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain crossed the Russian maritime border near the Far East metropolis of Vladivostok, solely to be chased off by the Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Vinogradov.
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