Home » Aviation » VIDEO: U.S. Navy Denies Russian Fighters Chased Off Destroyer USS Ross in Black Sea


VIDEO: U.S. Navy Denies Russian Fighters Chased Off Destroyer USS Ross in Black Sea

USS Ross (DDG-71) transits the Mediterranean Sea on May 4, 2015. US Navy Photo

USS Ross (DDG-71) transits the Mediterranean Sea on May 4, 2015. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to include a June 1, 2015 U.S. 6th Fleet video of a Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer flyby near USS Ross.

The Pentagon is pushing back against anonymously sourced reports in state controlled Russian media that guided missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG-71) was chased from Russian controlled waters in the Black Sea by Russian fighters over the weekend, U.S. officials told USNI News.

Several Russian reports —citing military sources in Crimea and the Russian defense ministry — claimed the destroyer was approaching or had entered Russian territorial waters in the Black Sea and had prompted a scramble of an unknown number of Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer fighters.

“The crew of the ship acted provocatively and aggressively, which concerned the operators of monitoring stations and ships of the Black Sea Fleet,” state news agency RIA Novosti quoted a Russian military official in Crimea.
“[Launching of the Fencers] demonstrated to the American crew readiness to harshly prevent a violation of the frontier and to defend the interests of the country.”

Russia seized the Crimean peninsula last year in March from Ukraine and has since built up its military power in the region. Since the seizure the U.S. and NATO ships have stepped up their own patrols in the Black Sea sending a mix of warships and surveillance vessels into the region. Ross entered the Black Sea on May 23.

U.S. Navy officials — reached by USNI News on Monday and Tuesday — said Fencers had safely over flown Ross on May 29, May 30 and on Monday in encounters the service described as “normal and safe.”

“From our perspective it’s much ado about nothing,” Navy spokesman Lt. Tim Hawkins told USNI News on Monday morning.

In a Sunday statement, U.S. 6th Fleet said Ross and the Fencers had “no interaction” when they were both operating near each other in the Black Sea.

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,” read the statement.

A video released by 6th Fleet, shows a Fencer, not carrying missiles, take a pass near Ross on Saturday when the ship was about 25 nautical miles from the Crimean peninsula Navy officials told USNI News.

Russian sources also connected the most recent incident to the April 2014 Fencer over flight of USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) — an incident the Pentagon characterized as, ”provocative and unprofessional” at the time.

A Russian Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer.

A Russian Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer.

“Apparently, the Americans have not forgotten the April 2014 incident when one Su-24 practically ‘blacked out’ all of the electronics on board the newest American destroyer Donald Cook,” the source told RIA Novosti.

Following the 2014 Fencer flyby, reports in fringe Russian language blogs claimed the SU-24s were armed with a new jammer that rendered the SPY-1D radar inoperable on Cook — one of the Navy’s older guided missile destroyers.

At the time of the reports in 2014, USNI News investigated the possibility of a Russian super jammer capable of being fielded by a Fencer.

Several aviation and radar experts told USNI News the likelihood of a Russian fighter sized aircraft fielding a jammer capable of rendering a SPY-1D completely inoperable — as some Russian publications have claimed — was extremely remote.

The following is the complete May 31, 2015 statement from U.S. 6th Fleet on the encounter with Russian fighters.

USS Ross (DDG 71), forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is on a routine patrol conducting naval operations with allies and partners in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in order to advance security and stability in the Black Sea region.

Ross observed the routine flights of SU-24 aircraft and had no interaction while both operated in international waters. 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.

The U.S. Navy operates ships in the Black Sea on a routine basis, consistent with the Montreux Convention and International Law.

  • Richard5877

    That ship could have shot those planes down from 100 miles away… This is bullshit!!!

    • Marcd30319

      Richard, when you are Russia, that’s all you got!

      • Richard5877

        We had the same crap happen when I was on a carrier in 1964 and it’s all bullshit news… We do the same to them, just don’t push the button unless they shoot first. We captured the first picture of the Russian Bear Bomber in 1964 that way… Anything else???

        • Marcd30319

          Richard, I AM agreeing with you, sir, and thank you for your service, too.

          Yeah, the Russian started this carriers over-flights after the Cuban missile crisis because that is all they had. Pure hissy fits.

          Just remember what happened when one of those TU-16 that buzzed the USS Essex in 1969.

          • Richard5877

            Thank you for your service sir!!! I do remember the Cuban missile crisis!! I was in south Florida then and was attached to an attack squadron (Navy) out of NAS Jacksonville VA-741. We had a great experience for a few weeks!!!

          • carledgar

            I was a Royal Canadian Navy communications rate during the Cuban crisis. Although I normally worked radio intercept I was on a direction finder that week, searching for skunks. We didn’t handle bogeys or goblins in our group.

            This was in New Brunswick, which has a border with Maine

            Ironically, though, given your comment, I took leave shortly after and hitchhiked south on US military flights and ended up staying a day or two at NAS Jacksonville, where I received generous hospitality.

          • Richard5877

            Thank you sir!!!! It’s great have a great country like your backing each other.. (when Obama leaves that is) 😉

    • Bob Jones

      Notice how the ships are “dead in the water”…..not moving. They are sitting ducks from land based weapons……it’s all for show !

  • Marjus Plaku

    25nm from Crimea!? Now that is ballsy and all for show. Not in wartime, better be 200nm out or farther. If the Russians can spot, and fix, they will launch en mass even without tracking. And with them, you always have to wonder about nuclear payloads. Biggest threat in black sea is ballistic missiles and submarines. USN should get around underwater limitations in the area by discreetly airlifting or shipping unmanned hunter killer mini subs into the Black Sea. Otherwise Russia has a massive superiority underneath the water. If their Kilos leave the pens when it goes hot, I wouldn’t want to be on a allied ship operating near the Russian coast.

    • rmmuk

      And how about letting Crimea, Ukraine and the Black Sea well alone, eh, Americans?
      And also the Middle East, and North Africa, and Central Asia – and those islands in the China Sea, whether east or south?
      Why are you always looking for trouble so far from your own land, spoiling for a fight with the entire world?

  • Pingback: Auribus Arrectis()

  • old guy

    Man, I’m as hawkish as they come, but I say 25NM off Crimea is provocative and uncalled for.

    • carledgar

      Crimea is part of the Ukraine, in law. People who stage home invasions aren’t recognized in law as having gained title to the home

      • old guy

        I agree with you. Sorry, I must be getting’ old

      • Pinocchio

        You share the truth and do not know what’s going on in the Crimea. They live 90% Russian. These 20 years have dreamed of returning to Russia. US media lie that the peninsula was captured by Russian troops. They only ensure the safety of civilians from Kiev razerennyh thugs. The residents of Crimea have organized a referendum and voted freely. No one no one not forced. Crimea offers to visit in person and talk with residents. You will see it yourself with your own eyes.

  • Pingback: U.S. Navy Denies Russian Fighters Chased Off Destroyer USS Ross in Black Sea | NOSI – Naval Open Source Intelligence™()

  • Bill

    Nice smoke trail from that Fencer. Reminds me of F-4 days.

  • Secundius

    @Richard5877:disqus .

    Actually, NOT REALLY when you really think about? It’s just another form of DISInformation. The more BRAZEN, your future possible Opponent get’s. The DUMBER he get’s. He get Complacent or Over Confident he get’s. And EGO is Putin’s “Achilles Heel”, the more he THINKS he’s Winning, the More Likely he’s going to make Mistake’s…

  • Pingback: Navy releases video of Russian fighters buzzing US ships()

  • Pingback: USS Ross Leaves Black Sea | Aircrew Systems()

  • Frank Langham

    Wiki:
    Non-Black Sea state warships in the Straits must be under 15,000 tons. No more than nine non-Black Sea state warships, with a total aggregate tonnage of no more than 30,000 tons, may pass at any one time, and they are permitted to stay in the Black Sea for no longer than twenty-one days.

    Although the treaty is often cited as prohibiting aircraft carriers in the straits,[12] there is no explicit prohibition on aircraft carriers in the treaty. However, the tonnage limits in Article 14, which apply to all non-Black Sea powers, would preclude the transit of modern aircraft carrying ships.

    • Secundius

      @ Frank Langham.

      The Montreux Convention states 30,000-tons for Non-Black State Member Countries and 45,000-tons for Black Sea State Member Countries. The 21-day rule, ONLY APPLIES to Visiting Warship’s, NOT TOO those that belong to Black Sea State Member Countries…

      • Frank Langham

        Russia has already demonstrated that they will ignore any laws, treaties, or agreements which would “thwart” what she sees as her vital strategic interests and posture. … Ultimately, FORCE is law. … It looks like one of the clear objectives of the agreement is to limit or to deny any outside players from maintaining a constant or dominant presence.
        – In addition to strategic ports and strategic access and any military-industrial production, The Crimean Peninsula IS an IDEAL site to impose the widest possible AAW and surface targeting footprint. … And, they also want a solid land bridge (without pinch-points) from the motherland to the peninsula (i.e. Eastern Ukraine). … As far as defensive interests go, they intend to slam the back door shut, preventing any possibility of enemy force projection via the Black Sea. … Regionally, the OFFENSIVE potentials are obvious and, her navy IS ” bottled-up”, in terms of being able to BREAK OUT of these several warm-water HOME ports, in force and on short notice.

        • mauman

          the same agreement not to spread NATO eastwards? THAT is what is starting all this. Ukraine? Come on, the US did that. We ALL know it, except Brainwashed Americans who are prevented from watching ACTUAL news.

          • Frank Langham

            AS-IF the USA had the means to “SPREAD NATO” without the will of the indigenous population … The manner in which Putin, Himself (and his satellite puppets) have maintained a stranglehold on “leadership”, laughing in the face of “democratic” rule, proves WHO is IMPOSING power … How long has Putin been the De Facto “leader” of Russia ? … 15 years ? … More ? … Gosh … he SURE IS ONE POPULAR “LEADER” !

      • Frank Langham

        Are you implying that BLACK SEA MEMBERS might deploy AEGIS related assets at sea as well as on land ? … And … What about SSNs ?? … Is there ANY way to get an SSN into the hands of a member state ? … No. … But … One (or MORE?) of those modern Nordic Stealth Boats would be SWEET to have patrolling the Black Sea … If they can sneak up on “US”, they can sneak up on Russian SSNs.
        … Stealthy Diesel subs COULD also provide a “special missions” dimension to the equation and, with the various strategic ports which are clustered on the coasts … Well … It would be nice to have the INTEL and the clandestine offensive options.

        • Secundius

          @ Frank Langham.

          The Montreux Convention of 1936, clearly states NO GUN CALIBERS. greater than 305mm. The Russian’s where oppose to missiles being introduced into the Black Sea, because their diameter’s exceeded 305mm. The Turk’s disagreed by stating Missile were Not Gun’s. So now there are missiles in the Black Sea. The only Submarine allow into the Black Sea, are by Countries in the Black Sea. That already have Submarines. Technically Crimea is a New State, but don’t not have Submarines. Russian just can’t send Submarines into the Black Sea, and Claim the to be Crimean. Nuclear or otherwise…

      • carledgar

        Given that international law still classifies Crimea as a part of the Ukraine, could not Ukraine invite US warships into its territorial waters, including port visits.

        That would entitle US/NATO warships to transit Crimea’s territorial waters as just another part of the Ukraine?

        • Frank Langham

          Possession is 9/10ths of the law, it would seem … But, yeah … That is a great legal point. … IF the annexation of Crimea is not legal, then it still belongs to Ukraine and Ukraine could announce an invitation … Hmmm. … Interesting. … Russia already has ASCMs and Iksanders there, I do believe. … And Putin HAD said that they ARE prepared to go hot with tactical nukes, if “needs be”.

        • mauman

          No. Why provoke.
          Crimea will likely be officially recognised as Russian. Nothing the US can do about that

          • Secundius

            @ mauman.

            Sure there is, they don’t have to Give or Recognize Crimea as a Russian Annexed Republic…

          • mauman

            No just as ‘reclaimed by Rusdia’

          • Secundius

            @ mauman.

            Considering Putin doesn’t recognize International Law, why are WE (the Rest of the World) required to Recognized his Annexation of Crimea…

          • mauman

            The rest of the world, does what it wants. The US mainly. Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Guatanamo, Iraq, Iran, Afganistan?
            See a pattern?

          • Scott Gardner

            Sir your anger is misplaced if you would care to review the timeline of actions you would recognize that the saber rattling of Russia has provoked such responses. Ukraine’s former president was ousted due to his backing out of confirmations into NATO. Gazprom shut off the supply lines of natural gas to the entirety of the country… not exactly caring about their former forced BLOC members. Why do you think all of Russia’s neighbors are clamoring to join NATO it’s just that Ukraine was to late to the party. Russia has previously done the same thing provoking the creation and ratification of NATO after WW2. Nato and the US are merely responding to agreed upon edicts of the article 5 agreement. I’m sure it’s hard to swallow the truth when Russia’s own detractors are poisoned and murdered right in front of the Kremlin. Russia has no moral ground on the annexation of Crimea….NONE! The proclamation of protection of Russian speaking harkens back to a psychotic rant that Hitler gave just before Germany invaded Poland. Ergo, the creation of NATO was a natural reaction when Stalin started spouting the exact same rhetoric just before Russia started creating the Iron Curtain. Which was by the way created by Russia illegally seizing the entirety of nation states. I am by no means a war hawk but, on the other hand I would be ashamed to be an American and allow our NATO partners be threatened by a neighboring bully wanting to reinstall the Iron Curtain illegally created in the past. Russia has a rich history unfortunately the majority of it is mired in self hatred and war. Demand Putin to allow a free press in Russia and all of this disagreement would be over with in 2 weeks, sanctions would be lifted, Crimea would be no longer a soft spot and Russia could move on with it’s own recreation to a modern society! I wish you well in your uninformed delusional blurbs… you can continue to make yourself believe the statements you’ve already made or enlighten your ideals that no one country has the right to control any other. Americans don’t always agree with our leadership even with the minority of old folks that constantly try to drag us backwards to the 50’s but, at least we can change the course if a majority agree that something needs to be different…as is the case with with Ukraine. Russia needs to realize and embrace the former “greatness” was a failed experiment and a sham. China gets it… it’s time for Russia to move forward and stop blaming other nations for their own short comings….essentially grow up and stop reveling in self created discontent!

          • varsovski10

            You must be joking, right ?

            NATO is as corrupted as the fifa scandal, the only difference is – FBI doesn’t investigate that

  • meangreenMarine

    If the Russians blew anymore smoke up their butts, they’d float away like a weather balloon!
    I guess they need to lie to each other just to feel good about utilizing their mediocre aircraft!
    If the U. S. Navy had felt that those Russian A/C were a genuine threat, the survivors, if any, would be reporting the location of the wreckage to their OPS and asking to be rescued!
    Go Navy!

  • Pingback: Su-24 contro AEGIS, secondo atto shakespeariano | Aurora()

  • Pingback: Tensioni USA-Russia nel Mar Nero - Pagina 10()

  • mauman

    The US are so spoiling for a fight with their illegal stirrings that I’d love to see a proper hard hit by Russia on the US. The US must be taught to not screw around in another major power’s back yard. Next time a US ship enters Russian waters without permission , SINK IT

    • Secundius

      @ mauman.

      Just exactly how is the Black Sea, Russian Federation WATER’s…

      • mauman

        “The back yard’. it is their back yard. It is a russian sphere of I fluence. It is not russian territorial. I didn’t say it was. But they have gotten very close and they meant to antagonise. Then they must not complain about fly-byes.

        • Secundius

          @ mauman.

          It also belongs to Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, and the Ukraine. Also the Turk’s control the only access point to the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea’s…

          • mauman

            You can’t be American. You know your Geography. You are right. But US warships are not concentrating on other’s territory. Just Russia’s. Just to provoke. And like it or not, Russia is the dominant power in the region. And the region is tense because the US can”t handle that. THEY want to be.

          • Secundius

            @ mauman.

            SO!!!

          • mauman

            Russia would not attack. Russia is not the aggressor here. NATO is. And by that, I mean the US.
            And because all those countries are pointless NATO members, underlines teh fact that NATO is expanding eastwards and that RUssia is quite correct to draw a line.

          • Secundius

            @ VK.

            NATO hasn’t attacked anybody, Putin HAS…

          • Secundius

            @ mauman.

            Your quite Proud of the USS. Donald Cook, Electronic Warfare ATTACK in April of 2014. Who did the Donald Cook attack Sir, NO ONE. Who Attacked the Donald Cook Sir, the Russian Federation. An Attack is an ATTACK, no matter the Medium of which the Message was Sent By or From…

          • Secundius

            @ mauman.

            No he’s not, NATO is. Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey are all NATO Member States. He attack any of those Three, either by accident or design. And NATO would be on him like White on Rice…

          • Sand_Cat

            One ship is “concentrating”?
            Take your meds and calm down.

    • Secundius

      @ mauman.

      Still wouldn’t work VK. The US is a NATO Member, Putin Attacks US (the USA) and NATO will Pulverize Putin. “Can’t Win For LOOSING”…

  • Pingback: Invincibilité de l’armée américaine : réalité ou illusion ? | infosdany()

  • Pingback: Invincibilité de l’armée américaine : réalité ou illusion ? | Réseau International()

  • laurence

    in April 2014 incident when one Su-24 over flew a US warship Used electronic countermeasures on her and blacked out all her tactical weapons systems. The Jet then ran more than 6 I repeat 6 simulated missile engagements with the ship.

  • Pingback: La Russie bombarde la Syrie… avec ses armes vieillies, sinon vieillottes | CentPapiers()