The Russian Su-27, flying from Kaliningrad, followed the B-52 well into Danish airspace over the island, committing a significant violation of airspace of a NATO nation.
In the late afternoon of Friday, Aug. 28, 2020 a B-52 bomber of the US Air Force (USAF) was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 fighter in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. The intercept occurred as the B-52 bomber was closing in on Danish airspace in the vicinity of the Island of Bornholm. According to NATO Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office news release, the Russian Su-27, flying from Kaliningrad, followed the B-52 well into Danish airspace over the island, committing a significant violation of airspace of a NATO nation.
“This incident demonstrates Russia’s disrespect of international norms and for the sovereign airspace of an Allied nation. We remain vigilant, ready and prepared to secure NATO airspace 24/7,” said General Jeff Harrigian, Commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command.
Danish Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft were launched to counter the violation, however the violating Russian fighter turned back before interception. The Danish jets remained airborne and patrolling to protect the sovereignty of Danish airspace.
The unauthorised intrusion of sovereign airspace is a significant violation of international law. Friday’s incident is the first of this kind for several years and indicates a new level of Russian provocative behavior.
The B-52 bomber was taking part in the long-planned training activity “Allied Sky”, where six B-52 aircraft flew over all 30 NATO member nations in one single day, accompanied by and training with around 80 fighter aircraft from across the Alliance.
As already reported, earlier the same day USAF released a video featuring two Russian Su-27 Flanker pilots intercepting a B-52 bomber that was conducting routine operations in the Black Sea over international waters.
According to US Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa press release, the Russian pilots flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner while crossing within 100 feet of the nose of the B-52 multiple times at co-altitude and while in afterburner causing turbulence and restricting the B-52’s ability to maneuver.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force and Star