May 2, 2016

Russian MoD says RC-135 was intercepted as its transponder was off

All flights of Russian aircraft are performed in compliance with international regulations on airspace management, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Saturday.
"We’re already getting used to claims of Pentagon representatives regarding alleged "non-professional" maneuvers of our fighters when intercepting the U.S. scout planes on the Russian borders," he said when commenting the announcement made by Pentagon on Friday. "At the same time we want to note that the RC-135U surveillance plane tries to sneak up to the Russian border with the transponder turned off each time.

Therefore, the air defense forces on duty have to lift the fighter to visually identify the type of aircraft and its tail number," Spokesman added.
According to Konashenkov, in this case the U.S. military air forces should either not perform flights close to the Russian borders or turn the transponder on so that the radar recorder aids could automatically identify them.

Meanwhile, another Boeing OC-135B surveillance plane within the Open Skies Treaty landed on Saturday in Ulan-Ude, with no fighters lifted for its identification, Konashenkov added.
On Friday, Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza said the "unsafe and unprofessional air intercept" of the US Air Force RC-135 by the Russian Sukhoi Su-27 could "cause serious harm and injury to all aircrews involved.".

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