U.S. Navy Ship Encounters Aggressive Russian Aircraft in the Baltic Sea
Russian Jets Speed Past U.S. Navy Destroyer In ‘Simulated Attack Profile’
United States Navy destroyer, USS Donald Cook, was operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea when it encountered multiple, aggressive flight maneuvers from Russian aircraft on April 11 and 12.
According to the US Navy, on April 11, USS Donald Cook was conducting deck landing drills with a polish military helicopter when two Russian SU-24 attack aircraft approached the Navy destroyer at an “unsafe” speed and altitude as the helicopter was taking off from the destroyer’s flight deck. The jets made numerous close-range, low-altitude passes at approximately 3 p.m. As a safety precaution, flight operations were suspended until the SU-24s departed.
U.S. Defense officials told Fox News the Russian jets conducted 20 passes in the Baltic Sea incident Monday, ignoring repeated radio calls from the destroyer. The Russian jets came within 1,000 yards of the destroyer, flying just 100 feet off the ground, a defense official said.
The next day, a Russian jet came within just 30 feet of the destroyer. The U.S. Navy was able to take photographs and video of the incident and will be releasing the official footage soon.
Officials reported that again, on April 12, while Donald Cook was operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea, a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter conducted circles at low altitude around the ship, seven in total, at approximately 5 p.m. local time. About 40 minutes following the interaction with the Russian helicopter, two Russian SU-24 jets made eleven close-range and low altitude passes. The Russian aircraft flew in a simulated attack profile and refused to respond to repeated safety advisories in both English and Russian.
“We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers. These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries and could result in a miscalculation or accident that could cause serious injury or death.” -Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, Adm. Mark Ferguson
The USS Donald Cook came no closer than 70 nautical miles of Kaliningrad, Russia. Defense officials suspects the Russian aircraft flew from Kaliningrad.
U.S. officials are using existing diplomatic channels to address the confrontation while the incidents are also being reviewed through U.S. Navy channels.
VIDEO: Watch Aggressive Russian Warplanes Buzz US Navy Destroyer In The Baltic Sea