Exclusive: Close encounter with “Ivan”, as seen from inside the Russian spyplane!

Close encounters between Russian strategic bombers, spyplanes and Western fighter jets scrambled to intercept them have been quite frequent since the Cold War.

Every month or so, a new image taken by one of those interceptors depicting a Tu-95 Bear, Tu-22 Backfire, Il-20 Coot ELINT/reconnaissance spyplane, during a long range patrol over the Baltic Sea, or close to Japan, emerges as a “proof” of the latest “provocation” or “near violation” of this or that nation’s sovereign airspace.

Whereas images taken by the interceptors are not so rare (nevertheless, they are extremely interesting!), there are not so many photos taken from inside the “zombies” (the targets of the fighter planes).

Here are some really interesting ones taken from inside a Russian spyplane in international waters sent by a reader.

F-15J 1

A JASDF F-15J on the right hand wing of the intercepted plane near Japan.

F-15J 2

Both Japanese F-15s shadowing the Russian spyplane.

F-15J close up

Close up.

Mirage F1

Mirage F1 over the Baltic Sea.

Mirage F1 close

Say “Cheese”

FinAF F-18

Finnish Air Force F/A-18 Hornet.

 

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About David Cenciotti 3689 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.