Military (state) aircraft sometimes conduct observation and intelligence-gathering flights near (but not within) the territorial airspaces of other countries, flying without the express permission of said other country, but in international airspace with "due regard to safety of flight". Since those other countries are often not on the best terms with the country performing said flight, they will send an interceptor up to meet and "shadow" the aircraft performing said due regard flight until it has cleared the area of concern. This is all well and good provided nobody does something unexpected or silly-at-best, hazardously-dumb-at-worst.

However, military aircraft are still susceptible to hazards such as severe/extreme turbulence, severe in-flight icing (such as that caused by lofted supercooled large droplets), and thunderstorms, that would force a flight to deviate around said airborne hazard. While some hazards (thunderstorms) might be visible to both interceptor and interceptee on radar, others (icing, severe/extreme CAT) aren't -- leaving other pilots and their PIREPs as the primary source of information about what's actually going on up there.

So, that brings me to my question. If the interceptee gets a PIREP saying the hole in the thunderstorm line they planned to thread their way through is closing up, or a bunch of unforecasted icing is up ahead on their route, how can they unambiguously communicate "I need to deviate around this hazard up ahead by X miles left/right" to the interceptor so they don't wind up making the interceptor think they're being noncompliant? Or is this not a concern provided the interceptee's maneuvers stay within a normal maneuvering envelope (i.e. half standard rate to standard rate turns, gradual climbs or descents)?

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    $\begingroup$ You say "...so they don't wind up making the interceptor think they're being noncompliant" - but I don't believe the interceptee is under any obligation to be compliant in this situation, nor is the interceptor issuing any orders that they expect the interceptee to comply with. They're just shadowing. $\endgroup$ – pericynthion Apr 20 '17 at 1:41
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    $\begingroup$ Negatively how? If they were to fire upon the interceptee that would be an act of war, I'm sure their rules of engagement wouldn't allow it. Indeed it's my (limited) understanding that abrupt maneuvers by the interceptee in such a situation are a common response to such harassment. $\endgroup$ – pericynthion Apr 20 '17 at 4:14
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    $\begingroup$ Don't they have radio to talk and explain? I expect military pilots being professional pilots speak English correctly, and maybe can key a Q code (ACP 131) with their lights . $\endgroup$ – mins Apr 20 '17 at 5:53
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    $\begingroup$ I would imagine that climbing, descending, or changing course away from hostile-nation's airspace would be recommended and probably wouldn't generate too much angst, even if the maneuvers were somewhat abrupt. Also, the interceptor will understand the deviation because he will begin experiencing the weather conditions as well. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Apr 20 '17 at 14:37
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    $\begingroup$ @UnrecognizedFallingObject if the interceptee is, as you say, outside the territorial airspace of the interceptor, the interceptor has no rights whatsoever to react in a hostile manner to maneovering by the interceptee. This is only a problem in disputed territories like the South China Sea $\endgroup$ – RedGrittyBrick Apr 20 '17 at 15:16

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