NATO aircraft intercepted & driven out by Russian jets
RT, 18 Feb 2021
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Two French fighter jets and a tanker aircraft have been escorted away from Russia’s airspace by two Su-27 interceptor planes, Russian Defense Ministry footage shows.
In a statement, the National Defense Control Center (NDCC) said the Southern Military District deployed the interceptors on Wednesday morning after radar spotted the French trio over the Black Sea.
The targets were identified as a group of French Air Force planes that consisted of a KC-135 aerial refueling tanker and two Mirage 2000 tactical aircraft,’ the NDCC said.
After the French aircraft U-turned away from Russian airspace, the Russian fighters returned to base. Their flight was ‘in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace,’ the NDCC added.
Wednesday's interception comes amid increased NATO activity in the Black Sea at the behest of Ukraine, which has recently urged the US-led alliance to increase air operations near Crimea, which seceded from Ukraine and joined Russia after a 2014 referendum.
The Russian Defense Ministry detected an estimated 2,900 combat aircraft and 1,100 spy planes approaching Russian airspace in 2020 alone.