July 30, 2021

Russian Jet Barrel Rolls Over US Recon Plane In The Baltic

Russian jets continued their provocative antics in the Baltic Sea region on Friday.

A Russian jet flew a “barrel roll” over the top of an Air Force RC-135 while both planes were flying in international airspace above the Baltic. The American plane was on a reconnaissance mission.

Officials told CNN the Russian SU-27 flew within 100 feet of the American plane, then flew inverted over the top of the plane to the other side. The U.S. considers this unsafe and will voice its concerns to Russia, an official told CNN.

“This is a very high speed, very dangerous maneuver,” CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr said.

This is the latest in a chain of events in which Russian jets have intentionally flown close to American military assets. On April 14, a Russian jet performed a barrel roll within 50 feet of a U.S. jet. Earlier in April, Russian jets buzzed the Navy missile destroyer USS Donald Cook.

On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a Senate hearing that the incidents reflect “tension that has built up in Europe especially over the last couple of years since events in Crimea and Ukraine.”

Carter said the actions are “unprofessional behavior, and whether it is encouraged from the top, whether it was encouraged from higher up or not I can’t say.”

“But we do expect it to be discouraged from higher up from now on,” he added. “These pilots need to get the word, ‘Hey, knock it off. This is unprofessional. This is dangerous. This could lead somewhere.’”

Carter told the Senate Appropriations Committee the recent incidents were “dangerous” and could have led to a conflict, noting that “we can’t be accidentally stumbling into something.”

Source: Western Journalism