A Russian fighter jet zoomed within just 10 feet of a U.S. Navy spy plane over the Black Sea on Wednesday, the latest in a string of daring maneuvers involving Russian aircraft and the U.S. military, a defense official with knowledge of the incident told Fox News.
The Russian Su-27 Flanker jet flew dangerously close to a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft used primarily for anti-submarine warfare while on routine patrol in international airspace, defense officials said.
The Russian defense ministry accused the Navy plane of flying with its transponder—which emits an identifying signal—turned off. A U.S. defense official would neither confirm nor deny the accusation but told Fox News, “It is not a requirement for a military aircraft to have its transponder turned on.”
The official said Russian military jets routinely fly with their transponders turned off, which helps the U.S. military identify them because other planes in the area are emitting an identifying signal from their transponders. The Navy spy plane was roughly 40 miles from Russia in the Black Sea when the Russian jet approached, according to a separate defense official.
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