US Reveals Intense Photos Of Armed Russian Fighter Buzzing Air Force Jet

Photo via U.S. EUCOM

The U.S. European Command has just released a series of photos that captured a recent mid-air tango between a U.S. RC135U surveillance plane and an armed Russian SU-27 Flanker that occurred over the Baltic Sea this week.

EUCOM claims the RC135 was flying in international airspace on June 19 when it was intercepted by the SU-27. “Due to the high rate of closure speed and poor control of the aircraft during the intercept, this interaction was determined to be unsafe,” EUCOM said in a statement.    

A U.S. RC-135U flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-27 Flanker June 19, 2017.Photo via U.S. EUCOM

The command’s criticism of the SU-27 pilot’s jet-flying skills could be a response to a recent video that aired on the Russian military’s TV Station Zvedza, which showed a NATO F-16 buzzing Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s jet on June 21 in the same vicinity of the June 19 incident.

In the video, a Russian military “expert” called the F-16 pilot, who was probably Polish, an American “air pirate,” saying, “Thank God that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are headed by a sensible person, and thank God that our fighter acted beyond all praise.”

A U.S. RC-135U flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-27 Flanker June 19, 2017.Photo via U.S. EUCOM

NATO called that interdiction “routine,” claiming that the Russian planes had failed to respond to air traffic control. “We have not changed our procedures in response to recent events,” a NATO official told Stars and Stripes.

That NATO intercept came a day after the Navy downed a Syrian SU-22 jet, which U.S. Central Command said posed a threat to coalition-back Syrian Democratic Forces fighting ISIS. Moscow responded by vowing to shoot down any U.S. warplanes flying over Syria west of the Euphrates.

An armed Russian SU-27 Flanker confronts a U.S. RC135U.Photo via U.S. EUCOM

President Trump campaigned on a promise to mend relations between the U.S. and Russia; however, tensions have only escalated since he took office, thanks in part to the war in Syria, which has become a proxy conflict between global powers, with Russia and Iran backing the Syrian regime and the U.S.-led coalition bolstering rebel groups determined to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

A U.S. RC-135U flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-27 Flanker June 19, 2017.Photo via U.S. EUCOM

“The Coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” Operation Inherent Resolve reiterated in a statement on June 18. “The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat.”


Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.

Read More Show Less
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)

MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."

Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Read More Show Less

Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."

"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."

First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.

"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."

Read More Show Less

D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.

"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."

Read More Show Less