Russian Su-24 performs insane flyby on U.S. Destroyer during simulated attack in the Baltic Sea

Russian Fencer buzzes USS Donal Cook.

According to CNN, Russian Su-24 jets performed a close flypast in the vicinity of the USS Donald Cook Destroyer, operating in the Baltic Sea, on Tuesday, Apr. 12.

AP agency reports that a similar incident took place on Wednesday Apr. 13.

At the time of the incident, a Polish Kaman SH-2G helicopter was carrying out ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) routine training operations from the American destroyer.

CNN’s report suggests that the incident could be viewed as a Russian message for Poland.

Commanders of the US Navy consider the Russian activities to pose a direct threat to the exercise, thus a submission of formal protest is being deliberated. The ship was operating within the international waters.

The Fencer aircraft that buzzed the US ship during the exercise made about 20 overflights, within 1,000 yards of the ship, as low as 100 feet – as the Navy Times release suggests. Training in the air was suspended in a response to the Russian activities.

Moreover, on Tuesday, a Russian Ka-27 Helix helicopter also made seven passes over the US vessel, appearing to gather imagery of the ship – as Navy Times reports. After that, yet again, Su-24 made 11 “very low simulated attack” passes over the ship.

Attempts to make radio contact with the Russian jet were unsuccessful.

According to the Navy Times, the jet was flying in a clean configuration, without any external stores, however, it flew only 30 feet off the ship. Moreover, the clip shows that external drop-tanks were hanging from the Fencer’s underwing pylons.

As the sailors quoted by the Navy Times suggest, the jet was low enough to create a wake on the sea waters, marking the aggressive character of the move.

U.S. Defense official, quoted by the Navy Times, claimed that the flypast is interpreted as a simulated attack, meaning that it may violate a 1973 treaty made between the US and Russia, banning this type of maneuvers.

Most probably, the Fencer came from one of the bases located within the Kaliningrad Oblast.

USS Donald Cook is a missile destroyer fitted with an integrated Aegis missile defense system

A similar incident occurred in April 2014, when a Russian Su-24MR, flew within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook, that was operating in the Black Sea following the crisis in Ukraine: a show of force considered  “provocative and inconsistent with international agreements.”


About Jacek Siminski 286 Articles
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.


  1. Why dont US of A conducts its exercises somewhere by england or germany, but when you do it right next to the russian boarder thats at least what you get, a buzz fly over 20 times…. if it was for me, i would fry that cook with Khibiny again, see what they’d do,.. Thats right Cook wont do a thing…. LOL..

      • Nobody is denying Estonia their country-hood and I assume they can be proud of this, despite the fact they lost all their industry snd markets and sent their people to clean in UK as a part becoming ‘free’ EU country.. So that’s fine – Russia was also conducting their training likewise, and by the way this exercise was started not by Russia.

        • Then again, Estonia is better than Russia in various areas. Even Poland. And the stories my Estonian friends told me when they were living under Soviet oppression are scary.

          Overall, they are free, better, and more developed than Russia, or ever was under Soviet Russia.

  2. russian pilots had fun and it was fun to the sailors too :)

    lets hope the USA gets a president who will reduce military and neocon adventure and focus on the needs of the people
    over 3 million in jail industry (from nixons drug war) and over 55 million on food stamps – health care only for rich or for loan – sorry folks but you are not a super power if you treat people that way

    • Why not? The US was founded on the principal that the government would provide for the common sense, but other than that, it was completely hands off. Let the people do what they want.

      The US is not a socialist state.

  3. What would the US do, if a Russian guided missile cruiser conducted wargames between Cuba and Key West ?

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