Russian jet 'buzzed' US Navy recon plan in Black Sea

By Lucas Tomlinson

The day before Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Washington, a Russian fighter jet flew dangerously close to a US Navy reconnaissance aircraft flying in the Black Sea on Tuesday. 

The Russian jet came as close as 20 feet to its American plane and remained that close for five minutes, according to a US defense official to Fox News. 

"While this one was considered by the flight crew to be safe and professional, this sort of close encounter certainly has the possibility to become dangerous in a hurry," added the US defense official.  

The Russian jet was armed with six air-to-air missiles under its wings. 

Unlike Russian intercepts in the past, this Russian jet approached the US Navy recon plan "slowly," according to the official.   The entire encounter lasted about an hour.  

"It goes on almost every day of the week," said the official. 

The latest Russian incident in the Black Sea comes a month before the US military kicks off a series of military exercises in the region.  

In February, Russian fighter jets buzzed a US Navy destroyer in the Black Sea on the same day the US Army unloaded dozens of tanks and hundreds of soldiers in a nearby Romanian port along the Black Sea.  

When asked about the timing of the incident coming a day before Lavrov's visit to Washington to meet President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the official asked, "what were we doing flying that day?"

The latest Russian provocation comes a week after a pair of Russian Bear Bombers and fighter jets flew near Alaska prompting the US Air forces to dispatch F-22 stealth figter jets to intercept the Russian formation.