Loss of U.S. drone clipped by Russian jet was a twist in a broader sample

The forcing down of a U.S. drone by Russian fighter jets over the Black Sea on Tuesday spiraled right into a diplomatic incident and fueled concern in regards to the potential for the struggle in Ukraine to escalate into direct battle between the 2 superpowers.

The incident additionally shone mild on a truth of geopolitics that usually receives little consideration: Close calls, some harrowing, between U.S. and Russian plane aren’t uncommon.

The United States and NATO allies usually intercept Russian jets flying near Alaska or to NATO airspace above the Black or Baltic seas. Russia additionally has intercepted American plane in these areas, typically swooping shut sufficient to trigger turbulence.

This week’s incident “follows a pattern of dangerous actions by Russian pilots while interacting with U.S. and allied aircraft over international airspace,” U.S. Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander of the U.S. Air Force in Europe and Africa, mentioned in an announcement Tuesday.

Crashes brought about throughout intercepts are extraordinarily uncommon, nevertheless, even for unmanned drones. Analysts and officers warn that the struggle in Ukraine has solely heightened the stakes.

The U.S. army launched a video Thursday of what it says is a Russian fighter jet clipping a U.S. surveillance drone. The United States mentioned the ensuing injury pressured it to carry the drone down into the Black Sea. Moscow has denied that both fighter hit the drone, and blamed the United States for flying the craft too near territory in Crimea that Russia claims to have annexed.

Here’s what to know in regards to the historical past of shut encounters between Russia and the United States within the skies.

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