New Video Shows U.S. Navy Destroyer’s Aggressive Encounter With Russian Fighter Jets in Baltic Sea

Mike Schuler
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May 18, 2016

A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft makes a low altitude pass by the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook while the ship was operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea, April 12, 2016. U.S. Navy Photo

Some new video released by the U.S. Navy gives a better look at when two Russian fighter jets made multiple low-altitude passes by the USS Donald Cook in international waters in the Baltic Sea on April 11 and 12. 

The video was released following a FOIA request by the Virginian Pilot. Video released earlier by the U.S. Navy only showed short clips of the encounter

The U.S. Department of Defense has described the maneuvers as extremely aggressive, reckless and irresponsible.

“It’s clear that the Russians are becoming extremely aggressive in both the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work told reporters May 12.

“Those guys were coming in hot and close,” Work said, adding those maneuvers put the Russian crews at risk for a crash into the sea. “When you’re going that fast that close to the water [and you encounter] any type of a problem — a bird strike, a seagull, anything like that — you’re cartwheeling in the drink.”

At the time of the passes, the USS Donald Cook, a guided-missile destroyer forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, was conducting a routine patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.

The video released by the Navy is below:

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