Here are some more shots of the Russian Su-24s buzzing a U.S. warship in the Baltic Sea

Apr 14 2016 - 15 Comments

More impressive shots of the Russian flybys.

The U.S. Navy has released more photographs, taken from aboard USS Donald Cook, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that was buzzed by Russian Su-24M attack aircraft on Apr. 12.

Although quite provocative, the low passes that the Russian Sukhois performed near the ship (within 1,000 feet once coming as close as 30 feet to the destroyer) had little to be worried about: the aircraft depicted in the photographs are unarmed Sukhoi Su-24M bombers, most probably conducting “simulated attacks” on the American warship at sea.

According to the Russian MoD the Fencers skirted the Donald Cook in international waters some 70 km from a Russian Navy base.

For sure, close encounters at sea occur: 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.”

On Mar. 3, 2015, Russian Su-30s and Su-24s aircraft from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet based in Crimea conducted attack runs on NATO warships operating in the Black Sea “to practice penetrating anti-air systems.”

On Oct. 27, 2015, USS Ronald Regan, sailing in international waters east of the Korean peninsula, had to scramble four Hornets after two Russian Navy Tu-142 Bear aircraft flew within a nautical mile of the U.S. Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

In 2008, USS Nimitz operating in the Pacific had to launch some Hornets to intercept and escort two Tu-95s approaching the carrier.

So, such close encounters have occurred since the Cold War and they have never really escalated even though there are rumors of U.S. Navy officers facing active jamming activities by some Russian planes in the past.

Nothing special then. At least, until something more happens…

Image credit: U.S. Navy


  • CharleyA

    “Little to worry about?” How about a slight miscalculation at 400kts and 60 feet from the ship? Things could go really bad really fast. This stunt was a reckless and wonton display of Russian bravado / aggression / stupidity.

    • AstroNautilus

      International waters, international airspace…Russian planes have all the rights to fly as low as they want over a ship..if American sailors are scaredy cats it’s not putin’s fault

  • Pepe Le Cox

    The message is clear: this is our backyard guys! You are at only 70 miles from Kaliningrad, so get use to this!.

    • Fire Marshal Bill

      43 Miles. We don’t treat Russian military ships like this, not even when one was spotted 22 miles off the coast of Florida. Seems reckless to me, especially when passing only 30 feet away.

      • Peacen1k

        The Russian anchored off Florida coast was an unarmed intel gathering ship. Quite different from an offensive platform such as the guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook.

      • OR

        Yes reckless agree and US should respond in kind when Russian vessel passing by close to the US military base, but making a media campaign out of it is just another dirty trick

    • In other words, the baltic countries belong to Russia, and you will support a war for that.

      • Bez

        In other words, America thinks the Baltic Sea and countries belong to it.

    • vlkf

      It’s also a Polish backyard; Russians don’t owe the sea.

      • Bez

        America doesn’t own the Baltic Sea.

  • Ryan Barry

    Hopefully we “lit” them up so that all their warnings and alarms were going nuts… If they even had working passive defense at the time.

  • su34

    The yanks crybabies are whining again. After the Donald Sitting Duck
    Cook had the previous encounter with Su24s two years ago, it turned
    tail, and ran to the nearest nato vassal port to take care of it’s
    shocked crew. Now the protagonists met again, at the second anniversary:
    the russkie pilots had their fun, and the yanks got a free air show.
    That’s how traditions are forged.
    OTOH, nato vassals are busy fanning the flames in Syria, at the yanks’ behest:

  • David Gizzarelli

    Did anyone notice that the planes have no weapons on them? So wonder the Cook didn’t blow them out of the sky …

    • AstroNautilus

      David Jizzarelli what are you talking about? Are you so frightened by unarmed planes that you want to shoot them down?

  • Jan Schmidt

    I am sorry but what is the fuss about this posturing of US-Navy/NATO and the russian response? To remind you all the soviets/russians got out of eastern europe after the fall of the iron curtain. only with “assurances that NATO would not expand eastward”. doh!
    Visual ID of a naval vessel is performed as close as possible, if its “danger-close” and done in professional manner there is nothing to complain about. They did a flyby and no direct overflight or bridge buzz.
    btw the orders given to this ship by transatlantic and polish warmongers were designed to provoke just this response and the russians of course delivered – just in time for slam news
    wake up and think what a real hot war between first rate armies amounts to …
    the USA increased trade to russia as did the baltic states – peaceful relations despite warmongers
    of course some fear real peace – less wepons to sell less soldiers to send to their deaths