The Russian military had to scramble a Sukhoi Su-30 fighter aircraft (NATO reporting name: Flanker-C) on November 25 after detecting an aerial target approaching the Russian border, the Russian Southern Military District's press service said in a statement.
"In order to intercept the target, a Su-30 fighter was scrambled from… the Southern Military District. The Russian fighter flew over the aerial object and visually identified it as American reconnaissance aircraft P-8A Poseidon," the Russian statement read.
In the wake of the incident, CNN reported, citing Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza, that Russia's Su-30 had made an "unsafe" intercept of a US P-8A Poseidon maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
US European Command Spokesman Juan Martinez explained that the maneuver was dubbed "unsafe" since the Russian jet made a close approach with full afterburners on, while the P-8A was "conducting a routine operation in international airspace."
Such encounters occur on a regular basis, however, it is the first intercept reported as unsafe since June when a Russian jet came close to a US aircraft over the Baltic Sea.