Video: Russian Su-30 Escorts USN P-8 and Watches USAF RC-135W Refuel from a KC-135 over the Black Sea

Filmed from a Russian Su-30: RC-135W refuels from KC-135 over the Black Sea in June 2020. (Image via Russian MOD).

Interesting footage filmed by a Su-30 fighter scrambled to intercept U.S. traffic off Crimea yesterday.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has released a video filmed on June 26, 2020, showing the intercept of a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon ISR (Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance) and MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) aircraft from NAS Sigonella, and of U.S. Air Force RC-135W reconnaissance aircraft from RAF Mildenhall, UK, both flying over the neutral waters off Crimea.

The footage was filmed by a single Su-30 belonging to the Black Sea Fleet naval aviation that was scrambled to visually identify and escort the American aircraft. Interestingly, the RC-135W was supported by a KC-135 tanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, and the Flanker pilot filmed, from safe distance, also the aerial refueling operations involving the Rivet Joint and the Stratotanker over the Black Sea.

Both the U.S. Navy Poseidon and the RC-135W could be tracked online during their ISR mission:

Actually, there were multiple U.S. assets conducting intel missions in the region (and, needless to say, it’s not the first time…read here and here for some examples):

The RC-135W, registration 62-1425, was also photographed from the ground overflying the Netherlands on its way back to RAF Mildenhall:

H/T Lasse Holmstrom for the heads-up

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a 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 five books and contributed to many more ones.