In an attempt to avoid Russian radar and a Russian fighter jet, a US Official Admits Spy Plane Flees Russian Jet, Radar; Ends Up Over Sweden.
The Cold War aerial games of chicken portrayed in the movie “Top Gun” are happening in real life again nearly 30 years later.
A U.S. Air Force spy plane evaded an encounter with the Russian military on July 18, just a day after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed by a suspected surface-to-air missile that Ukraine and the West allege was fired by pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine.
The RC-135 Rivet Joint fled into nearby Swedish airspace without that country’s permission, a U.S. military official told CNN. The airplane may have gone through other countries’ airspace as well, though it’s not clear if it had permission to do so.
The U.S. plane had been flying in international airspace, conducting an electronic eavesdropping mission on the Russian military, when the Russians took the unusual action of beginning to track it with land-based radar.
The Russians then sent at least one fighter jet into the sky to intercept the aircraft, the U.S. official said Saturday.
The spy plane crew felt so concerned about the radar tracking that it wanted to get out of the area as quickly as possible, the official said. The quickest route away from the Russians took them into Swedish airspace. The U.S. official acknowledged that was done without Swedish military approval.
As a result of this incident, the United States is discussing the matter with Sweden and letting officials know there may be further occurrences where American jets have to divert so quickly they may not be able to wait for permission.
“We acknowledge a U.S. aircraft veered into Swedish airspace and will take active steps to ensure we have properly communicated with Swedish authorities in advance to prevent similar issues before they arise,” the U.S. State Department said.
Questions of the Day
If you cannot wait for permission, are you where you are not supposed to be in the first place?
Is this how stupid wars start? Or is that exactly what the US wants? How about both?
Mike “Mish” Shedlock