Su-27 Flankers up close and personal

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Credit: US Department of Defense

A pair of Russian air force Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighters escort a simulated hijacked airliner during the second day of flight operations for exercise Vigilant Eagle on 9 August, over the Pacific Ocean. The Russian fighters followed and monitored the aircraft while it was in Russian airspace, handing it over to US Boeing F-15 Eagle fighters from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, when it entered US airspace. Vigilant Eagle is an annual joint anti-terrorism exercise between the Russian air force, the Federal Aviation Administration and the North American Aerospace Defense Command that trains personnel to respond to an air terrorism threat that crosses international boundaries.

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