The lone Su-24 came within 200 yards of USS Porter at an altitude of 300 feet
As reported by Reuters, the Pentagon said on Tuesday that multiple Russian military aircraft came close to U.S. Navy destroyer USS Porter in the Black Sea on Feb. 10, 2017.
The incidents were deemed as “unsafe and unprofessional.”
The Russian Ministry of Defense denied that such encounters took place.
“There were no incidents of any kind on Feb. 10, related to flights by Russian military jets in the Black Sea near the U.S. Navy destroyer Porter,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, said.
But Captain Danny Hernandez, a spokesman for U.S. European Command, said the first encounter involved two Su-24 Fencer attack aircraft, this was followed by another Su-24 and the final one was a Il-38 May maritime patrol aircraft.
Moreover he added that “USS Porter queried all aircraft and received no response.”
“Such incidents are concerning because they can result in accident or miscalculation” Hernandez pointed out.
According to Hernandez the commanding officer of the Porter considered unsafe and unprofessional the incidents involving the Su-24 because of their high speed and low altitude.
The II-38 flew at an unusually low altitude too.
Another U.S. official, said that the lone Su-24 came within 200 yards of the Porter at an altitude of 300 feet.
Noteworthy on Apr. 11, 2016 two Su-24s flew simulated attack passes near U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea so close that they created wake in the water.
Photo credit: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jesse L. Gonzalez / U.S. Navy