US Air Force has released dramatic images showing a Russian warplanes which had been scrambled to intercept American B52 bombers.
SU-27s were deployed to head off US B-52 and B-1B Lancer bombers over the Baltic Sea capable of carrying a nuclear weapons.
Russian air defence systems detected the US bomber on Tuesday but the extraordinary images have just been released.
Russia said the SU-27 took off from its Baltic Fleet air defence unit, which is based in the European enclave of Kaliningrad.
The US military said its aircraft was in international airspace and declined immediate comment on the Russian plane’s actions.
Air Force spokesman Colonel Patrick Ryder said: “We can confirm that the U.S. Air Force B-52 was operating in international airspace but we don’t have any information to provide at this time regarding the behaviour of Russian aircraft.”
NATO members such as Britain regularly report scrambling jets to intercept Russian nuclear-capable bombers flying close to their air space.
It is less common for Russia to report using its fighters for the same reason.