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Dangerous Drift: Russia promises retaliation for NATO troop deployment – Lithuania prepares for a Russian invasion

Saturday, October 29, 2016 2:14
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents. / October 28, 2016

October 2016SYRIA – Aboard a US military aircraft (AFP) – A Russian fighter flew dangerously close to a U.S. warplane over eastern Syria, US defense officials said Friday, highlighting the risks of a serious mishap in the increasingly crowded airspace. The near miss occurred late on October 17, when a Russian jet that was escorting a larger spy plane maneuvered in the vicinity of an American warplane, Air Force Lieutenant General Jeff Harrigan said.The Russian jet came to “inside of half a mile,” he added. Another US military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the American pilot could feel the turbulence produced by the Russian jet’s engines. “It was close enough you could feel the jet wash of the plane passing by,” the official said. It appeared the Russian pilot had simply not seen the US jet, as it was dark and the planes were flying without lights.

“I would attribute it to not having the necessary situational awareness given all those platforms operating together,” Harrigan said. The incident raises serious questions about the extent to which pilots are able to track the complex airspace they operate in. The US-led coalition has set up a hotline with Russian counterparts so the different militaries can discuss the approximate locations and missions of planes, and avoid operating in the same space at the same time.


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