EUCOM Reviewing Air Ops After Russian ‘Attempted Engagement’ Of U.S. Jet

Triton

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"EUCOM Reviewing Air Ops After Russian ‘Attempted Engagement’ Of U.S. Jet"

By: Carlo Muñoz
Published: August 4, 2014 1:34 PM
Updated: August 4, 2014 1:34 PM

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2014/08/04/eucom-reviewing-air-ops-russian-attempted-engagement-u-s-jet

An “attempted engagement” of a U.S. surveillance plane by Russian fighters in the skies above eastern Europe has prompted leaders at U.S. European Command to reevaluate its air operations tactics in the region, according to Pentagon officials.

The incident occurred on July 18, while the Boeing RC-135V/W Rivet Joint was conducting a routine surveillance mission in international airspace on Russian targets in the Baltics, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said Monday.

During the course of the operation, U.S. ground units supporting the Rivet Joint notified the aircrew of approaching Russian fighters, Warren told reporters during the Monday Pentagon briefing.

The Russian attack aircraft were reportedly moving toward the RC-135′s position in an, “attempted encounter” with the American surveillance aircraft, he said.

After receiving the warning, the Rivet Joint was diverted into Swedish airspace in order to avoid engaging with the Russian fighters. Once the aircrew realized it had entered sovereign airspace, it quickly moved back into international air, Warren said.

While the RC-135 crew and supporting ground units, “followed all proper procedures” during the entire incident, officials at European Command are investigating the details of the incident, Warren added.

While declining to go into details of the command’s inquiry, he did say that EUCOM officials are “taking active steps” to figure out how to prevent other near misses between American, allied and Russian military forces in the future.

That said, “there was nothing unusual about this encounter,” Warren told reporters on Monday.

EUCOM commander Gen. Philip Breedlove warned in June that the growing frequency of Russian fighter jets and warships harassing American and allied forces in the region was causing concern within the command.

While such incidents are simply part of doing business in the EUCOM theater, Russian shows of force have ramped up significantly since tensions boiled over in eastern Ukraine earlier this year.

The timing of the RC-135 encounter comes days before Moscow is set to kick off a massive air warfare exercise, which will reportedly include over 100 Russian warplanes in the skies along the country’s western border with Ukraine.

Since the outbreak of violence in eastern Ukraine, Russian fighters and warships have conducted several aggressive engagements against U.S. and allies in the region.

In June, a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer made up to 12 near passes against the USS Donald Cook (DDG-75), flying as close as flew as close as 1,000 yards from the ship at times, while the destroyer was patrolling the Black Sea off the Ukrainian coastline.

While the planes never engaged the guided missile destroyer, or the RC-135 last month, the saber rattling from Moscow is becoming exceedingly clear to American commanders in Europe.

However, Warren dismissed any comparisons between the July 18 incident with the Rivet Joint and the low passes made on Donald Cook in June.
The Rivet Joint and the Russian fighters never made visual contact and the U.S. aircraft was never in any danger of being shot down, he said.

However, Warren did add that continued instances like this remain “highly provocative and escalate rather than de-escalate tensions” in Eastern Europe
 

Orionblamblam

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The Russian attack aircraft were reportedly moving toward the RC-135′s position in an, “attempted encounter” with the American surveillance aircraft, he said.

I'm betting those were Su-25's. They're just the thing to use against jetliner-like aircraft.
 

Kiltonge

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After receiving the warning, the Rivet Joint was diverted into Swedish airspace in order to avoid engaging with the Russian fighters. Once the aircrew realized it had entered sovereign airspace, it quickly moved back into international air, Warren said.

The Swedes must be relaxing these days - they used to have a go at anyone coming into their airspace.

I suppose budget cuts bite everyone.
 

kcran567

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Orionblamblam said:
The Russian attack aircraft were reportedly moving toward the RC-135′s position in an, “attempted encounter” with the American surveillance aircraft, he said.

I'm betting those were Su-25's. They're just the thing to use against jetliner-like aircraft.
::) ;D
Hilarious. Because when Russia really needs to send the message, the Su-25 is ready to roll.
What is this American media obsession with the Su-25? If I were President I would immediately call the CIA send our best agent to steal one and uncover its secrets.
 

quellish

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kcran567 said:
Hilarious. Because when Russia really needs to send the message, the Su-25 is ready to roll.
What is this American media obsession with the Su-25? If I were President I would immediately call the CIA send our best agent to steal one and uncover its secrets.


It would be reasonable to believe the US has already studied the type extensively. Allies have them.
 

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quellish said:
It would be reasonable to believe the US has already studied the type extensively. Allies have them.

Not the Sukhoi Su-25s operated by the Ukrainian Air Force. They seem to be capable of intercepting and shooting down a Boeing 777 operating at 33,000 feet altitude using an R-60 Aphid air-to-air missile. ::) (The service ceiling for a clean Sukhoi Su-25 being 22,965 ft.) :p
 

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Was this type of ELINT collection ever done by the SR-71? In other words, are we using RC-135s for what the SR-71 used to do?
 

AeroFranz

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kcran567 said:
Orionblamblam said:
The Russian attack aircraft were reportedly moving toward the RC-135′s position in an, “attempted encounter” with the American surveillance aircraft, he said.

I'm betting those were Su-25's. They're just the thing to use against jetliner-like aircraft.
::) ;D
Hilarious. Because when Russia really needs to send the message, the Su-25 is ready to roll.
What is this American media obsession with the Su-25? If I were President I would immediately call the CIA send our best agent to steal one and uncover its secrets.


It is safe to assume OBB was being sarcastic...
 

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AeroFranz said:
It is safe to assume OBB was being sarcastic...

Psssshhh. That's what they want you to think.

If it wasn't the world beating hypersonic sub-orbital anti-gravity Die Glocke derived Su-25, it could have only been one other magnificent flying machine...

PutinRidingCrane.jpg
 

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jjnodice said:
Was this type of ELINT collection ever done by the SR-71? In other words, are we using RC-135s for what the SR-71 used to do?

Not sure if they did the exact same thing (RC-135s aren't new and have been over there for a good long time) but an SR crossed into Swedish airspace at least once following an engine problem.

At any rate, the solution is to use armed escorts. Flying in international airspace is legal.
 

perttime

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SOC said:
At any rate, the solution is to use armed escorts. Flying in international airspace is legal.
Looking at it the other way... :) It is quite legal for Russian aircraft to come and take a look at a US aircraft in International airspace.

I believe there are countries that routinely go and take a look at strangers who are coming close.

640px-Tu-95MS_and_F-15C.jpg

(Wikimedia image)
 

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That F-15 seems to be keeping a good distance away. Not performing barrel rolls over the aircraft or causing collisions do to unprofessionalism.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/08/22/chinese-jet-threatened-us-intelligence-aircraft/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+(Internal+-+Politics+-+Text)
 

perttime

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sferrin said:
That F-15 seems to be keeping a good distance away. Not performing barrel rolls over the aircraft or causing collisions do to unprofessionalism.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/08/22/chinese-jet-threatened-us-intelligence-aircraft/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+(Internal+-+Politics+-+Text)
Sounds like Pete "Maverick" Mitchell has joined the Chinese air force, or they are using Top Gun as training material.
 

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Triton said:
quellish said:
It would be reasonable to believe the US has already studied the type extensively. Allies have them.

Not the Sukhoi Su-25s operated by the Ukrainian Air Force. They seem to be capable of intercepting and shooting down a Boeing 777 operating at 33,000 feet altitude using an R-60 Aphid air-to-air missile. ::) (The service ceiling for a clean Sukhoi Su-25 being 22,965 ft.) :p


I believe such an interception may be possible (if not particularly plausible) from a technical standpoint. Until I hear differently from an operator the jury is still out. This isn't to suggest that I think one happened.


The absolute ceiling appears to be well above its listed service ceiling and the aircraft has adequate specific excess power - even with a full fuel load and a couple of R-60s. The only thing holding the Su-25 back at those altitudes may be handling and buffeting issues resulting from its wing design.
 

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jjnodice said:
Was this type of ELINT collection ever done by the SR-71? In other words, are we using RC-135s for what the SR-71 used to do?

SR-71 ELINT missions remain classified as does much of that type of stuff. They were used against "point" targets of fleeting availability that did not require loitering, or for "surprise" collection before the target could be shut down. Also they would go and collect form targets that were too dangerous to send anything else. They also operated in conjunction with other assets as part of the collection process, and I'm not just referring to satellites.

It's worthy of note that during their mid '90s reactivation, USAF would not allow the ELINT capability to be restored.
 

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SOC said:
jjnodice said:
Was this type of ELINT collection ever done by the SR-71? In other words, are we using RC-135s for what the SR-71 used to do?

Not sure if they did the exact same thing (RC-135s aren't new and have been over there for a good long time) but an SR crossed into Swedish airspace at least once following an engine problem.

At any rate, the solution is to use armed escorts. Flying in international airspace is legal.

SRs landed in Norway five times over a period of four years due to mechanical difficulties.

Problem with armed escorts is you've got to then have multiple aircraft, plus tankers and extra support assets. This is OK on an occasional basis but rapidly becomes resource and logistics-intensive and cuts down on the number and duration of missions you can perform, so the other guys have achieved their goals.
 

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perttime said:
sferrin said:
That F-15 seems to be keeping a good distance away. Not performing barrel rolls over the aircraft or causing collisions do to unprofessionalism.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/08/22/chinese-jet-threatened-us-intelligence-aircraft/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+(Internal+-+Politics+-+Text)
Sounds like Pete "Maverick" Mitchell has joined the Chinese air force, or they are using Top Gun as training material.

We laugh, but the message they're wanting to send to the rest of the world is that they're thumbing their noses at a tired paper tiger. The degree people accept that measure the degree of their success.
 

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F-14D said:
It's worthy of note that during their mid '90s reactivation, USAF would not allow the ELINT capability to be restored.

Why do you suppose that was?
 

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Re: EUCOM Reviewing Air Ops After Russian ‘Attempted Engagement’ Of U.S. Jet

F-14D said:
perttime said:
sferrin said:
That F-15 seems to be keeping a good distance away. Not performing barrel rolls over the aircraft or causing collisions do to unprofessionalism.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/08/22/chinese-jet-threatened-us-intelligence-aircraft/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fpolitics+(Internal+-+Politics+-+Text)
Sounds like Pete "Maverick" Mitchell has joined the Chinese air force, or they are using Top Gun as training material.

We laugh, but the message they're wanting to send to the rest of the world is that they're thumbing their noses at a tired paper tiger. The degree people accept that measure the degree of their success.
The fact that Russia and now China have performed barrel rolls over American aircraft is worrisome. If American reporting is true (and not just inflated propaganda: "wow these guys are really bad to do barrel rolls and jet wash maneuvers") then it really does seem that America is a tired worn out old paper tiger with no teeth that can only complain when the young whippersnappers kick sand in his face and do barrel
Rolls over him in defiance.
 

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I think I missed the news about Russian aircraft doing barrel rolls around US ones.

(Jokes tend to be good when it is you or yours making them)
 

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"China defends intercepting US Navy plane"

Source:
http://news.yahoo.com/china-says-us-plane-intercept-professional-024648223.html

BEIJING (AP) — China's Defense Ministry rejected U.S. accusations that a Chinese fighter jet conducted a "dangerous intercept" of a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft off the southern Chinese coast.

Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun called the U.S. accusations "groundless" in a statement issued Saturday night. He said the Chinese pilot conducted operations that were "professional and the Chinese jet kept a safe distance from the U.S. planes."

Yang called the Chinese flights "routine identification and verification."

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby gave a different account Friday of the Aug. 19 encounter about 135 miles (220 kilometers) east of China's Hainan Island. He said the Chinese jet made several close passes by the Navy P-8 Poseidon plane, coming within 30 feet (9 meters) of it at one point.

Kirby said that included the Chinese jet doing a "barrel roll" maneuver over the top of the Poseidon — a modified Boeing 737 — and passing across the nose of the Navy plane apparently to show that it was armed. Kirby said the Chinese jet's maneuvering posed a risk to the safety of the U.S. air crew and was "inconsistent with customary international law."

He said it was the fourth such incident since March of "close intercepts" involving Chinese jets.

The Chinese statement also said that a Navy P-3 Orion, an anti-submarine and surveillance aircraft, flew alongside the Poseidon. The Pentagon did not mention the second aircraft.

Tensions between the two countries have risen in the South China Sea, as China disputes territorial claims with U.S. ally the Philippines, Vietnam and other neighbors.

In 2001, a Chinese jet collided with a U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft off Hainan Island, killing the Chinese pilot and forcing the Navy plane to make an emergency landing on the island. Washington severed military relations with China after that episode.

In the latest encounter, Yang blamed "the large-scale and highly frequent close-in reconnaissance by the U.S. against China" as "the root cause of accidents endangering the sea and air military security between China and the United States.
 

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This isn't about America being a "Paper Tiger."

First: Notice how many planes we fly in international air space near China and how many China flies near us in international airspace.

Second: China is trying to push "International Airspace/Waters" further out. We obviously aren't having any of it, hence the encounter.

The purpose of reporting these engagements is to establish a record just in case something happens in the future. China is behaving like a teenage super power and we'll treat it as such. China hasn't actually gained anything by the encounter other than other military's looking at them thinking, "What are those idiots doing now?" I do have to give them some credit. This time the Chinese pilot managed not to hit the U.S. aircraft which is an improvement over their past abilities, but still quite stupid overall.
 

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It's not like the US never did this sort of stufff either. US Navy fighters "thumping" Soviet recon flights near US carriers seems to have been pretty commonplace in the Cold War.
 

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Sundog said:
This isn't about America being a "Paper Tiger."

First: Notice how many planes we fly in international air space near China and how many China flies near us in international airspace.

Second: China is trying to push "International Airspace/Waters" further out. We obviously aren't having any of it, hence the encounter.

The purpose of reporting these engagements is to establish a record just in case something happens in the future. China is behaving like a teenage super power and we'll treat it as such. China hasn't actually gained anything by the encounter other than other military's looking at them thinking, "What are those idiots doing now?" I do have to give them some credit. This time the Chinese pilot managed not to hit the U.S. aircraft which is an improvement over their past abilities, but still quite stupid overall.

I'd have to agree with this. In some cultures (e.g. pastoralist or martial subcultures) macho shows of defiance and disrespect are taken very seriously, and 'must be answered' to maintain reputation.

However, outside of these cultures most people will see this type of thing as immature, undisciplined risking of accidents and international incidents for no real reason. So, not responding doesn't make the U.S. look weak in front of these audiences, it makes China/Russia look reckless and unprofessional.

So, yeah, some Russians and some Americans might worry about (or try to use) the 'paper tiger' logic to make their opponents look impotent - but other audiences won't see it that way. Besides, anyone with a brain knows that the U.S. military could wipe out most of the world. A barrel roll doesn't change that fact.
 

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/28/us-china-usa-military-idUSKBN0GS2MZ20140828

(Reuters) - One Chinese naval officer has advice for fighter pilots intercepting U.S. surveillance planes in the wake of an incident over the South China Sea last week that Washington condemned as dangerous - fly even closer.

The comments by Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong from the National Defense University in Beijing, reported in state media this week, reflect what Chinese military experts say is China's determination to shield its expanding ballistic missile submarine fleet from U.S. spy planes.

Risky intercepts off China's coast are likely to continue, even intensify, the experts said, adding that such actions could represent a directive from above rather than the actions of rogue pilots.

"We didn't give them enough pressure (before)," Zhang said in the Global Times, a popular tabloid under the official People's Daily newspaper that is known for its nationalist sentiments. "A knife at the throat is the only deterrence. From now on, we must fly even closer to U.S. surveillance aircraft."

Pentagon officials said a Chinese fighter buzzed a P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine and reconnaissance plane on Aug. 19, at one point flying 9 meters (30 feet) from its wing tip before doing a barrel role over the top of it.

China dismissed the criticism as groundless and said the pilot had kept a safe distance.

A likely target of the U.S. surveillance is China's submarine fleet operating from a base in southern Hainan island, the military experts said.

Among the submarines using the base are large Jin-class vessels capable of carrying nuclear-armed ballistic missiles that are expected to form a key plank in China's nuclear deterrence strategy.

The precise operational readiness of China's three or four Jin-class vessels, including their missile launching capabilities, is not publicly known, military analysts said.

"Long-term, these submarines are China's only hope for a meaningful deterrence ... they are everything to China," said Zhang Baohui, a mainland security specialist at Hong Kong's Lingnan University and author of a forthcoming book on Beijing's nuclear strategy and forces.
[snip]
 

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I agree TomS, Avimimus, and Sundog. It would seem that the US response may seem weak because the US is trying hard not to make an enemy out of China, even though these areas are disputed? China acting like the rebellious teenager, the US being a little more mature not wanting to do anything too macho and threatening?
 

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(Reuters) - One Chinese naval officer has advice for fighter pilots intercepting U.S. surveillance planes in the wake of an incident over the South China Sea last week that Washington condemned as dangerous - fly even closer.

Seems an appropriate US response would be for the US planes to have drone escorts. Drones that can maneuver far better than Chinese fighter planes. Fighter gets too close, drone simply stand in the way. If they actually hit... shrug. It's just a drone.
 

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