2 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 sandwich US Navy P-8A Poseidon over Mediterranean Sea, watch video

A P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft of the United States of America Navy was intercepted by two Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighters above the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. The two Russian fighters sandwiched the US P-8A aircraft between themselves and came extremely close to the American plane for more than an hour.

2 Russian Sukhoi Su-35 sandwich US Navy P-8A Poseidon over Mediterranean Sea, watch video

A P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft of the United States of America Navy was intercepted by two Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighters above the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. The two Russian fighters sandwiched the US P-8A aircraft between themselves and came extremely close to the American plane for more than an hour.

The P-8A belonged to the US 6th Fleet and was flying over international waters in Eastern Mediterranean sea when the Russian Su-35s intercepted it. According to the US 6th Fleet, the Russian 4++ Generation twin-engine supersonic Su-35 fighters performed unsafe and unprofessional flying by coming close to the P-8A which jeopardised the safety of all the three aircraft.

"For the third time in two months, Russian pilots flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner while intercepting a US Navy P-8A Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft in the US 6th Fleet, May 26, 2020. On May 26, 2020, a U.S. Navy P-8A aircraft was flying in the Eastern Mediterranean over international waters and was intercepted by two Russian Su-35 aircraft over a period of 65 minutes. The intercept was determined to be unsafe and unprofessional due to the Russian pilots taking close station on each wing of the P-8A simultaneously, restricting the P-8A’s ability to safely maneuver," the US 6th Fleet said in a statement while releasing photographs and videos of the intercept.

Calling the actions of Su-35 pilots unnecessary, the US Navy stated that the intercept was "inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules, and jeopardized the safety of flight of both aircraft".

"While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. We expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents, including the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA). Actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions. This incident follows two unsafe interactions in April, over the same waters. In all cases, the U.S. aircraft were operating in international airspace, consistent with international law, with due regard for safety of flight, and did not provoke this Russian activity." the statement added.