It has become fairly common for NATO aircraft to be buzzed by Russian fighters whilst operating in areas close to that country, with one incident earlier this week being particularly close according to reports.
But it seems that the Russian Navy now want to demonstrate that they want to play, and in waters far from home.
According to the US Navy, the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov deliberately closed on the USS Chancellorsville whilst it was recovering its helicopter in the Philippine Sea. In a press release, the USN stated that:
‘At approximately 11:45 am on June 7, 2019 while operating in the Philippine Sea, a Russian Destroyer (UDALOY I DD 572) made an unsafe manoeuvre…from behind and to the right of Chancellorsville, accelerated and closed to an unsafe distance of ~50-100 feet. This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to manoeuvre to avoid collision.
‘We consider Russia’s actions during this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional and not in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), “Rules of the Road,” and internationally recognized maritime customs.’
The Russians state that the US cruiser impeded them, saying that ‘The U.S guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville suddenly changed course and cut across the path of the destroyer Admiral Vinogradov coming within 50 meters of the ship.’
Such occurrences used to be a regular event during the Cold War, when each power’s navy sort to keep close tabs on one another, and also to try to intimidate their rival. As Russia begins once again to expand its interests onto the global scene, we can probably expect to see these event occurring more and more frequently.