This week, at least two separate incidents of a Russian flyby of US warships were recorded. The incidents, according to war experts, are extremely rare and dangerous in times of peace.
Even non-American war experts say that the maneuver from Moscow is provocative and can even spark a war. Experts share the same sentiments that flying by at an extremely close distance is both dangerous for the crews and can send a political provocation.
According to a report from the NBC News, at least two Russian jets flyby as close as 30 feet from American warships this week. This week’s incidents involved two Russian Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jets. It happened on Monday and the latest one was on Tuesday. The two incidents both happened while US warship USS Donald Cook was traversing the international waters of the Baltic Sea.
Justin Bronk, of the Royal United Services Institute, a Britain-based security-research organization, said the behavior of Russian pilots to flyby as close as 30 feet from a moving vessel could spell disaster. Even with today’s advanced technology, flying from that distance could result to catastrophe.
“Say they had an engine failure or a hydraulic failure, and the Russian jet had barreled into the side of the destroyer, you would have had multiple U.S. Navy casualties and possibly even the loss of a ship. That’s the sort of thing that starts wars,” Bronk was quoted as saying by the NBC News.
As various war analysts see friction between US and Russia worsen following the run in, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov was quick to dismiss speculations, saying that the incidents mean nothing. Konashenkov told the Russian newspaper TASS that Russia’s warplanes acted “in accordance with the international rules,” when the incident happened.
He said the Russian war jets were on training in the Baltic Sea when it saw the American warships. Konashenkov added that upon seeing the US warship USS Donald Cook within its vicinity, it maneuvered away from the warships.