Russian Warplane Flies Within 50 Feet of U.S. Spy Plane in Asia

Latest aerial encounter occurred near new Russian missile sub

A Russian MiG-31 jet flew within 50 feet of a U.S. surveillance aircraft in Northeast Asia last week, Moscow’s latest aerial saber-rattling against American ships and planes, according to defense officials.

“On April 21, a U.S. Navy P-8 Maritime Patrol reconnaissance aircraft flying a routine mission in international airspace was intercepted by a MiG-31 Russian jet in the vicinity of the Kamchatka Peninsula,” Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the Pacific Command, told the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading

Russian Fighter Conducts Dangerous Intercept of U.S. Recon Jet

Lets not forget about the USS Donald Cook, which the Russians shut off like a simple television set and leaving it as a sitting duck in the Black Sea, using advanced electronic warfare technology. Didn’t hear that one in the news? Don’t be so shocked.

 

Pentagon calls Black Sea aerial provocation ‘unsafe and unprofessional’

A Russian Su-27 jet fighter came within 20 feet of a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea on Monday in Moscow’s latest military provocation involving dangerous aerial encounters.

“On Jan. 25 an RC-135 aircraft flying a routine route in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner,” Navy Capt. Daniel Hernandez, chief spokesman for the U.S. European Command, told the Washington Free Beacon. “We are looking into the issue.”

Defense officials said the Su-27 flew alongside the RC-135, an electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft, and then performed what they said was an aggressive banking turn away from the intelligence jet.

The thrust from the Su-27 “disturbed the controllability” of the RC-135, said one official familiar with details of the incident. Continue reading

Analyst: Drone no longer in Air Force plans to replace U-2 spy plane

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Air Force wants to save money by scrapping plans to replace the Cold War-era U-2 spy plane with the high-tech Global Hawk reconnaissance drone, a defense analyst said Tuesday.

Loren Thompson wrote in his blog that the Air Force plans to sacrifice the most common variant of the Global Hawk — the Block 30 — as a “bill payer” in its 2013 budget request, retiring those already in use and halting further production by defense giant Northrup Grumman.

In addition, Bloomberg News reported that an unnamed U.S. official said the Pentagon has accepted an Air Force recommendation to reduce its purchases of the Block 30 and shift money to continued operations and maintenance of the high-altitude U-2 manned reconnaissance aircraft, which first entered service in the mid-1950s.

The long-distance, high-altitude Global Hawk has been used extensively in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan to feed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to armed drones such as the Predator and Reaper.

Continue reading article: Analyst: Drone no longer in Air Force plans to replace U-2 spy plane (Stars & Stripes)