MOSCOW, November 5. /TASS/. A Russian Su-27 fighter jet has intercepted a US Navy EP-3E Aries spy plane over the Black Sea and escorted it away in compliance with security and safety requirements, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Monday.
"On November 5, 2018, at about 10am on-duty airspace control aircraft spotted an unidentified air threat over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, which was approaching the airspace of the Russian Federation. A Su-27 fighter jet took off from the nearest airfield of the on-duty air defense unit. It approached the aircraft at a safe distance and identified it as an EP-3E Aries signals reconnaissance version of the US Navy. The fighter crew reported identification of the US signals reconnaissance aircraft and escorted it away from the airspace of the Russian Federation in compliance with all security and safety requirements," the statement says.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, after the US spy plane had altered its flight course away from Russian airspace, the Russian Su-27 fighter jet returned to its home base.
Earlier, the press service of the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa Command published a press release saying that a US EP-3E Aries aircraft flying in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 and that interaction was "determined to be unsafe."
According to the US military, the Su-27 conducted "a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk."