Ukrainian Su-27 fighters carried out their first exercise in close-air support with the U.S Navy maritime patrol aircraft. Su-27s escorted a U.S Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft over the Black Sea during Exercise Sea Breeze 2020.
The P-8A was escorted by Ukrainian Air Force Su-27UB fighter jets, assigned to the 831st Brigade of Tactical Aviation.
The Su-27s carried out patrol escorts of NATO aircraft in the joint combat formations with P-8A Poseidon in certain areas of the Black Sea to support the actions of groups of ships. They also carried out air-fighter cover for the actions of the aviation of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The P-8A Poseidon is the newest Maritime Patrol Aircraft and is equipped with the latest technology and sensors which provide a significant upgrade to anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities over the older P-3 Orion.
Exercise Sea Breeze 2020 is a defensive exercise for NATO allies and partners to strengthen and fortify cooperation that is essential to defend our national security priorities and maintain stability in the Black Sea. The exercise’s theme is: “Over 20 years of friendship in the Black Sea.” It captures what Sea Breeze is all about: trust. Our regional allies and partners believe in a free and safe Black Sea region, where surrounding nations adhere to international laws and respect borders and sovereignty.
The 27 ships and 19 aircraft all worked together toward our common goal of strengthening cohesion across the Black Sea region and improving the capabilities of all participants. They did this while adhering to all protocols required to keep sailors healthy and safe.