Su-35 met a Polish plane and tried to disable it through turbulence has learned from its sources that a new incident has taken place over the Black Sea. Russian, Polish, Romanian, and Spanish military personnel were involved in it. The incident happened this Friday, May 5th. Fortunately, there were no casualties or loss of equipment. The Romanian Ministry of Defense later officially confirmed the news.

Russia will unveil the export Sukhoi Su-57E fighter in India - Su-35 fighter jet
Photo credit: Rosoboronexport

A Russian Su-35 fighter has intercepted a Polish border police patrol plane. The Polish aircraft was a model L410 Turbolet. It was in international airspace, 60 km from Romanian airspace, Romania’s MoD says. The aircraft was part of a joint routine Frontex mission.

A Su-35 from the Russian Aerospace Forces approached the Polish plane. The Polish plane was not armed, but the pilot of the Su-35 took dangerous maneuvers. As a result, the Su-35 generates high levels of turbulence. The Polish crew began to lose control of their aircraft, which plummeted downwards, losing altitude.

The incident

It should be noted that the Su-35 does several such maneuvers, not just one. It is clear that one of the Russian pilot’s goals is to prevent the L410 Turbolet from completing its mission. Despite the attempts, at some point, the Polish crew decided to take control of the L410 Turbolet more firmly. The crew managed to level the horizon of the plane and stop with the lost height.

Su-35 met a Polish plane and tried to disable it through turbulence
Photo credit: Uwe Bethke

The incident happened on May 5th afternoon – 1:20 PM EST. 30 minutes later, at 13:50, the Polish crew successfully winterized their L410 Turbolet at the Mihail Koglunicanu runway in Romania. There were no casualties or damage as a result of the incident.

The whole incident was monitored by the military air traffic control and the Air Force of Romania. Seeing the dangerous actions of the Russian fighter Su-35, the duty pilots of Romania and Spain [there are Spanish Eurofighter pilots located in Romania] were sent to the runway in full combat alert. Romania had prepared at that moment four fighters to be lifted – two Romanian and two Spanish.

Spanish and German Eurofighters in Estonia begin alert missions
Photo credit: Luftwaffe

The NATO Combined Air Operations Center in Torrejon was immediately informed. However, the fighters do not take off but remain on the runway. The reason: the time frame ie. the moment when the Polish pilots level their plane coincides with the moment when the four fighters are ready to take off. After the Polish crew regained control of the plane, the pilots informed their counterparts in Romania that they were in control and returned to base. For this reason, NATO fighters remain on the runway, but on alert.

Similar incidents

In mid-March, a Russian Su-27 intercepted a US Air Force reconnaissance drone near Crimean airspace. Then the Russian fighter did not cause turbulence but dumped fuel on the drone. This caused damage to its propellers and the operators were forced to deliberately sink their MQ-9 into the waters of the Black Sea. According to reports in the Russian media, the Russians managed to retrieve the submerged MQ-9 drone from the sea bottom and it has been handed over for study.

This incident caused Washington to review and change its missions over the Black Sea. Since then, combat platforms, whether reconnaissance or attack, have reportedly not flown so close to Crimean airspace. A similar incident occurred with a Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone, but the drone survived.

The incident with the Polish plane proves the assertion of experts that Russia is beginning to enter into direct clashes over the Black Sea much more decisively, firmly, and even risky. unaware of the intelligence capabilities of foreign [non-Russian] aircraft circling over the Black Sea, the Russian Aerospace Forces are determined to prevent the transmission of intelligence to Ukraine.

Russia will reward Su-27 pilots who 'pissed' the MQ-9 drone
Video screenshot

Frontex operation

The Romanian Ministry of Defense issued a statement regarding the May 5 incident. “The actions of the Russian Su-35 were risky, unacceptable and aggressive,” the press release said. The Romanian authorities recall that the Polish L410 Turbolet was not armed.

Frontex is currently conducting the Operation “Maritime Multipurpose Operation [MMO] Western Black Sea 2023” using Romania as a base. The Polish aircraft is part of this operation. The operation is expected to end on May 17 this year. The operation involves the military forces of Poland, Spain, and Sweden.


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