This post will be updated as additional information becomes available.
The guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) was buzzed on April 11, 2016 in the Baltic Sea by a pair of Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer fighters. As seen in a video released by U.S. European Command on Wednesday afternoon.
“On April 11, Donald Cook was conducting deck landing drills with an Allied
military helicopter when two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous, close-range
and low altitude passes at approximately 3 p.m. local,” read a release from U.S. European Command provided to USNI News.
“One of the passes, which occurred while the allied helicopter was refueling on the deck of Donald Cook, was deemed unsafe by the ship’s commanding officer. As a safety precaution, flight operations were suspended until the SU-24s departed the
Press reports indicated the allied helicopter was Polish.
The following day, a pair of KA27 Kamov Helix helicopters orbited the ship taking photos in what officials called a “simulated attack profile” in several press reports.
According to a U.S. official that was quoted by CBS, “They were so close they created wakes in the water.”
U.S. European Command expressed “deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers. These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate
tensions between countries, and could result in a miscalculation or accident that could cause serious injury or death,” read the statement.
“U.S. officials are using existing diplomatic channels to address the interactions, while the incidents are also being reviewed through U.S. Navy channels.”
The two recent incidents follow a similar series of 2014 flybys in which “Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer flew as close as 1,000 yards from USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) at an altitude of only 500 feet.”
The Pentagon called the 2014 incident “provocative and unprofessional,” at the time.