Russian Su-24 Fencer attack plane performs multiple passes near U.S. warship in Black Sea

A Russian attack plane performed multiple passes near an American warship in the Black Sea.

The aircraft, reportedly a Russian Air Force Su-24 Fencer, flew within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook, the U.S. Navy destroyer currently operating in the Black Sea. According to the Associated Press, the Fencer flew at 500 feet ASL (Above Sea Level) and performed passes that the ship commander considered “provocative and inconsistent with international agreements.”

The ship, that has been operating in the Black Sea since Apr. 10, issued several radio calls and warnings to the Fencer, that was unarmed and was never in real danger of coming in contact with the ship.

Noteworthy, the U.S. warship was also being shadowed by a Russian Navy frigate, but this is just routine during operations conducted in international waters east of Romania.

Such close encounters are quite frequent is seas around the world. Some years ago a pair of Tu-95 Bear flew quite close to USS Nimitz in the Pacific. For sure, when this happens in the Black Sea and amid raising tensions following the Russian invasion of Crimea, the episode assumes a completely different meaning.


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. The pure truth that keeps the US in our hearts it what you mention here precisely. that is the US know that had done some wrong things during the ages but always tries to act better and this honesty is what improves the US position in our current world and throws its enemies off our world so soon.

  2. USS Donald Cook vs su-24…..and the skore is………..0-1 for the best Of all,putin!!!!!!!….f@ck the U.S.A…AND THE IDIOT OBAMA

  3. Sure I read about the US how they instated Taliban into Afghanstain screwing the whole economy up and lets not say costing far more than the 100k lives Russia took.

  4. SU24 suppose to be a threat for USA Navy ,why the American so called (Heroes ) did not shoot the Russian Su24 , as they did with the Libyan Migs23 on Jan. 4th-1989 ??

    • Those Libyan fighters had their weapons turn on. Russians are not that stupid.

  5. I really wish our world leaders would quit gambling with the lives of the World’s citizens. I’m pretty sure 99% of us do not want war. I get we Americans have pride in our country but that same pride blinds a majority of us. As good as our military can be, a lot of our weapons rely on electronic means for operation and efficiency. Problem is they can be easily taken out by EMPs. If Russia wanted war, they would have sunk the ship then and there. This was their way of saying “Your toys aren’t as good as you think. We have toys of our own. Don’t test us.” Personally, we shouldn’t. I don’t care if you think I’m a coward, no amount of blood shed is worth proving something.

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