Eight Russian fighter jets of the Southern Military District attempted to intercept three U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft on September 4.
According to Russia’s National Defense Control Center, on Friday morning radars detected three B-52H strategic bombers of the U.S. Air Force that were approaching Russia’s sovereign airspace over Ukraine.
“Four Su-27 fighter jets and four Su-30 fighter jets of the Southern Military District’s air defense units on duty were scrambled to intercept the US Air Force aircraft over the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, with the aim to prevent their unauthorized incursion into the Russian airspace,” the center said.
The U.S. Air Force has confirmed that three B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft from the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, conducted vital integration training with Ukrainian fighters Friday inside Ukraine’s airspace near the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula.
“Friday’s strategic bomber mission is part of the long-planned deployment of six B-52s to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England,” it said in a statement. “The mission provided partners valuable midair training. In addition, the mission demonstrated how forward-located aircraft and crews, such as those in the B-52 units, enable collective defense capabilities and provide the U.S., NATO Allies and partners strategic and operational breadth to deter Russia and assure Allies and partners.”
The B-52Hs were escorted by Ukrainian Air Force MiG-29s and Su-27s.
According to a recent service news release, these ongoing bomber missions showcase the U.S. Air Force’s ability to continually execute flying missions, sustain readiness and support Allies and partners across Europe, regardless of external challenges to include the current global COVID-19 crisis response.