A U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries multi-intelligence reconnaissance aircraft flying in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet.
According to the Russia’s National Defense Control Center, radar stations spotted a target in the air over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, approaching the state border of Russia. “The crew of the Russian fighter approached the airborne object at a safe distance to and identified it as the U.S. Navy’s EP-3E Aries reconnaissance aircraft,” the center reported.
The center noted, “after the US Navy plane turned from the state border of the Russian Federation, the Russian fighter safely returned to its home airfield.”
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The flight of the Russian fighter was carried out in strict accordance with international rules. There was no violation of the state border.
The EP-3E Aries II is a land-based Multi-Intelligence reconnaissance aircraft based on the P-3 Orion airframe.
The EP-3 aircraft in the Navy’s inventory provide fleet and theater commanders worldwide with near real-time tactical SIGINT and full motion video intelligence. With sensitive receivers and high-gain dish antennas, the EP-3E exploits a wide range of electronic emissions from deep within targeted territory. The crew fuses the collected intelligence along with off-board data and disseminates the collaborated information for direct threat warning, indications and warnings, information dominance, battle space situational awareness, suppression of enemy air defenses, destruction of enemy air-defense, anti-air warfare and anti-submarine warfare applications.