"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, Censor.NET reports.
The incident took place near the Russian city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, a port located on the southeastern end of the peninsula.
Benham said the intercept was "characterized as safe and professional."
"Intercepts between the United States and other militaries occur often and the vast majority are professional," he noted. "For intercepts that are deemed unprofessional, the U.S. takes appropriate measures through military and diplomatic channels."
A defense official familiar with the MiG-31 intercept said the jet flew within 50 feet of the P-8, a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
The latest aerial incident involving a Russian jet followed two dangerous encounters over the Baltic Sea last week.
A Russian Su-27 flew within 50 feet of an RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft on April 14 and executed a barrel roll over the surveillance plane in what the Pentagon called an "unsafe and unprofessional manner."
Two days earlier, two Russian Su-24s buzzed the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook, coming very close to its deck as the warship sailed in the Baltic Sea. The Pentagon protested both incidents.
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