While we are used to hearing of the 100s of "close encounters" between NATO and Russian planes,but, as reported by state news agency RIA - citing an anonymous source in Russia's armed forces, Russian military aircraft were scrambled to head off a U.S. warship that was acting "aggressively" in the Black Sea.
The source was quoted as saying that the U.S. destroyer Ross was moving along the edge of Russia's territorial waters and heading in their direction.
"The crew of the ship acted provocatively and aggressively, which concerned the operators of monitoring stations and ships of the Black Sea Fleet," RIA quoted the source as saying.
“Su-24 attack aircraft demonstrated to the American crew readiness to harshly prevent a violation of the frontier and to defend the interests of the country."
"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 said.
Russia's Defence Ministry was not immediately available to comment on the report.
Saturday's incident is the latest in a series of border surveillance confrontations between Russia and the West. Europeans, especially the Baltic states, have repeatedly sounded the alarm over Russian jets coming close to their borders.
The US is rotating several warships in and out of the Black Sea, where Russia's naval bases are located. The USS Vella Gulf, USS Ross, USS Truxton, and the USS Taylor – as well as warships from other NATO member states – were spotted in the area over the past few months.
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This appears to be the first reported ship-to-plane 'encounter' and, just as US and China tensions are escalating in the South China Sea, it appears US and Russian military 'discussions' are shifting from words and proxy-fighting.