The Navy just released new video and audio footage of the Russian Su-24 attack jets that repeatedly buzzed United States Navy destroyer, USS Donald Cook, in the Baltic Sea on April 11 and 12, 2016. The USS Donald Cook was operating in international waters when a pair of Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer twin-engine aircraft “made numerous, close-range and low altitude passes,” according to statement released by U.S. European Command.
The subsequent flybys were so close, just 30 feet or so, that they created wakes in the water around the ship. The video(s) show just how close one of the twin-engine jets flew in proximity to the ship. What’s more, the initial passes occurred while an allied helicopter was refueling on the deck of the destroyer, resulting in the ship’s commanding officer to suspend flight operations until the Fencers left the area, the command said.
The unusual activity continued on April 12th, when a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter flew several “unsafe and unprofessional” circles at low altitude around the ship. The Su-24s then returned less than an hour later to make nearly a dozen close-range, low-altitude passes.
“The Russian aircraft flew in a simulated attack profile and failed to respond to repeated safety advisories in both English and Russian,” the command said. “USS Donald Cook’s commanding officer deemed several of these maneuvers as unsafe and unprofessional. “We have 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.”
Navy officials are still reviewing the incidents of April 11th and 12th.