The forcing down of a U.S. drone by Russian fighter jets over the Black Sea on Tuesday spiraled right into a diplomatic incident and fueled concern in regards to the potential for the battle in Ukraine to escalate into direct battle between the 2 superpowers.
The incident additionally shone mild on a reality of geopolitics that always receives little consideration: Shut calls, some harrowing, between U.S. and Russian plane aren’t uncommon.
America and NATO allies usually intercept Russian jets flying near Alaska or to NATO airspace above the Black or Baltic seas. Russia additionally has intercepted American plane in these areas, typically swooping shut sufficient to trigger turbulence.
This week’s incident “follows a sample of harmful actions by Russian pilots whereas interacting with U.S. and allied plane over worldwide airspace,” U.S. Air Drive Gen. James B. Hecker, commander of the U.S. Air Drive in Europe and Africa, said in a press release Tuesday.
Crashes triggered throughout intercepts are extraordinarily uncommon, nonetheless, even for unmanned drones. Analysts and officers warn that the battle in Ukraine has solely heightened the stakes.
The U.S. navy launched a video Thursday of what it says is a Russian fighter jet clipping a U.S. surveillance drone. America mentioned the ensuing harm compelled it to carry the drone down into the Black Sea. Moscow has denied that both fighter hit the drone, and blamed america for flying the craft too near territory in Crimea that Russia claims to have annexed.
Right here’s what to know in regards to the historical past of shut encounters between Russia and america within the skies.