Two Russian Su-27 fighter jets on Wednesday conducted an “unsafe” intercept of a group of French Air Force aircraft operating over the Black Sea.
Two French Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft and a KC-135FR aerial refueling tanker flying over international waters in the Black Sea when it was intercepted by two Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets.
Russian fighters were approaching an unsafe distance to French aircraft, which posed a threat to their crews.
According to Russia’s National Defense Control Center, on February 17, Russian radars spotted air targets over the neutral waters of the Black Sea approaching Russia’s state border.
“Two Su-27 fighters of the air defense quick reaction alert forces of the Southern Military District’s Air Force and Air Defense Army were scrambled to identify the air targets and prevent the violation of the Russian state border,” the National Defense Control Center said.
“The Russian fighters’ crews identified the air targets as a group of French Air Force planes that consisted of a KC-135 aerial refueling tanker and two Mirage 2000 tactical aircraft and shadowed them over the Black Sea,” it said.
No violations of the Russian state border were allowed, the Center stressed.
“After the foreign military aircraft turned away from Russia’s state border, the Russian fighters safely returned to their home airfield. The Russian fighters’ flight proceeded in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace,” the National Defense Control Center said.