The Russian military deployed a pair of Su-27 fighter jets to shadow a US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bomber over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea, they said after releasing a short clip of the intercept.
The Defense Ministry said the nuclear-capable US bomber was detected long in advance and sent warplanes in response. The American aircraft later changed its course away from Russia, after which the two Sukhoi planes returned to base. A video of the encounter showed the strategic bomber apparently filmed from inside the cockpit of one of the Russian fighters.
The Stratofortress is one of six which the US Air Force deployed to Europe for the latest string of training exercises with its NATO allies. The task force arrived to Britain’s Fairford airfield from the Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana last week, according to US defense officials. The European deployment is the largest for US strategic aviation since 2003, when the Allies on the continent were involved in the US-led invasion of Iraq.
The US Air Force said four B-52s “conducted flights to several places in Europe, including to the Norwegian Sea, the Baltic Sea/Estonia and the Mediterranean Sea/Greece” on Monday.
A separate training mission involving B-52s was conducted on Monday from Guam, with the bombers flying north along Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula in the Far East before returning to the Andersen airbase.
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