Per Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News Pentagon Producer
A Russian jet buzzed a US Navy spy plane today over the Black Sea, a senior defense official tells Fox News.
A Russian Su-27 flew dangerously close to a US Navy P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft used primary for anti-submarine warfare while on routine patrol in the Black Sea.
The incident occurred Wednesday, but the official did not offer specifics on timing or how close the Russian jet managed to come to the US Navy plane.
In April, Russian jets buzzed a US Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea, coming within 30 feet of the US Navy ship.
This latest provocation comes as Secretary of State John Kerry is negotiating a cease-fire with Russia in Syria.
Earlier today, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Russia is “trying to play by their own rules” and making the situation in Syria “more violent” while speaking at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Carter added, "Russia's actions in recent years - with its violations of Ukrainian and Georgian territorial integrity, its unprofessional behavior in the air, in space, and in cyber-space, as well as its nuclear saber-rattling - all have demonstrated that Russia has clear ambition to erode the principled international order.”
The Russian jet flew within 10 feet of the US Navy spy plane, a defense official with knowledge of the incident tells Fox News.
There is a classified photo of the incident, but a decision has not been made about releasing it yet, the official added.
“[The Russian jet] takes up the whole photo,” said the official describing how close the Russian jet came to the US Navy plane.
Navy Captain Jeff A. Davis, a Pentagon spokesman issued the following statement regarding the incident: “Earlier today (Sept. 7) a Russian SU-27 Flanker fighter jet made an unsafe close-range intercept of a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft while it conducted routine operations in international airspace over the Black Sea. The intercept lasted about 19 minutes. U.S. Navy aircraft and ships routinely interact with Russian units in the area and most interactions are safe and professional. However, we have concerns when there is an unsafe maneuver like this. These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions, and could result in a miscalculation or accident.”