The U.S. Navy is publicizing all that they know about the provocative interactions with Russian aircraft on both April 11th and April 12.
Here is the Navy’s official summary of the events, direct from the Headquarters of the United States’ European Command:
A United States Navy destroyer operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea experienced several close interactions by Russian aircraft April 11 and 12.
USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) encountered multiple, aggressive flight maneuvers by Russian aircraft that were performed within close proximity of the ship.
On April 11, Donald Cook was conducting deck landing drills with an allied military helicopter when two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous close-range and low altitude passes at approximately 3 p.m. local. One of the passes, which occurred while the allied helicopter was refueling on the deck of Donald Cook, was deemed unsafe by the ship’s commanding officer. As a safety precaution, flight operations were suspended until the SU-24s departed the area.
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. The helicopter passes were also deemed unsafe and unprofessional by the ship’s commanding officer. About 40 minutes following the interaction with the Russian helicopter, two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous close-range and low altitude passes, 11 in total. The Russian aircraft flew in a simulated attack profile and failed to respond to repeated safety advisories in both English and Russian. USS Donald Cook’s commanding officer deemed several of these maneuvers as unsafe and unprofessional.
In addition to this background the Navy released four videos of the altercations at sea. The Navy made it clear that this aggression is unacceptable, unsafe and unprofessional. Diplomatic channels are already being used to seek a resolution.
Check out the videos below and see for yourself:
|Keel Laid: July 7, 1996|
|Launched: May 3, 1997|
|Commissioned: December 4, 1998|
|Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine|
|Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines|
|Blades on each Propeller: five|
|Length: 505,25 feet (154 meters)|
|Beam: 67 feet (20.4 meters)|
|Draft: 30,5 feet (9.3 meters)|
|Displacement: approx. 8.300 tons full load|
|Speed: 30+ knots|
|Aircraft: None. But LAMPS 3 electronics installed on landing deck for coordinated DDG/helicopter ASW operations.|
|Armament: two MK 41 VLS for Standard missiles, Tomahawk; Harpoon missile launchers, one Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight gun, two Phalanx CIWS, Mk 46 torpedoes (from two triple tube mounts)|
|Homeport: Rota, Spain|
|Crew: 23 Officers, 24 Chief Petty Officers and 291 Enlisted|
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