Flanker Shoots at British Royal Air Force RC-135

Flanker Shoots at British Royal Air Force RC-135

September 15, 2023

According to BBC reports last year two Russian Flankers intercepted an Royal Air Force RC-135W electronic surveillance plane over the black sea. One Russian fighter employed two missiles against the RC-135, both of which failed. At the time it was reported by the Russians that it was a malfunction, a narrative, which the British accepted and supported until recent recordings were made public. Of note: the mission, equipment, and personnel on board the RC-135 most likely listened to the entire exchange take place between Russian Ground Control and the SU-27 fighters.

Russian Roulette: Who’s having fun? “Loose language” nearly resulted in a Royal Air Force RC-135 soaking up a couple of ALAMO and/or ARCHER missiles.  Last year two SU-27s “encountered” the Rivet Joint reconnaissance platform and “released” two missiles that failed to hit their intended target….30+ British Airmen. There seems to be a bit of a communication hiccup with the dynamic duo of the SU-27 formation that would have spiced things up.

Last year we had General Mark Kelly, the Commander of Air Combat Command on the podcast right before the Ukraine war kicked off - watch it here.

No one asked me, but here is my opinion: The incident vividly depicts the razor-thin line between routine military operations and potential catastrophe.  It is just a reminder that even the “weakest link” gets a vote and start World War III if they are carrying ordinance.  I think this scenario is best encapsulated by the American classic “World War III” by Dos Gringos.