Russian SU-24 Buzzes USS Ross

One Russian Air Force Su-24 Fencer flew close—within 500 meters—to the United States Navy Destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) on May 30th, 2015 in the Black Sea.

According to Russian media, the USS Ross was heading towards Russian territorial waters when more than 6 Su-24 Flanker were scrambled to escort the American destroyer deeper in the Black Sea international waters.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet monitored the USS Ross as soon as its left the Romanian port of Costanta. The destroyer was allegedly sailing directly toward the Russian territorial waters.

US Navy Destroyer USS Ross
US Navy Destroyer USS Ross

According to Sputnik International, a source from Crimea’s security forces told RIA Novosti that the American sailors were “acting provocatively and aggressively.”

“The ship’s crew acted provocatively and aggressively, which caused alarm among operators of monitoring stations and Black Sea Fleet ships carrying out assignments in the Black Sea. Scrambled Su-24 attack jets demonstrated a readiness to forcibly suppress border violations and defend the country’s interest,” the source said.

The source also spoke about last year’s incident with the USS Donald Cook.

“It seems that the Americans did not forget the April 2014 incident when one Su-24 actually shut down all equipment on the new USS Donald Cook American destroyer with anti-missile system elements,” the source added.

A Su-24 Flanker buzzed US Navy USS Ross near Russian territorial waters in the Black Sea. Andrey Zinchuk, 2014.
A Su-24 Flanker buzzed US Navy USS Ross near Russian territorial waters in the Black Sea. Andrey Zinchuk, 2014.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren confirmed on Monday that the two Su-24 Fencer were not carrying weapons and that the USS Ross maintained its course.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Saturday at the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore, that the presence of American warships near the Russian territorial waters in the Black Sea endangers the region’s strategic stability.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not comments on the incident, however.

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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.