U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa
Published August 29, 2020
A B-52 Stratofortress flies overhead at RAF Fairford, England, Aug. 22, 2020. U.S. Strategic Command regularly tests and evaluates the readiness of strategic assets to ensure we are able to honor our security commitments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eugene Oliver)
At approximately 11:19 a.m. on Aug. 28, 2020, two Russian Su-27 Flanker pilots intercepted a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber that was conducting routine operations in the black sea over international waters. The Russian pilots flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner while crossing within 100 feet of the nose of the B-52 multiple times at co-altitude and while in afterburner causing turbulence and restricting the B-52’s ability to maneuver.
“Actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions, are unnecessary, and inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander. “While the Russian aircraft were operating in international airspace, they jeopardized the safety of flight of the aircraft involved. We expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent accidents,” he added.
Our B-52 Stratofortress aircraft was conducting routine operations in international airspace exercising our freedom of navigation and overflight. The U.S. Air Force routinely operates aircraft in the region in accordance with recognized international safety standards as prescribed in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules of flight.
If you have any additional questions, please contact U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.