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Military Capabilities

Russia intercepts US Navy P-8A aircraft over Mediterranean Sea

05 June 2019
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A US Navy (USN) Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance twin-jet flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea on 4 June was intercepted by a Russian Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighter three times over the course of 175 minutes, according to the USN.

The USN accused Russia of using a Sukhoi Su-35 to unsafely intercept a US Navy P-8A Poseidon on 4 June. (United Aircraft Corp)The USN accused Russia of using a Sukhoi Su-35 to unsafely intercept a US Navy P-8A Poseidon on 4 June. (United Aircraft Corp)

The navy deemed the first and third interactions as safe but took issue with the second intercept. The USN called the second interaction unsafe due to the Su-35 conducting a high-speed pass directly in front of the P-8A. The P-8A crew reported wake turbulence following the second interaction, which lasted approximately 28 minutes.

The USN said the P-8A was operating consistently with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity.

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