Moscow: Russian Air Force fighter jets have been scrambled four times over the past week to intercept foreign aircraft near the state borders of Russia, Krasnaya Zvezda daily reported citing a source in the Defense Ministry.
According to the data provided by the daily, 23 foreign aircraft have been registered on reconnaissance flights over the past week and were all buzzed off by Russian fighter jets.
The daily reported that “there were no violations of state borders” in the course of the past week.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported that a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet (NATO reporting name: Flanker) intercepted on January 28 a US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea.
According to the ministry, a quick reaction alert Su-27 fighter jet from the Air Defense Force was scrambled to intercept the target in the air after the airspace control equipment registered it over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea approaching the Russian state border.
“The Russian fighter’s crew approached the air object at a safe distance and identified it as a P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance plane of the US Air Force,” a statement from the ministry said.
The P-8 Poseidon is an anti-submarine warfare patrol plane designed to spot and destroy enemy subs in the areas of patrolling and reconnaissance and take part in anti-ship and rescue operations.
Russia’s Defense Ministry regularly provides the statistics of flights by fighter jets of the Aerospace Force to intercept and shadow foreign military planes near the Russian borders but without giving details of specific incidents.