Flankers at Vigilant Eagle 2011

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A pair of Russian air force Su-27 Flanker fighter aircraft escort a ‘hijacked’ airliner as it passes through Russian airspace over the Pacific Ocean. (Photo: DoD by Tech. Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher, U.S. Air Force)

A pair of Russian air force Su-27 Flanker fighter aircraft escort a ‘hijacked’ airliner as it passes through Russian airspace over the Pacific Ocean. The Russian fighters followed and monitored the aircraft while it was in Russian airspace, handing it over to U.S. F-15 Eagle fighters from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, when it entered U.S. airspace. The flight was part of the annual joint anti-terrorism exercise Vigilant Eagle, in which Russian air force units, the Federal Aviation Administration and the North American Aerospace Defense Command trained cross-border anti-terror response. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher, U.S. Air Force)

A pair of Russian air force Su-27 Flanker fighter aircraft escort a ‘hijacked’ airliner as it passes through Russian airspace over the Pacific Ocean. (Photo: DoD by Tech. Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher, U.S. Air Force)