Video: Russian Destroyer ‘Aggressively Approached’ U.S. Navy Ship in Arabian Sea – Fifth Fleet

Mike Schuler
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January 10, 2020

FILE PHOTO: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Farragut (DDG 99), front, and USS Lassen (DDG 82) transit the Atlantic Ocean, Sept. 16, 2019. U.S. Navy Photo

A Russian Navy ship made an aggressive approach on a U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the Arabian Sea on Thursday, the Navy’s Fifth Fleet said in a statement.

Russia has denied the incident, according to news reports.

The USS Farragut (DDG 99) was conducting routine operations in the northern Arabian Sea when it was “aggressively approached” by a Russian Navy ship, the statement said. Videos published by the Fifth Fleet shows the Jan. 9 incident.

“Farragut sounded five short blasts, the international maritime signal for danger of a collision, and requested the Russian ship alter course in accordance with international rules of the road. The Russian ship initially refused but ultimately altered course and the two ships opened distance from one another. While the Russian ship took action, the initial delay in complying with international rules while it was making an aggressive approach increased the risk of collision,” the Fifth Fleet’s statement said.

“The U.S. Navy continues to remain vigilant and is trained to act in a professional manner. We continue to encourage vessels from all nations to operate in accordance with internationally recognized maritime laws, standards and norms,” it added.

A video below released by the U.S. Fifth Fleet shows the confrontation:

The Russian Navy ship involved in the incident was not identified.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense denied the incident in a statement obtained by Russian news agency TASS, saying the Fifth Fleet’s recollection of the incident “does not correspond to reality”. The statement blamed the “unprofessional” American crew of the U.S. Navy destroyer and argued that it was the Farragut that was the give way vessel under the international collision regulations (COLREGs).

“The crew of the Russian warship acted professionally, taking a maneuver that prevented a collision with the intruder ship,” the statement said.

In June, the USS Chancellorsville and Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov came to within just 50 meters of each other while operating in the Philippine Sea. Both sides blamed each other for the incident.

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