Russian Su-27 and Su-30 fighter jets were scrambled to intercept US Air Force B-1B strategic bombers over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Friday.
The US Air Forces in Europe and US Air Forces Africa Command issued a statement earlier on Friday that two B-1B Lancers conducted a long-range, long duration flight throughout Europe and the Black Sea region.
“Su-27P and Su-30SM fighters from the air defense alert quick reaction forces of the Southern Military District were scrambled to intercept the targets,” the ministry said.
The crews of the Russian fighters approached the air targets within a safe distance and identified them as B-1B strategic aircraft, after which “the US bombers changed their flight course and flew away from the state border of Russia,” the statement runs.
As Russia’s Defense Ministry stressed, the flights of the US strategic bombers over the Baltic and Black Seas “were timely uncovered” by the air defense alert quick reaction forces of the Western and Southern Military Districts. The US aircraft were tracked by Russian radars at a considerable distance from Russia’s border.
“The flights of the Russian combat planes proceeded in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace,” the ministry said.
After accomplishing their mission, the Russian fighter jets safely returned to their airbases, it said.