Russia scrambles fighter jets to escort U.S. B1 bombers over Black Sea

Russia scrambled two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets to escort a pair of U.S. B-1B strategic bombers over the Black Sea, Russia's defence ministry said on Wednesday, an incident that coincided with a visit to the region by the U.S. secretary of defence, Reuters reports.

"Russian fighter crews identified the aerial targets as two U.S. Air Force supersonic strategic B-1B bombers, accompanied by two KC-135 refuelling planes, and escorted them over the waters of the Black Sea. After the foreign warplanes had been turned away from Russia's state border, the Russian fighters safely returned to their home air base."

It said the Russian aircraft had carried out their flight in strict compliance with international airspace rules and that Russia's borders had not been breached.

A similar incident with a B-1B occurred on Sunday over the Sea of Japan, just days after an incident with a U.S. naval destroyer, also in the far east.

Image: Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via REUTERS

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