KEY POINTS

  • A formation of four warplanes from Russia practiced attacking the USS Ross
  • The USS Ross has visited the port of Odesa 8 times this year
  • The USS Ross was tailed by a Russian ship earlier this month

 

The U.S. Navy got a chance to have a good look at the Russian Air Force recently.  The incident, which took place on the Black Sea, is catching some attention among military cirlces. The USS Ross, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, was on its way to the Ukrainian port of Odesa on Dec. 23 when it came under a mock attack by multiple Russian aircraft conducting aggressive maneuvers.

Of course, the Russians were simulating the attack and no actual hostilities took place. Two Russian Su-24 jets accompanied by two Su-30s made numerous close-range low-altitude passes over the ship, simulating an missile attack on the ship. The Defense Blog said in a report that Ukrainian armed forces tracked the Russian fighters and confirmed that the maneuvers were those of a typical aerial strike formation.

The USS Ross, which is based in Rota, Spain, is a frequent visitor to the area as it conducts exercises in international waterways as part of the Sixth Fleet's operations in support of U.S. allies. In fact, this is ship's eighth visit to Odessa this year. The U.S. Navy has stepped up its presence in the Black Sea following the Russian annexation of Crimea. 

Earlier this month, the USS Ross was shadowed by the Russian corvette Vyshny Volochyok while on its way to a Romanian port, Russian media reports said.

The Russian military typically does not engage U.S. ships in the area. But this incident, notable for its brazenness, has rattled some nerves in the Navy.

USS Ross The guided missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) under way in the Atlantic Ocean. Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Sandberg.

The political relationsip between the United States and Russia fluctuates daily. Incidents like this one typically occur when the U.S. military is conducting any military maneuvers in areas close to Russian territorial waters.  Russia has been building up its Black Sea fleet since the Crimea operation.

A United States Navy source told the International Business Times that incidents like this are becoming commonplace in the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf where many different countries want to flex military muscles.