U.S. Air Force recon jet escorted by Russian fighter over the Black Sea
A U.S. Air Force RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft was escorted by a Russian Aerospace Force Su-27 fighter jet over the Black Sea, the Russian Defence Ministry said Wednesday.
According to a report, on July 14, Russian airspace control systems detected an aerial target over the Black Sea approaching Russia’s state border. A Su-27 fighter jet of the Southern Military District’s air defense quick reaction alert forces was scrambled to prevent a violation of the Russian state border.
“The Russian fighter’s crew identified the aerial target as a US Air Force RC-135 strategic reconnaissance plane and shadowed it over the Black Sea,” the statement says. After the foreign plane made a U-turn from Russia’s state border, the fighter safely returned to its home airfield, the National Defense Control Center said.
“The Russian fighter’s flight proceeded in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace,” the statement says. The RC-135 Rivet Joint is a strategic reconnaissance aircraft designed to support theater and national level consumers with near real-time on-scene intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination capabilities.
According to the U.S. Air Force website, the current RC-135 fleet is the latest iteration of modifications to this pool of -135 aircraft going back to 1962. Initially employed by Strategic Air Command to satisfy nationally tasked intelligence collection requirements, the RC-135 fleet has also participated in every sizable armed conflict involving U.S. assets during its tenure.