A Russian Su-30 jet made an “unsafe” intercept of a U.S. spy plane over the Black Sea on Saturday, forcing that plane into violent turbulence.
The Pentagon told CNN on Monday that the Su-30 jet crossed right in front of the U.S. P-8A Poseidon aircraft to the left and right and used its afterburners to drive the Poseidon into the jet wash, that forced it into a “15-degree roll and violent turbulence.”
“The US aircraft was operating in international airspace and did nothing to provoke this Russian behavior,” Pentagon spokeswoman Army Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza told CNN.
The full intercept lasted for 24 minutes, according to Baldanza.
“Unsafe actions have the potential to cause serious harm and injury to all air crews involved,” Baldanza added.
The purpose of the P-8A Poseidon is to provide a challenge to Russia in the Atlantic and specifically to hunt submarines, according to Navy Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, who runs the Patrol and Reconnaissance Group.
“The need for this aircraft is centered squarely around anti-submarine warfare and being able to provide a long-range quick reaction that nothing else in our Navy can provide,” Cozad said in a 2016 interview with Navy Times.
The P-8A Poseidon is outfitted with sensors to track submerged submarines.
This isn’t the first time Russia has intercepted a P-8A Poseidon. A Russian Su-27 jet came within 20 feet of a P-8A Poseidon on May 9, 2017.
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