Russian jets just buzzed a U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea

USS Porter and a Russian jet

A statement by U.S. Defense Department spokeswoman Michellle Baldanza said, "Several incidents by multiple Russian aircraft in the Black Sea near the destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) on February 10 were assessed by the ship's commanding officer as unsafe and unprofessional".

In a separate incident, two further unarmed SU-24s came to within 300 yards of the destroyer.

The US labelled the incidents unsafe and unprofessional, but the Russian Defense Ministry says no such incidents occurred.

He also gave details of the Russian military jets, claiming that two Russian Su-24 jets and a larger IL-38 were involved in such incident.

The incident took place February 10 and involved the USS Porter, a guided missile destroyer, fending off low flights by what the commander of the ship regarded as potentially unsafe flybys.

At the time of the incident Baldanza said the destroyer was "conducting routine maritime operations in global waters in the Black Sea following the conclusion of Exercise Sea Shield". The commander of Porter determined the actions were unsafe and unprofessional.


The USS Porter took part in Sea Shield, an annual worldwide military exercise, last week.

In 2016, asked about a Russian fighter jet barrel-rolling next to a United States ship, Donald Trump suggested the Navy has "gotta shoot" if Vladimir Putin ignored calls to stop.

The ship departed the Black Sea Friday after wrapping up training. In addition to the destroyer, a P-8A maritime patrol aircraft took part.

Moscow has repeatedly voiced concerns over NATO's military activity on its borders. Judging by the videos released by the US Navy at the time, the sailors aboard the USS Donald Cook were unperturbed by the Russian aerobatic skills and instead gathered on the top deck of the destroyer to watch and comment on the Su-24's maneuvers.

The three recent incidents were reportedly less provocative than Russia's buzzing of the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea in April previous year with two Sukhoi Su-24 Fencers.

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