"Aggressive" Russian Fighter Jets Buzz US Warship; Navy Releases Videos

Tyler Durden's picture

In a rerun of what happened two years ago when in April 2014 a Russian Su-24 fighter jet flew repeatedly within 1000 yards of a US warship, CNN reports that the Pentagon is furious that while sailing in the Baltic Sea, US warship the USS Donald Cook had two "extremely close overflights" by unarmed Russian fighter jets.

According to the initial reports, two concerning encounters occurred Tuesday night in international waters. A third overflight, at a more acceptable distance, happened Sunday, according to the source.


CNN adds that the ship, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, also had a Polish helicopter on board as part of routine training, according to the official, leading to some speculation in military circles that the Russians were also "sending a message to Poland," the official said.

Navy officials are not commenting publicly, but inside the Pentagon there is an intense discussion about releasing video and still photos of the Russian encounter to demonstrate the danger the jets posed to the ship, a U.S. official told CNN.

A U.S. official described the Russian maneuver as "strafing runs" without firing any weapons. The unarmed Russian aircraft swooped in over the deck in the same flight profile that would have been used if an attack was underway.


A second U.S. defense official told CNN that the overflights were conducted by a Russian SU-24 and helicopter. Flight operations by the Polish helicopter were interrupted because one of the overflight was so close.

EUCOM added some additional details moments ago:

On April 12, while Donald Cook was operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea, a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter conducted circles at low altitude around the ship, seven in total, at approximately 5 p.m. local. The helicopter passes were also deemed unsafe and unprofessional by the ship's commanding officer. About 40 minutes following the interaction with the Russian helicopter, two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous close-range and low altitude passes, 11 in total.

CNN reports that the Cook had been shadowed by a Russian intelligence-gathering ship for some time before the aircraft encounter. The U.S. crew had radioed the Russian ship that it was conducting routine operations, according to the official.

The Pentagon is livid because while there have been encounters between US ships and aircraft and Russian counterparts, this time Russia appears to have gone too far according to CNN sources.

Moments ago the US Navey released the following photos of the overflights.


And the following video clips:


EUCOM released the following statement:

U.S. Navy ship encounters aggressive Russian aircraft in Baltic Sea


STUTTGART, GERMANY - A United States Navy Destroyer operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea experienced several close interactions by Russian aircraft on April 11 and 12. USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) encountered multiple, aggressive flight maneuvers by Russian aircraft that were performed within close proximity 51 155 ship.


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 a p.m. local. 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 area.


On April 12, while Donald Cook was operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea, a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter conducted circles at low altitude around the ship, seven in total, at approximately 5 p.m. local. The helicopter passes were also deemed unsafe and unprofessional by the ship's commanding officer. About 40 minutes following the interaction with the Russian helicopter, two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous close-range and low altitude passes, 11 in total. The Russian aircraft flew in a simulated attack profile and failed to respond to repeated safety advisories in both English and Russian. USS Donald Cook's commanding officer deemed several of these maneuvers as unsafe and unprofessional.

It is unclear if Russia was simply, as the CNN source says, sending Poland a message, or if the Su-24 pilots were just being friendly

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InjectTheVenom's picture

Goddammitt Maverick ! !

pods's picture

Betcha that puckered the sphincters of anyone on deck.


knukles's picture

BFD.  One of my good buds was USAF pilot.  Flew Buffs (52's) as well as several fighters. 
He tells stories of everyday ordinary missions where they flew the Buff literally at ground level over the hostiles (Chinks, Rooskies, etc.) to "rattle our sabers"
This stuffs SOP.  Then again, watch the media do the Establishment's bidding and next thing you know, we got a real enemy.

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) knukles Apr 13, 2016 2:46 PM

....the USS Donald Cook - soon to be the the USS Donald Trump?


Not to worry, everyone.  John "I Served in Vietnam" Kerry is all over this.


BTW - When, exactly, is "a p.m. local" as stated in the article?  Is the military using alphabetic time now?  "It's oh C hundred."

nope-1004's picture



US Navy Releases Photos Of "Aggressive" Russian Fighter Jet Flying Just Off US Warship

.... and the US can do nothing about it.



Handful of Dust's picture

I don't know why they would do something like that? USA is sooooo non-aggressive.


   The United States Probably Has More Foreign Military Bases Than Any Other People, Nation, or Empire in History



Miles Ahead's picture

Damn right my cat Vlad sent a message to them Poles.

And that message was:  Uncle Sam can't touch this.

HowdyDoody's picture

Dear US.

We have had enough of your games. Shit is gonna get real if you carry on. Your choice.

PS. It might be a good idea to stop funding ISIS as we do have UN authority to go after it and anyone funding it.

Yours in contempt.



Dave Thomas's picture

Ivan was just microwaving a hot dog in his SU-24 Fencer, and the Arliegh Burke's propulsion system bluescreened with a STOP 0x00000007


Latina Lover's picture

Those damned Russkis!  Only the USSA is allowed to threaten other nations. 

BTW, why is the Donald Duck in the Baltic anyways?  Is that kinda like the Russians sending a cruiser into the Gulf of Mexico?

Bollixed's picture

But, but...It's our oil...

Supernova Born's picture

The US Navy Blue Angels buzz crowds, homes, schools etc. in cities across the US while flying dangerously close to each other (eek!).

Cancel that shit in the name of safety, children and global warming.

[In other words, get a life Neocon fucksticks and give your warmongering bullshit a rest.]

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Supernova Born Apr 13, 2016 4:51 PM

If Obama had the balls to shoot one down that comes within 1000 yards of a warship that would put a stop to that crap.  One warning shot then the next one is splashed.

Remember our complacency witht the Cole.

johnnycanuck's picture

The thing is this, the Iranians could sink a US aircraft carrier.  You should educate yourself about such things and about who makes big money by continuing to fool people like you.


This is a response to The Saint 

"If Obama had the balls to shoot one down that comes within 1000 yards of a warship that would put a stop to that crap.  One warning shot then the next one is splashed."


What's wrong with your 'reply' software ZH?

Stuck on Zero's picture

Two twenty two year old Russian pilots buzzed a shipload of 21 year old Navy guys and we're concerned?  These kids stay up all hours playing  WWC or Crysis 3 and they're having a hard time separating reality from fantasy.

Lurk Skywatcher's picture

Hahaha! US Navy needs a safe place to hide from the nasty Russian microagressions. What a fucking bunch of pussies. Where are the "we can whip their ass on paper" crowd? Probably softly stroking the nearest Admirals hair and crying.

saveandsound's picture

CNN reports that the Cook had been shadowed by a Russian intelligence-gathering ship for some time before the aircraft encounter. The U.S. crew had radioed the Russian ship that it was conducting routine operations, according to the official.

Sure... "routine operations"... please go along, there is nothing to see here.

Bokkenrijder's picture

It's not the first time the USS Donald Cook meets Russian SU24's, as it apparently was targeted by electronic warfare in the Black Sea in 2014:




"On 12 April 2014, an unarmed Russian Su-24 "Fencer" fighter jet made twelve close-range passes of the USS Cook during a patrol of the western Black Sea.[8][9][10] According to an allegation by a Pentagon spokesman, "The aircraft did not respond to multiple queries and warnings from Donald Cook, and the event ended without incident after approximately 90 minutes. <...> The Donald Cook is more than capable of defending itself against two Su-24s."[11] In 2014, Russia?s state-run news media outlets, without citing any specific sources of information, ran a series of reports that claimed that during that incident the Su-24, equipped with the Khibiny electronic warfare system, disabled the ship's Aegis combat systems.[12][13][14] The jamming claims were ignored by Western mainstream media. They were dismissed in February 2015 as "nothing but a newspaper hoax" by the Khibiny jammer's Russian manufacturer KRET' website, which asserted that Khibiny was not installed on Su-24 but claimed it was "capable of completely neutralising the enemy radar".[15] One analyst described the incident as "about as tame a flyby as you can get."

tonyw's picture

"The Pentagon is livid because" someone is not just rolling over and kowtowing to the almighty US of A.

Last time i loked Russia was so damn close to the Baltic it actually had shoreline there, meanwhile the US is thousands of miles away.

"deemed unsafe" - the Russian pilots would die if they crashed into the ship whereas the sailors not so much.

There are any number of clips on youtube showing very close flybys with people standing on the ground being buzzed.

As mentioned above airshows have planes flying closer together.

But then again why waste a chance to show how bad the enemy is and why we absolutely need more money spent on "defense".

The Black Bishop's picture

Could this have anything to do with the ROV that was found laden with explosives close to the North Strem pipeline a while back?

Richard Chesler's picture

I can see how that happens when POTUS speaks softly and carries a big stick, shoved up his ass.


Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Richard Chesler Apr 13, 2016 9:51 PM

The US solider was smiling.

It's the dick showing contest.

Zero Point's picture

Lucky those weren't Israeli fighters, or they might have been in REAL trouble.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) johnnycanuck Apr 13, 2016 5:47 PM

Johnny, first off, the USS Donald Cook is NOT an aircraft carrier.  It is a guided missle destroyer.

And, you are wrong about a carrier battle group being that vulerable.  Carriers don't just sit in the seas on an island.  There are several support ships that provide various defensive capabilities.  It is unlikely a U.S. carrier could be taken out with anything but a hypersonic vehicle which aren't available yet.  Iran?  LOL Not a chance.

I suggest you do a little more reading on the subject of carrier vulnerabilities and defense capabilities.

Battlefield USA's picture

Remember when it was claimed, and poo-poo'ed, that Russia "turned off" USS Ross? The Russians did it again in Syria briefly to some Israeli fighter jets entering Syrian airspace. Israel high-tailed it real quick back to its border.

You can bet the USS Cole was jizzing for Russia to do it again as to learn counter measures against it.

And it is exactly why that sheep humper Erdogan, on behalf of NATO, shot down that Russian fighter. Hoping Russia would turn on their counter measure.

It still amazes me that their are still hicks who think Russia, and China, are a bunch of military throwbacks to WWI.

And how about the Dong-Feng 21?

Russia and China have grown up. And in many ways, militarily superior to the US Military.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Battlefield USA Apr 13, 2016 9:54 PM

Tesla developed the death ray, it would destroy a nation that attacked without them doing anything.

Tesla thought it would bring world peace.

USA not interested, UK not interested, Russia was.

Russia put out a worldwide call to anyone who had worked with Tesla, they found one guy.

His diaries were last seen in Yugoslavia.

They have Tesla technology nailed.

researchfix's picture

For a long time already they can make death rays where the ICBMs hit.

No available sunblock helps so far.

Overfed's picture

Can you say "Shkval"?    I knew you could.

Lurk Skywatcher's picture

"I suggest you do a little more reading on the subject of carrier vulnerabilities and defense capabilities."

Is this the further reading you meant? Or is this not part of the authorized curriculum?


What about Operation Millenium Challenge?

I knew the "we can whip their ass on paper" crowd would show up sooner or later

AnonG-Man's picture

Think again.  Apparently you haven't been keeping up with the times.  The idea that a U.S. Carrier, or any Carrier, can't be taken out by anything except some hypersonic vehicle is ludicrous. 

U.S. Aircraft carriers have one huge vulnerability

and also this link

* March 4th, 2015 - French Ministry of Defense released information regarding Mock Exercises with U.S. Navy off Florida - In Joint Exercise with French Navy, a 30 year old French Submarine Saphir slips through Carrier groups defenses and mock sunk the Theodore Roosevelt and some of its accompanying Escort.

The original information was deleted by the French Ministry of Defense after the release in order to prevent embarrassment of US Navy Chiefs and the Pentagon (it can still be found on this French defense blog).

I also know of further information during the same incident or another mock exercise where the U.S. Admiral, in a fury, requested that the "mock games" to be restarted for more tries, but demanded that the French submarine follow a bunch of stringent rules on its approach to be more 'detectable' by only being allowed to a certain depth and other nonsense (in actuality, to give the Carrier a "handicap").  As if an enemy in a real scenario is going to listen to your demands to play "nice."

The U.S. today is becoming more and more much like the fallen Empires of the past.  The top Military Leaders push around their groups on paper believing they are invincible, believing buying more expensive toys will make them "win," when everything is falling apart from within as a direct result of hubris and decades of a massive defense budget crippling the country from the bottom up.

"In case of a shooting war with a real naval power, there will be two types of naval combatants: submarines, and targets.

This is known by our sailors and their commanders and has not been a secret for many, many years now, since at least the mid 1960's. I'm honestly surprised that anybody is mentioning it today. We have carrier battle groups not to wage war with China or Russia, but, rather, in order to go to war with Trashcanistans around the world -- countries without an effective navy that we want to kick over in order to get their oil or satisfy a desire for revenge [I.E. Starting Lie-Based, Illegal Wars to line the pockets of the few in the Defense Industry]. Carriers are an effective way to get an air force into their vicinity without having to negotiate basing rights with their neighbors."

Now as far as a comment on this incident:  This is what happens when the U.S. and NATO attempts to play in Russia's own backyard.  The Baltic Sea is one of Russia's most important maritime zones and plays a pivotal part in the defense of their country.  The Baltic Seas were also the prize of the Axis powers that attempted to wrest control of it from Russia then - and its the same thing now with different players on the board.  Like someone commented above, the U.S. would do the same if a Russian Destroyer happened to park in the Great Lakes or the Gulf of Freakin' Mexico.

kedi's picture

An excellent reply.

Accurate in all aspects.

But it is also frightening. When it comes down to the inevitable confrontations that will show the U.S. forces to be lacking in ability to quickly defeat a comparable enemy. There are only two options left to it. Reasonable negotiation, from a rational realization of the true situation. Or nukes. The sociopathic, narcissists in charge are too likely to go nuke. Not being lords of the universe is simply not an option they can live with. It would reveal the merely average length of their dicks.

It is amusing to see how some ignore what was, but still is, out there operating, when they design their newest devices to rule the world. Older diesel electric subs are some of the quietist ones. Some countries are still producing newer non nuclear powered subs, that are even quieter. Then there is the basic problem of going to someone elses continental shelf to attack them. They can just wait for you to drive right over top of them. Many places have limited avenues for approach. Your percentages keep dropping.

The land wars have been shown to favor low tech. Unless you are willing to carpet bomb all living things in the theatre. Or nuke. And then exterminate even the smallest of dissent in horrific cleansing. For generations onward.

Technology, old and new, seems to have made winning a war an obsolete concept. Except the economic war. Technology targeted against the human being in propaganda, bread and circuses, media amusements and distractions. Seems to be winning over people to commit various forms of social suicide that wins the war for a small portion of people. The perfection of stealth weapons.

The war has been going on for a long time. They are winning. We do not know we are in a war. We do not know the enemy. We do not know how badly we are losing. Neither we or our enemy knows the real cost of them winning.



The Black Bishop's picture

We know the enemy, at least if we are brave enough to start looking at the names and associates behind much of the devilry going on the last 13 decades.


Read The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and be enlightened. For a book from the late 1800s it is amazingly prescient. Coincidence? I think not. It has never been proven a hoax. It has been CLAIMED to be a hoax based on some passages being similar to an even earlier work. But there is nothing resembling a hoax in stealing some passages here and there in formulating a grand strategy. And once you start reading it you'll also understand that this is not a document intended for the "plebes" in Russia (the claim of being produced by the Tsars secret police for garnering hate towards The Tribe). This document was intended for sophisticated and learned people.

PhilofOz's picture

If you make a forgery with an intended purpose as claimed then it is foisted upon the population in any way possible as quickly as possible, yet this document sat around for years with the knowledge of very few. Total bullshit that it's a forgery.

AnonG-Man's picture

Almost - however, I'll admit the end of my statement with the additional comment on the article itself is not entirely accurate (unable to edit it either, so I'll just reply).  When reading this news in haste, I kept thinking BLACK Sea - wrong area.  The Baltics is no less important to Russia since it does share it with many there - I would argue the Black Sea is of more strategic importance.  I can't ammend my previous comment, but I will say that Russia's pilots definitely did something perhaps a little unsafe flying that close at the very least, but all it amounts is 'showboating,' (as retired Capt. Rick Hoffman states on Navy Times) in otherwords they were simply hotshots, probably having a little fun at Donald Cook's expense while showing off with unarmed aircraft and were clearly not a threat.  The U.S. would definitely be more in the wrong here if they sailed right up to the shores of Kaliningrad, but that area has heavy traffic from over 8 Nations.

On the video released, it clearly looks like some of the U.S. Sailors are smiling, rather than hunkering down - it's a free airshow at the very least.  The location of the Donald Cook during this particular incident was at least 70km from Kaliningrad, home to one of Russia's Baltic Fleets.  The Russian pilots were on a training exercise in that area, saw the ship and decided to buzz it (whether on orders, or for fun - who knows).  On a map, one will note also that there isn't much distance from there to Gotland Island or even Kalmar, Sweden.

The Donald Cook was in the Black Sea in April 2014 though.  The Pentagon shed tears then too calling it “provocative” and “unprofessional" in the exact same manner when Su-24's buzzed them.  NATO are all around whiners when it comes to Russia - when Russia's budget can never afford them the ability to sustain a full on invasion of a NATO country, their budget affords them an effective defense (as was on display in Syria, in coordination with the heroic Syrian Arab Army).

Compare this to something like say Israel's treasonous fully armed and on purposeful attack against the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967 as told by U.S. Sailor's who blew the whistle, but say that to anyone else and it's a "conspiracy theory."  The "which is more provocative Gallup Poll" - -> Getting buzzed by an unarmed Russian jet, or getting buzzed by fully armed, Israel jet attacking you on purpose for False Flag purposes?


Regarding your comment.  Agreed with your assessment.

ebear's picture

It's you who should read up. Carriers can be swarmed just as easily as mall rats can take your Nikes.

It's a question of relative cost is all. However many boats a carrier group can shoot out of the water, just increase that number by 1. That's all it takes.

Esso's picture

If you're willing to pay for that "warning shot" (and the consequences) then fine. Other than that, STFU.

pmurgs's picture

You are aware where the cook was when this happened right? Spash a russian fighter and the uss cook will be sinking soon from a yakhont missle which the american phalanx is way to slow to intercept when it arrives at mach 3.

Lore's picture

Yah!  Which is more "aggressive " - Russian planes in their own backyard, or an American warship within spitting distance of St. Petersburg?  The message - delivered repeatedly, with some bravado, but also restraint and skill - is that vessels like Donald Cook are demonstrably vulnerable to air attack. It's interesting that we see a news release like this at all, because it's rather embarrassing. Was the ship really doing nothing out of the ordinary? Is there anything unique about Donald Cook, that it appears to be singled out repeatedly for such an incident? 

"On 12 November 2009, the Missile Defense Agency announced that Donald Cook would be upgraded during fiscal 2012 to RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) capability in order to function as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System" (wiki).  Could the Russians be determined to demonstrate a problem with this system?

Oh regional Indian's picture

I got a buzzzzzz, because of this: Zen Gardner and yours truly, do give it a listen ;-) and pass it around? first interview....


Dude-dude's picture

They're certainly identifying / testing weaknesses.

Tejano's picture

Wasn't it the destroyer Donald Duck that got zapped by the Russian EW plane a few years back? Fried all communications and computers (including fire control). Had to turn and GTF outa' there. Maybe that was another US warship.


In any case, that incident, though not widely publicized, demonstrated a useful capability.


Lore's picture

Apparently so. The story may have undergone considerable embellishment, including anecdotes about "needing a tow [into port]" and officers "resigning their commissions," which may entirely be hearsay.  The manufacturers of the EW tech in question claim that the SU-24 involved in the 2014 incident was not equipped (see last link below), but who's to say that they might have made a unique exception in the interest of plausibly-deniable field testing?

2014 Black Sea Incident (wiki)


Top 5 Russian radio electronic warfare systems (Russian website KRET)

Frankie Carbone's picture

Yes, I believe so. Either that or it was the USS Elmer Fudd or the HMS Porky Pig. 

August's picture

Speaking of contempt, check out the toilet paper and bathroom floor mats at the President Cafe in Krasnoyarsk:


The cafe owner says it's nothing personal.

The Black Bishop's picture

Where can I get that toilet paper?! And the doormats?!

WorkingClassMan's picture

If true, thats the most correct thing this president (lower-case) has ever done or will do.  Winning that war against our kin in Europe was the worst thing that ever befell us.

pods's picture

On the bright side, at least it wasn't an Israeli jet?