US releases photos of ‘unsafe’ Russia jet intercept over Baltic Sea

Russian SU-27 came so close to wing of US plane that Russian pilot can be seen in cockpit


Photos of a Russian jet coming within a few feet of a US air force reconnaissance jet over the Baltic Sea have been released by the US European Command (Eucom).

The photographs show the Russian SU-27 coming so close to the wing of the US RC-135U that the Russian pilot can be seen in the cockpit in some images.

Intercepts are common and are usually considered routine, but Eucom said in this case on June 19th “due to the high rate of closure speed and poor control of the aircraft during the intercept, this interaction was determined to be unsafe”.

Two days later, Sweden summoned Russia’s ambassador after another SU-27 jet flew close to a Swedish Gulfstream reconnaissance plane over the Baltic.