Supersonic US bombers unexpectedly encountered a Russian fighter jet in the airspace over the Baltic Sea region. The incident, described as an “unplanned interaction,” was reported by two B-1B Lancers on Tuesday (May 23).
Gloucestershire Live reports that the incident coincides with the presence of four B-1B Lancers stationed at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds, as part of a prearranged mission involving training flights and operations in the European theatre.
The two bombers entered European airspace on Tuesday with the help of NATO allies and partners, according to Air & Space Forces Magazine.
They came across a “foreign fighter aircraft” at this time, according to a U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) official.
The representative informed the publication: “Two of the Texas-based supersonic bombers from Dyess Air Force Base’s 7th Bomb Wing entered the theatre today [Tuesday] by first integrating with allies and partners conducting NATO’s Air Policing and Air Shielding missions throughout the Baltic Sea region.
“The Baltic Sea serves as a critical economic corridor, and consistent coalition surveillance of the international air and maritime space preserves safe and secure passage for all.”
The Bristol Post reports the Russin Ministery of Defence said a Su-27 was sent to monitor the B-1Bs, and the magazine added that the US European Command said the planes “were interacted with safely and professionally by Russian aircraft.”
Two B-1B Lancers arrived at RAF Fairford on Tuesday with a second pair arriving on Thursday.
They are here with Bomber Task Force Europe as tensions between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the West remain high after the illegal invasion of Ukraine last year.
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People stopped what they were doing and looked skywards the loud rumbling from the plane soared through above them.
Eurofighters flew loops over Cheltenham and Gloucester shortly after 3pm on Tuesday (May 23) before heading north.
It is understood there were two jets flying as a pair, “Nightmare21 and Nightmare 22.
They were seen flying low in what is a potential touch-and-go at Gloucestershire Airport in Staverton.
The USAF said of the B-1Bs mission on Tuesday: “The highly agile aircraft’s 12-hour mission from North America to Europe demonstrates the U.S. Air Force’s rapid ability to deploy anywhere, anytime, and provide lethal precision and global strike options U.S. and Allied commanders.”
Meanwhile, a blast occurred at the office building of an oil pipeline in the Pskov region of Russia, causing damage. The incident took place in close proximity to the village of Litvinovo.
Fortunately, there were no reported injuries, as stated by the regional governor.
Prior to this event, the building had already suffered damage due to an attack involving two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Emergency services have been dispatched to the scene.
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