The Defense Department said a Russian SU-27 performed a “barrel roll” on top of a U.S. Air Force RC-135.
“The SU-27 intercepted the U.S. aircraft flying a routine route at high rate of speed from the side then proceeded to perform an aggressive maneuver that posed a threat to the safety of the U.S. aircrew in the RC-135,” explained Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza, a U.S. Army spokesperson.
Another official said the U.S. will “voice its concerns to the Russians” over the “unsafe aerial maneuver.”
“This unsafe and unprofessional air intercept has the potential to cause serious harm and injury to all aircrews involved. More importantly, the unsafe and unprofessional actions of a single pilot have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries,” continued Baldanza.
Russians executed a barrel roll only a few weeks ago near another U.S. plane. The U.S. Europe Command said the Russian SU-27 started the roll “from the left side of the U.S. RC-135 and went over the top of it to end on the right side of the aircraft.”
Then another Russian plane “flew dangerously close to the USS Donald Cook and another RC-135 in the same area.” Last October, the planes “flew near the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in the Sea of Japan.”