MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS/. Russian fighter jets of the Eastern Military District were scrambled to intercept a US reconnaissance aircraft over the Sea of Japan, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Saturday.
Russian radars detected the target in international airspace over the neutral waters of the Sea of Japan. The aircraft was heading towards the Russian sovereign airspace.
"Sukhoi Su-35S and MiG-31BM [fighter jets] from the Eastern Military District’s air defense forces on duty were scrambled to identify and intercept the target in midair. After approaching the target, they identified it as an RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft of the US Air Force," the ministry said adding that the fighter jets were escorting the spy aircraft at a safe distance.
The Defense Ministry pointed out that after the US Air Force’s strategic reconnaissance aircraft made a U-turn and flew away from the Russian sovereign airspace, the Russian fighter jets returned to their home airbase.
"All the flights of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ [combat aircraft] take place in strict accordance with international airspace rules," the ministry added.