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. Gee, How soon till Vlad Puttin gets his Nobel Peace Prize? Just like President Barack Obama.

  2. Look on US-USSR Friendship 1988

    Soviet vessel as the Soviet Krivak I class guided missile frigate Bezzavetny (FFG 811) impacts the guided missile cruiserUSS Yorktown (CG 48) on 12 February 1988, as the American ship exercises the right of free passage through the Soviet-claimed 12-mile territorial waters in the Black Sea.

  3. Just love your comments pal. The only thing you say is Truth and we understand how bitter it is to the Russians and the pro-Russians around the world.


    BTW I’m sure so many of guys here leaving anti American comments are not Americans. They belong to some poor regimes’ cyber armies such as Russia, China, Cuba and the Islamic Republic and etc. They repeat such bullshits like double standards or so because they don’t want to face with this bare truth that America is far above other countries in serving the humanity, civilization and freedom. These things are useless in their eyes so they never understand America’s great position in our world.
    And you know, I’m Iranian but I love America from the bottom of my Heart and respect the Glorious History of this Magnificiant Nation.

    • Yes of course the classic American response….agree with us or we’ll hurt you. The period of American exceptionalism is over! We have to stop treating the rest of the world like misbehaving children and thinking every fight is ‘our’ fight. I’m quite amazed you love a country ‘from the bottom of your heart’ that deposed your only elected Prime Minister in a CIA coup!

      • As far as I’ve seen till now the Americans never hurt who disagree with them. This is what anti Americans claim about the Americans. And about that coup which you see as a good thing to keep struggles between the Iranian and the Americans still alive! I must add that the PM resigned by his own decision. Of course there was a coup there and then, but that was totally a failure. After the failing of the coup, Iranian Communists were ready to capture the whole government and hand over the Country to the Soviet Union. But they needed the PM’s help as he was still beloved by youth and a large portion of people and still In Power. That is why the PM resigned and wanted the Shah to return: To stop the Communists!
        And of course the Communist’s improving situation in his government was the main reason CIA planned and conducted that Coupe, while we know that the main party and factor in the Coup was not the CIA but the “British Intelligence Service”. However, for some “internal reasons” the CIA tries to claim main role and responsibility for that Coup, while for some “international reasons” the British try to hide their role and responsibility.

        Anyway, it’s all about the past and now we are looking forward to see a better future! The majority of Iranians Believe in America’s right position and right thoughts despite all the heavy propaganda we see and hear every day from the Islamic Republic’s media outlets.
        Sorry for being too late in response

  4. You know buddy, Communists and of course Islamist all live in a same world. That is an abstracted world totally different with the real world. In that world they’ve beaten the US and other western countries in all fields and see themselves as angels who’ve saved the world from America’s devil acts. They see all of these things in their dreams every night. But when wake up and get consciousness, see that they themselves, always through whole the history, have been on the dark and devil side of the world and the world knows them as the most tyrant people. Now they see themselves beaten in all the fields and left alone by other people, full of hopelessness and fear. Then they try their best to get out of this fearful world and so they try to deceive themselves by lies such as America’s being evil or beating the US in war or space race.

  5. Just laughed a lot at your jokes baby! Thank you sooo much. And please continue, I love your jokes.

    And now let’s ask you a serious question: Why you never ever were able to save your country without US being on your side during WWII? If you’ve read a little about history you’d sure admit that every single day you were losing a big part of your country to Germany and Japan and your tanks, bombers, fighters, ships, subs and soldiers were not able to do any thing except for being destroyed and killed or fleeing or surrounding?… Why it was like this?… Now you as a probably patriot Russian would like to see your country strong but the whole history of your country proves something in contrary with your dreams. You just were successful in wars against poor and small countries like Georgia and a Ukraine being in unstable conditions. You even cannot attack Ukraine as you’re afraid of losing a large portion of your untalented army. Do you remember Afghanistan where you lost heavily to the Islamic Regimes of Pakistan and Iran and of course the US?
    Now your S300 is being employed by Syrian Army _ A variant of it called SA-17 and it cannot do anything with Israeli F-15s or F-16s!!!

    • Well theres several historical inaccuracies in your post- lets go through them one by one yes? Russian and Japan were only at war for a few weeks in 1945. The Japanese army group defending Manchuria was eliminated. Secondly, the Red Army won on the Eastern Front due to its superior equipment and strategic ability. Third, the Russian Army would be in Kiev in two weeks if that was how Moscow wanted it. Its not, thank godness, but the qualitative and quantitative superiority the Russian Armed Forces have over the Ukrainian Armed Forces is massive. Please do some basic research before posting such asinine nonsense.
      Sincerely, A historian and International Relations analyst

      • First, As for Manchuria, you are totally Wrong _ you can make some search on the internet to know more.
        Second, without the West’s supplies for the Russians and the Americans big gains against Nazis in the west front, Nazis never could get that much weak in the east front to let the Russians retake their own lands. This is America who caused the Nazi’s defeat, without any doubt.
        Third, Putin obviously can order his army to take Kiev, but he never could get there in just 2 weeks, and if ever he could do this a large portion of his untalented army is lost! Don’t forget the Georgia War in 2008! Russians lost to their own built weapons!
        And for now, almost 15000 Russian soldiers are inside the Ukrainian Borders, beside unknown number of Ukrainian Pro-Russia Terrorist fighting the Ukraine Army, but what could have they done till now???

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