Video from U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea as Russian Su-24 Fencer flies by

Here’s the video of  a Russian Su-24 flying close to USS Ross in international waters in the Black Sea.

Few days ago, Russian media reported that Russian Navy Su-24 Fencer jets scrambled from an airbase in Crimea “forced” a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Black Sea to leave for neutral waters while approaching Russia’s territorial waters.

Russian outlets claimed that USS Ross turned around because it was scared by the sight of the Su-24, a type of aircraft involved in a similar incident with USS Donald Cook, an American destroyer allegedly “blinded” by a Fencer in the Black Sea in April 2014.

Although, Russian flybys performed by Su-30s and Su-24s aircraft from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet launched from Crimea, have been reported by NATO warships operating in the Black Sea previously, the whole story of USS Ross deviating from its planned operations because of a Fencer immediately appeared to be unlikely and quite hard to believe.

Then came the official statement by U.S. Navy.

According to the U.S. 6th Fleet: “USS Ross continued on her mission after observing the aircraft return to base. At no time did Ross act aggressively nor did she deviate from her planned operations. The conduct of her crew has been and continues to be professional. Ross’ Sailors observed that the SU 24 carried no weapons – wings were “clean.”

And here’s the video that proves this version.


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. I trust exactly *nothing* coming from official channels in Russia, today. Unofficial channels, yes. Rate, Sputnik, the new-Nazi rag that is Pravda, not so much.

      • He was talking about the news stories in Russia that reported the false information about the encounter ……….you seem to be the idiot here.

  2. Yawn…. If it’s EW suite can blind the ships systems, shouldn’t it have screwed up the camera?

        • Since when has it ever done this? EW focuses on enemy radar and other sensors, an EW aircraft wouldn’t do anything to a camera.

        • EW means electronic warfare and can address ALOT of techniques. But how
          could it affect digital imaging?

  3. Maybe they wanted to get a look at superior American technology with their obsolete jets.

    • If this mission were purely evaluatory in nature, the Russians would have used SIGINT/ELINT vessels or aircraft instead of a previous-generation attack jet.

  4. So an un-armed SU-24 flies past an American Destroyer which basically yawns and continues on it’s way. Sputnik news: The Americans by the dozens jumped into the sea and the rest proceeded to scuttle the boat!

    Russians are only good for two things: Laughable news stories and hilarious car crash videos.

    • Can you state any other country whose military jets can buzz US warships with impunity?
      Point of this “visit” of SU 24 is: US lost control of Black sea,Now Russia controls 90% of it,by coastal batteries with hundreds of Mach2+ rockets and huge air-force.
      Repatriation of Crimea to Russia was a harsh blow to Western military strategists and they know it.Having TU-22M and Iskander missiles with nuclear rockets on Crimea means that anti-ballistic shield US is setting up in Romania is useless (like,15 min.flight from Crimea).Also, all of Europe is in hour`s flight of Russian bombers.Think about i…
      USS”Ross” has international right to sail in Black sea,nobody denies it there is so called Montreux convention.
      But any NATO ship in Black sea is from the start outgunned outnumbered and outmaneuvered by Russan army.
      During 80es, a US warship was even RAMMED by Russian (then Soviet) warship in Black sea.Protest note was the only consequence..
      And about EW – neither Russian or US army is going to say the truth about it

    • Sensationalism aside, would you mind posting the Sputnik story (or any story, for that matter) that mirrors what you just said?

  5. Su-24 do not carry Oniks or Sizzler missiles. Even if they did, there was no way for their radars to detect the destroyer at such ranges.

    • In Crimea there are also the Su-34, which can carry such weapons. The Su-24 can receive target information from coastal radars, satellites, etc.

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