“The unnecessary actions of the Russian SU-35 pilot were incompatible with good piloting and international flight rules, seriously compromising the flight safety of the two aircraft,” said the US Navy. “As the Russian plane flew in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. We expect them to behave in accordance with established international standards to ensure safety and prevent incidents.”
The Russian military said on Monday that its plane had taken off from the Syrian air base Hmeimim to identify a target approaching Russian military installations in Syria.
“The pilot of the Russian fighter after approach identified the tail number of the plane belonging to the US Navy and took it for escort,” said a press release, adding that the American reconnaissance plane had then modified its flight path away from a Russian military installation. .
In the past, the United States has accused Russia of such similar unsafe interceptions of American surveillance planes, including over the Mediterranean Sea, but there has been a relative decline in recent years.
The top US official in Europe said Thursday that the United States had “started a conversation with the powers in Moscow” about the incident.
General Tod Wolters, Commander of the European Command of the United States and Supreme Commander of NATO Allied Forces, said he thought the movements of the Russian Su-35 jet were “more in the sense of a lack of professionalism rather than deliberate. “
Also on Wednesday, the U.S. Army Space Command said that Moscow had tested an anti-satellite missile. General John W. “Jay” Raymond, Commander of Space Command and Chief of Space Operations for the US Space Force, said the Russian test “provides another example that the threats to American and allied space systems are real, serious and growing. “