Russian fighters recently came within the feet of US aircraft. A former US Navy pilot explained why Russia is pulling these stunts.


Russian Air Force Su-35S jet fighter, Kubinka, Russia taking off.

Russian Air Force Su-35S jet fighter, Kubinka, Russia taking off.Artyom Anikeev / Stocktrek Images via Getty Images

  • During a dangerous interception last weekend, Russian fighters reportedly arrived within five feet of a US aircraft.

  • One former pilot and TOPGUN instructor speculated that Russians are doing this to intimidate the United States.

  • Interception is normal and occurs on a regular basis. Most are safe and professional, but some are not.

Russian fighters conducted a dangerous interception of US aircraft last weekend. It is reportedly within just 5 feet of a US Navy plane...

Interception is the fair execution of a mill event without many risks. Intercepting aircraft typically identify and monitor foreign or unidentified aircraft at safe distances and escort them within the area of ‚Äč‚Äčinterest.

What is not normal is that the aircraft are flying within a few feet of each other. This is the equivalent of a retired Cmdr antenna where two speed-violating cars come within an inch of each other on the road. Guy Snodgrass, a former US Navy pilot and TOPGUN instructor, told insiders.

According to Snodgrass, intimidation is the most likely reason for such dangerous interception.

The US RC-135U, flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, was intercepted by the Russian SU-27 Flanker on June 19, 2017.

The US RC-135U, flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, was intercepted by the Russian SU-27 Flanker on June 19, 2017.Air Force Sergeant Charles Larkin Senior

“Russia has decades of incredibly aggressive interception as a way to intimidate and expel crew members from the area,” he told insiders. Told.

This weekend’s incident was that a Russian Su-35 fighter flew very close to the US Navy’s P-8A maritime patrol aircraft as it flew over the Mediterranean Sea. Defense officials described two of the encounters as “unsafe” and the other as “not an expert.” The Wall Street Journal reported..

Russia has previously conducted these types of dangerous interceptions, but the latest is the first since 2020 when Russian jets conducted multiple “unsafe” interceptions of US aircraft.

According to Snodgrass, anything less than 5 feet would almost certainly cause a collision. In context, he said, they are usually 15-30 feet apart when planes are formed and fly close together. Still, they are trained to do so and have close communication throughout.

Snodgrass speculated that this dangerous interception may be related to rising tensions between Russia and the United States as the former. Deploy an army of tens of thousands What many people in the West are afraid of is preparing for war.

Despite surrounding Ukraine with an army of about 150,000, the Kremlin constantly denies plans to attack or invade neighboring countries.

“Whenever the rhetoric between the two countries begins to get really hot, it can burn passion-and sometimes it may lead the aviation crew to act or maneuver more aggressively than usual. No, “Snodgrass said.

He added that it is unclear whether Russian pilots decided to carry out dangerous interceptions themselves or were instructed to do so because of intimidation.

As a Navy aviator, Snodgrass participated in the interception when actually flying in the South China Sea. He emphasized that there are safe ways to intercept, and explained that it may be possible to identify an aircraft even from a mile away.

“If you have a Chinese aircraft, or if you have an unidentified aircraft that will fall within a certain range of American aircraft carriers, you will be instructed to intercept it,” he said. ..

“But there is a safe way to do that, for example, there is an established profile that intercepts an airplane but does not reach within 5 feet,” he said. ..

Such interception is possible, but Snodgrass said that aggressive U.S. interception occurred as the U.S. military preached security and professionalism, stating that close interception usually leads to uncontrollable situations. He said he had never heard of it.

“I always want to be in a very favorable situation in a tactical sense,” he explained. “I want to stay in control of the situation, so going in and doing some crazy pass will actually hurt you.” explained. “”

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