Russia’s newest Su-30 multirole jets and Su-24 bombers practiced attack runs on NATO warships in the Black Sea

Mar 04 2015 - 33 Comments

Russia’s newest multirole fighter jets have been using NATO ships in the Black Sea to practice attack scenarios.

Russian Su-30s and Su-24s aircraft from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet based in Crimea have been conducting attack runs on NATO warships operating in the Black Sea, Sputnik News reported.

According to the Russian media outlet, the jets, launched from Novofedorvka, an airbase captured on Mar. 22, 2014, in western Crimea peninsula 70 kilometres north of Sevastopol, have been monitoring the movements of two ships, the American USS Vicksburg (a Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser), and Turkey’s frigate The Turgut Reis.

On Mar. 3, a formation made of three Su-30s and four Su-24s overflew the NATO ships “to practice penetrating anti-air systems,” as affirmed by a source at the Sevastopol naval base who spoke to the Russian state agency.

Interestingly, the Russians believe these missions are used for training purposes by both sides: “These ships’ crews are doubtlessly conducting exercises in repelling air attacks from our planes, which gives our pilots the opportunity to gain experience in maneuvering and conducting aerial reconnaissance both in the range of anti-air systems and outside their range.”

Close encounters between Russian planes and NATO ships around the globe happen quite frequently (do you of Tu-95 Bear flew quite close to USS Nimitz in the Pacific?); they have just become a bit more frequent in the Black Sea since last year’s Russian annexation of Crimea: following the invasion of the peninsula, Moscow has moved combat planes to the local airbases and some of them pay visit to the NATO frigates in the vicinity every now and then.

In April 2014, a Su-24 Fencer flew multiple passes at 500 feet above sea level, within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook, the U.S. Navy destroyer operating in the Black Sea at that time: a behaviour that the ship commander considered “provocative and inconsistent with international agreements.”

Anyway, according to a source at the Russia’s Chief Naval Staff quoted by TASS, the two NATO warships will be joined in the next few hours by the Italian frigate Aliseo and Canada’s frigate The Fregerickton which are passing through the Black Sea straits.

More close encounters ahead?

H/T to Lasse Holmstrom and @SajeevJino for the heads-up

Image credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin via Wiki


  • Lasse

    Any got reliable information about the supposed jamming of all USS Donald Cooks system that ocured during that incursion?

    • Kevin Brent

      One and only one explanation for that. COTS. It’s a weakness known the world over and shrugged off by the Navy.

  • shmaktastic

    …and how would you know that?

    • Lomunac

      Because I can read where it says so, with a comment of a new jamming “tube” which is considerably larger then previous models, which could only jam missiles lock when in close proximity, if this is (and it is double the size) that much larger, consider the possibilities!!

  • Lomunac
  • Jan Schmidt

    For those of you who have seen Babylon 5 – what did Sinclair say? Ignore the propaganda and watch your enemy carefully… Fox News or RT doesnt matter. what i find alarming that the USA is actively going into the backyard of a nuclear armed state. is that wise? the incident with the Cook was hushed up pretty fast, so real eyewitness reports do not exist. but jamming a AEGIS radar takes a lot of power (AEGIS has several megawatts of power!), some sources say it was a brand-new jammer device… but also a cyber attack would be plausible. in the end also many western experts were shocked, but no comments are available. since then no US ship has ever approached Russian territorial waters again. russians are quite resourceful, remember the sputnik shock. it will happen again. was it a special EMP weapon? some kind of EMP laser or burst?

    • Fabian

      How much is the Russian government paying you guys lol.

      Russia invades Ukraine and suddenly everything is the US’s fault. Never mind the other 179 countries on the planet, Kremlin bots seem to believe the world is solely consisted of Russia and the USA. Which is laughable at best.

      Russia is not comparable in anyway to the USA, let alone Europe. Stay brain washed shills.

      • Jan Schmidt

        i am not a kremlin bot, sorry. i just use my brain, thats why humanity survived until mass media and smart phones were invented :) and i dont like the way putin does things, but another russian nationalist would be way worse or drunk and stupid like yelcin… and if putin were a madman, they would poison him like stalin was in 1953!

        if russia really had invaded the ukraine, the war would be over in 2 weeks tops… of course the russian empire cannot allow the EU empire or the US-UK empire to encroach on its backyard. do you know what the ukraine did since its independence in 1991? oligarch capitalism, corruption, sell of any soviet military hardware for money to anyone until there was nothing left but scrap. they were and are depending on russian oil and gas, stole a lot of it and russia let them and their oligarchs be. then soros and nuland and other neocons in the name of oil companies invested a lot of billion dollars in ngo’s basically propping up elites to westernize the country to grab the ressources (oil and gas). and the EU made promises they could not keep. now the ukrainian citizens are even poorer, the ukraine went from bad to worse to failed state. im from europe and part of my tax euros will go to ukraine to hopefully save those people from starvation and freezing. but really most of it will go to corrupt people and to buy weapoms. it doesnt matter who wins, the ukraine loses because it cant pay anymore.

    • kimcliftrn

      I’m sure Don Pyle knew.

  • Bill

    The danger of course is you desensitize the “targets” and then one day you launch. I hope that the NATO crews are at a high state of readiness; this however clearly creates a double hair trigger. Dangerous behavior.

  • Cherry Tree

    There was no invasion of Crimea. If you want to know what an invasion looks like try seeing what is happening in the middle east. Plenty of examples there.

    • Fabian

      lol, Kremlin bots like you are hilarious. The middle east has nothing to do with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

      • Jonathan Freeman

        Fabian use your head. When have you seen an occupying force face no insurgency? When have you seen an annexation without a shot fired? Iraq, Afghanistan (both when the Soviets did and later Nato), and Lybia are all examples of invasions. In those scenarios there have been complex insurgencies and civil war. Crimea, wanted to join Russia. They should be allowed to determine their own destiny just like the rest of Ukraine should be allowed to choose to be economically aligned with Europe. As soon as the Russians learn to respect Ukraines right to choose and Ukraine and the West learn to respect Crimea’s right to choose the world can become a better place and everybody involved can prosper. And as far as the United States and Canada are concerned, our nation’s should just stay out of it. This is a European problem and it needs a European solution. North America doesn’t need to get involved.

    • JDAM55

      Well who’s going into economic meltdown now I guess it’s not US. All you russian bots looks like you’ve backed the wrong horse or should I say donkey in Putin. E.g. Rouble down 40% against dollar and more sanctions awaiting in the wings fools yer not just taking on the Usa but the entire civilised world including Canada australia UK France Germany remember DDayPoland Italy Spain holland the EU Israel etc basically all those who hold the economic cards. Cop on

  • Mosquito

    Looks like you are a “tovarisch” buddy… Moe.. More like a “Mudak”.

  • Lomunac

    Hahaha, so if a plane was built without jamming equipment 40 years ago, that means it doesn’t have it now cause they cant be put on it latter???
    You clearly are intelectual, unfortunately for you planes are modular, every SU plane got one of the 3 (they don’t just have one) jamming sistems, Khibiny is the latest and it goes on the wing tip, so does it’s predecesor, and there’s one that goes on center carrier of a SU-3x fighter, NONE of those existed when those airplanes were built!!

    • Cody3/75

      The point is, it was a SU-24 NOT a SU-34.

  • Lomunac

    So if a plane was built 40 years ago without that, it can’t possible be upgraded latter? How come F-15E’s now have AESA radars, when that is 21st century technology and not 1980’s???
    YES, Russians do have aircraft mounted jammers, they are leaders, among other (missile technology for example) in jamming technology, and they have few, not just one!
    The one in quiestion is the latest and most powerfull Khibiny, it was preceded by Knirti, both are wingtip mounted, and there’s one more system (can’t remember the name rightnow) which goes on a center attachment of a SU-3x fighter series, since it’s huge, like a drop tank…

  • Fabian

    No, but they have Nuclear capable bombers that regularly fly to the gulf of Mexico as well as violate NATO airspace.

    • bob

      Nato have repetely violated Swedish airspace and even after they were denied. lmao

      • Fabian

        They have violated Swedish airspace once (and Sweden is also a partner of NATO). Russia has violated swedish airspace 5 times alone last year.

        Keep crying about the west as much as you want, but Russia is far worse in every aspect.

  • Cody3/75

    The Donald Cook was scheduled to be doing a VIP tour in Romania long before this exercise. The fact that the Romanian president was on board 12 hours later should tell the conspiracy theorists something.

    Not saying this is impossible, but under these conditions it’s total propaganda by Russia. If this did happen there would be no way to contain it. You’d have crew members talking to press, etc. The fact that the only evidence is 27 shadowy sailors (without names) that resigned? I served in the US military, since when can you resign? Jamming systems doesn’t cause “screens to go blank” and even if it did, were the Russians on board watching? Think people.

    Complete idiocy for Russian internal dissemination and a few morons outside of Russia. If this is what Russia needs to do to get her people to cheer then im very embarrassed for Russia.

  • JDAM55

    Henry Kissinger said recently. Due to secret technological advances over the last three decades the U.S. is continuing to lull Russia and China into a false sense of adventurism which can only end up in the absolute negation of their most advanced technologies in any current or future military engagements with the U.S. Now only yesterday darpa released images on a small laser device taking out a car at over 1 mile. I for one would not doubt Kissinger .

  • JDAM55


    “The United States is bating China and Russia, and the final nail in the coffin will be Iran, which is, of course, the main target of Israel. We have allowed China to increase their military strength and Russia to recover from Sovietization, to give them a false sense of bravado, this will create an all together faster demise for them. We’re like the sharp shooter daring the noob to pick up the gun, and when they try, it’s bang bang. The coming war will will be so severe that only one superpower can win, and that’s us folks. This is why the EU is in such a hurry to form a complete superstate because they know what is coming, and to survive, Europe will have to be one whole cohesive state. Their urgency tells me that they know full well that the big showdown is upon us. O how I have dreamed of this delightful moment.”

    “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the world

  • Cody3/75

    How’s this for a link?

    Appears as though a lot of Russia defense minded/aficionados think it’s pure propaganda and an outright lie also….go figure.

    Where all this originated is also particularly funny.

  • Cody3/75

    Appears as though a lot of Russia defense minded/aficionados think it’s pure propaganda and an outright lie also….go figure.

    Where all this originated is also particularly funny.

    Wanting something to be true SO bad that somehow your head ends up buried isn’t a good way to go through life.

  • 1Billiam1

    or even a Canadian sub in an exercise.

  • JDL51

    So they’re telling you that Russia didn’t invade and annex a pretty good sized chunk of Ukraine last year? FSB propaganda machine works pretty good apparently.

  • Nick

    CNN reported they were drones in use by US forces in Bulgaria from the serial numbers, when they were brought down it was headlines in CNN for a day. Even the USA is now experimenting with transmitters to take down drones flying over DC using Marconie (spark-gap) generators on trucks.

    • Cody3/75

      I’m not calling bullshit, but I would like more information. Russia says they shot down two recon/attack drones (probably a “M” variant Predator or a Reaper). The US categorically denies it (yes I’m aware that doesn’t mean much). Still, there’s no proof. No photos, no serial numbers…nothing. Just Russia’s word (which usually outpaces FOX news when it comes to propaganda).

      If you have solid proof, or some of the info I referred to above, I’d love to see it.

      Reminds me of the USS Donald Cook vs SU-24 story. Even military minded Russians think it’s bullshit….

  • Fabian

    Sure, literally everyone on the planet that disagrees with the Kremlin is a “US puppet”. The more you tell yourself that the truer it becomes, right shill?

  • Cody3/75

    I know it. I’m burned out by dealing with Russian old-world thoughts and stances too!