On May 29, 2020, the duty forces for air defense of the Russian Western and Southern military districts timely uncovered the actions of strategic bombers of the US Air Force B-1B Lancer strategic bombers over the neutral waters of the Black and Baltic Seas and escorted them by Russian fighters. At a considerable distance from the state border of the Russian Federation, American bombers were continuously accompanied by Russian radar controls. To intercept targets, Sukhoi Su-27P and Su-30SM fighters from the air defense duty forces of the Southern Military District were raised.
The Sukhoi fighters were launched after the B-1B bombers were detected by the Russian Western and Southern military districts radars. The crews of Russian fighters approached a safe distance from air targets, identified them as B-1B Lancer strategic aircraft, after which the American bombers changed the direction of flight from the state border of the Russian Federation. Flights of Russian combat aircraft took place strictly in accordance with international airspace use regulations. After completing the task, Russian fighters returned safely to the airfields. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the entire intercept was carried out at a considerable distance from the borders of Russia, stated the ministry.
There was no comment from the US on the reported intercept. But earlier on May 29, 2020, the US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa issued a press release and photographs of its two B-1B Lancers flying over Europe and the Black Sea accompanied by fighter aircraft of its allies including Unkraine’s Sukhoi Su-27 Flankers and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrums. The two B-1B Lancers took off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota in the USA, for a long-range, long duration strategic Bomber Task Force mission throughout Europe and the Black Sea region. The May 29, 2020, intercept comes just three days after a US Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft was escorted by two Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighters above the Mediterranean Sea.