Russia scrambled a fighter jet on Tuesday to intercept a nuclear-capable U.S. B-52 strategic bomber it said was flying over the Baltic Sea near its border, in an incident that had echoes of the Cold War.
The U.S. bomber was still up in the air Tuesday afternoon and the crew had not been debriefed about the incident, meaning it was not yet known exactly how close the Russian Su-27 fighter jet came to the U.S. plane, Capt. Jeff Davis said.
“The Russian SU-27 crew, having approached at a safe distance, identified the aircraft as an American B-52 strategic bomber and escorted it” until such time as it changed course and flew away from the border area, the ministry said.
In a separate incident, Russia said on a MiG-31 jet fighter had intercepted a Norwegian patrol plane over the Barents Sea. Russia’s Defence Ministry identified the plane as a P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft.
The Russian Defence Ministry complained that the Norwegian plane had flown close to Russia’s state border with its transponders switched off. The Norwegian military confirmed the encounter, but said it was “normal”.