Sunday, December 4, 2022

Pentagon says Venezuelan SU-30 “aggressively shadowed” EP-3 aircraft over Caribbean Sea

The U.S. Southern Command is releasing video of a U.S. EP-3 Aries signals reconnaissance aircraft flying July 19, in international airspace over the Caribbean Sea being “aggressively shadowed” by a Venezuelan SU-30 fighter jet.

“Venezuelan SU-30 Flanker “aggressively shadowed” a U.S. EP-3 aircraft at an unsafe distance July 19, jeopardizing the crew & aircraft,” said in a statement.

Also, the U.S. Southern Command stressed that the EP-3 was performing a multi-nationally recognized & approved mission in international airspace over the Caribbean Sea.


The U.S. aircraft was operating in accordance with international law and did not provoke this Venezuelan activity.

“This action demonstrates #Russia’s irresponsible military support to Maduro’s illegitimate regime & underscores Maduro’s recklessness & irresponsible behavior, which undermines int’l rule of law & efforts to counter illicit trafficking,” added in the statement.

According to, EP-3 Ares is a signals intelligence (SIGINT) reconnaissance aircraft developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Company.

The EP-3 aircraft is a four-engine, low-wing, electronic warfare and reconnaissance aircraft utilizing state-of-the-art electronic surveillance equipment for its primary mission.

The normal crew complement is 24, 7 officers and 17 enlisted aircrew. The EP-3E typically carries three pilots, one navigator, three tactical evaluators, and one flight engineer. The remainder of the crew is composed of equipment operators, technicians, and mechanics and may include relief crew members as well.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.