The Russian National Defense Control Center claimed that Su-27 fighter jets of the Southern Military District’s air defense quick reaction alert forces intercepted a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Black Sea.
The Russian airspace control systems detected an air target over the neutral waters of the Black Sea on July 24, 2020, the Center said.
“A Su-27 fighter of the Southern Military District’s air defense quick reaction alert forces was scrambled to intercept the target,” the statement says.
The Russian fighter’s crew identified the target as a US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane, a service news release states.
After the U.S. plane moved away from Russia’s state border, the Russian fighter safely returned to its airbase. No violations of the Russian state border were allowed, the National Defense Control Center said.
“The entire flight of the Russian Su-27 plane proceeded in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace,” the Center said.
The P-8A Poseidon, the U.S. Navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, is a multi-mission capable replacement aircraft for the legacy P-3C Orion. It is a militarized version of the Boeing 737 and utilized for a wide-array of missions.
The P-8A’s primary function is anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, according to the U.S. Navy website.
In May, U.S. aerospace giant Boeing marked a milestone with the delivery of its 100th P-8A maritime patrol aircraft to the U.S. Navy.
The Navy received its 100th P-8A aircraft from Boeing on 14 May as the global fleet, which also includes the Indian navy and the Australian and U.K. air forces, approaches 300,000 flight hours of hunting submarines and providing aerial reconnaissance capabilities around the world.