Russian Su-30SM fighters from the 4th Red Banner Army of the Southern Military District’s air force and anti-air defense have escorted reconnaissance flights near annexed Crimea and Russia’s southern border 120 times this year, TASS reported, citing Army Commander General-Lieutenant Viktor Sevostyanov.
“Since Crimea became part of Russia in 2014, on a daily basis in the airspace close to our southern borders we detect in advance and strictly control all unsolicited guests of this kind. Over the eight months this year, the army’s Su-30SM fighters have been scrambled around 120 times, to escort their reconnaissance flights along our state border,” Sevostyanov observed.
Sevostyanov mentioned two incidents in May, when Russian Su-30SM fighters were scrambled close to annexed Crimea: in order to intercept a US Navy P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft and an RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance drone.
Earlier NATO Command said that there has been a sharp increase in the activity of the Russian Air Force in neutral zones, especially following Russia’s annexation of Crimea.