Stunning video uploaded by Russian state-owned television netowk Zvezda shows a pair of Russian fighter jets intercepting a US B-1B long-range bomber reportedly over the Black and Baltic Seas on Friday.
The Russian military released the video, subsequently aired on national broadcasts, and claimed to have diverted the American supersonic bomber over neutral waters as it was initially headed toward the borders of the Russian Federation.
The US side did not immediately acknowledge the incident, which comes on the heels of the US Navy slamming an "unsafe" intercept incident involving Russian jets and a US spy plane over the eastern Mediterranean earlier this week.
Russia's Defense Ministry stated of Friday's Black Sea intercept, according to a rush translation:
“At a considerable distance from the state border of the Russian Federation, American bombers were continuously accompanied by Russian radar controls. To intercept targets, Su-27P and Su-30SM fighters from the air defense duty forces of the Southern Military District were scrambled,” the Russian military department said.
Russian state media further said of the military statement: "It noted that the crews of Russian fighters approached a safe distance from air targets, identified them as B-1B strategic aviation aircraft, after which American bombers changed the direction of flight from the state border of the Russian Federation."
It does indeed to have appeared a Rockwell B-1 Lancer supersonic heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force, which makes the filmed encounter a relatively rare one.
Though there's been a ratcheting number of such 'intercept' incidents over the past year, this is some of the clearest dramatic footage picked up and presented by the Russian military.
It appears in response to US Air Force and Ukrainian military drills in the region, per a FOX report:
In a message to Moscow, U.S. B-1 bombers fly for first time with Ukrainian Su-27 and MiG-29 fighter jets Friday pic.twitter.com/ut8ME0iRHi— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) May 29, 2020
Yesterday the Pentagon released video of the latest separate 'close call' over the Mediterranean. It involved for the third time in a couple of months American and Russian aircraft entering a close, dangerous encounter over waters near Russia's Hmeimim Airbase in western Syria.
The US Navy published video Tuesday of the prior Mediterranean incident. It appears Russia has further "answered" the US with Friday's latest intercept over the Black and Baltic Seas area:
The Tuesday incident reportedly involved two Russian Su-35 jets which intercepted a US Navy reconnaissance aircraft over the eastern Mediterranean.
The Pentagon blasted their actions as "unsafe","unprofessional" and "irresponsible" in what's emerging as a highly dangerous tit-for-tat.