'Aggressive' Russian Aircraft Buzz by US Warship

Russian Jets

On April 11, two Russian Su-24 attack planes made numerous passes while the destroyer, on routine deployment in support of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation operations, was conducting operations with an Allied helicopter, a Polish Navy SH-2G.

An official on board the vessel, who spoke to United States media on condition of anonymity, said the planes flew as close as 30ft in "simulated attacks".

"The commanding officer (of the Cook) - his assessment was that this was unsafe and unprofessional", the official said of the overflights.

US and Russian diplomats and military officials have held informal discussions about the incidents, while Navy leaders are conducting their own review of the Russian military's actions.

On 12 April, two Russian jets again buzzed the ship in what officials described as "simulated attack profile".

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the incidents are "entirely inconsistent with the professional norms of militaries operating in proximity to each other in worldwide waters and global airspace".

It was unclear when or if the U.S. government would formally protest the Russian actions.

A Russian jet was said to have flown just 30ft (9 metres) above the warship during one operation.

"After detecting the ship within their visibility range, the Russian pilots diverted from it with all safety precautions", Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.

- Altitude of 100 feet -The maneuvers began Monday while the destroyer was located about 70 nautical miles from Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave, in global waters.

The USS Donald Cook was in the Baltic Sea conducting a training exercise with a Polish helicopter.

On Tuesday, a Russian KA-26 submarine-hunting helicopter circled the Cook seven times, taking photographs, he added.

A USA official said the jets carried no visible weaponry, but did not respond to communication attempts. Basically on top of it - as seen in the above video, released by the U.S. military on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the official, sailors aboard the ship attempted to reach the Russian planes by radio, but there was no response.

The American destroyer was operating alone at the time of the incidents, though there two Russian ships in the area, a frigate and an auxiliary intelligence gathering ship shadowing the destroyer, according to the official.

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