On Saturday the U.S. Air Force said in a statement that a pair of Russian fighters conducted an “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept of a US B-52 Stratofortress bomber over the Black Sea Friday.  

The Air Force said that two Russian Su-27 Flankers “flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner while crossing within 100 feet of the nose of the B-52 multiple times at co-altitude and while in afterburner causing turbulence and restricting the B-52’s ability to maneuver. 
Gen. Jeff Harrigian, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander, said in a statement that “actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions, are unnecessary, and inconsistent with good airman-ship and international flight rules.”  He added that the Russian aircraft “jeopardized the safety of flight of the aircraft involved.”

It seems that Russia and the U.S. are taking turns intercepting each other.  Also on Friday,  North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) F-22 stealth fighters intercepted three groups of two Tu-142 Russian maritime patrol aircraft in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone. The Russian aircraft came within about 50 nautical miles of Alaskan shores, NORAD said in a statement Friday.

Russian long-range air patrol flights near the US appear to be occurring more frequently.  “This year, we’ve conducted more than a dozen intercepts, the most in recent years,” NORAD commander Gen. Glen VanHerck said in a statement. “The importance of our continued efforts to project air defense operations in and through the north has never been more apparent.”

The NORAD intercepts of the Russian patrol aircraft came one day after US Northern Command said that it was “closely monitoring the Russian submarine that surfaced near Alaska today.” The submarine is believed to have been participating in a large scale Russian naval exercise.

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