An advanced super sonic Russian attack aircraft repeatedly flew defensive maneuvers near the USS Donald Cook in international waters in the Black Sea on April 12, a Pentagon spokesman said today.
This as the entire world held its collective breath.
The USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer in the United States Navy, which sailed into the Black Sea as a show of force to Russia in what many consider a highly provocative act.
The USS Cook was patrolling in the western Black Sea when an unarmed Russian Su-24 Fencer attack aircraft repeatedly flew near the Navy ship, Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters.
The Sukhoi Su-24 (NATO reporting name: Fencer) is a supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft developed in the Soviet Union. This variable-sweep wing, twin-engined side-by-side two-seater carried the USSR’s first integrated digital navigation/attack system.
Crew: Two (pilot and weapons system operator)
Length: 22.53 m (73 ft 11 in)
Wingspan: 17.64 m extended, 10.37 m maximum sweep (57 ft 10 in / 34 ft 0 in)
Height: 6.19 m (20 ft 4 in)
Wing area: 55.2 m² (594 ft²)
Empty weight: 22,300 kg (49,165 lb)
Loaded weight: 38,040 kg (83,865 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 43,755 kg (96,505 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Saturn/Lyulka AL-21F-3A turbojets
Dry thrust: 75 kN (16,860 lbf) each
Thrust with afterburner: 109.8 kN (24,675 lbf) each
Fuel capacity: 11,100 kg (24,470 lb)
Maximum speed: 1,315 km/h (710 kn, 815 mph, Mach 1.08) at sea level; Mach 1.35 (1,654 km/h) at high altitude
Combat radius: 615 km in a low-flying (lo-lo-lo) attack mission with 3,000 kg (6,615 lb) ordnance and external tanks ()
Ferry range: 2,775 km (1,500 nm, 1,725 mi)
Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,090 ft)
Rate of climb: 150 m/s (29,530 ft/min)
Wing loading: 651 kg/m² (133 lb/ft²)
G-force limit: 6 g
Takeoff roll: 1,550 m (5,085 ft)
Landing roll: 1,100 m (3,610 ft)
1 × onboard 23 mm GSh-6-23 cannon, 500 rounds of ammunition.
Up to 8,000 kg (17,640 lb) ordnance on 8 hardpoints, including up to 4 × Kh-23/23M radio-command missiles; up to 4 × Kh-25ML laser-guided missiles; up to 2 × Kh-28, Kh-58E or Kh-58E-01 or Kh-31P ARMS; up to 3 × Kh-29L/T laser/TV-guided short-range air-to-surface missiles; up to 2 × Kh-59 or Kh-59ME TV-command guided missiles, Kh-31A anti-ship missiles, S-25LD laser-guided missiles, KAB-500KR TV-guided and KAB-500L laser guided bombs.
Unguided rocket launchers with 240 mm S-24B rockets or 340 mm S-25-OFM rockets.
Other weapon options include general-purpose bombs AB-100, AB-250 M54 or M62 and AB-500M-54, thermobaric bombs ODAB-500M, cluster bombs RBK-250 or RBK-500, small-size cargo pods KMGU-2, external gun pods SPPU-6, external fuel tanks PTB-2,000 (1,860 l) or PTB-3,000 (3,050 l) and tactical nuclear bombs.
2 × R-60 or R-60MK air-to-air missiles are normally carried for self-defense; upgraded aircraft can carry R-73E as well.
According to the Pentagon, “The aircraft did not respond to multiple queries and warnings from Donald Cook, and the event ended without incident after approximately 90 minutes,” Warren said. “This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with international protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries.”
Two Russian aircraft were present, but only one took part in the provocative actions, Warren said. The aircraft flew from near sea level to a couple of thousand feet, he added, but never overflew the U.S. Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
“The Russian plane made a total of 12 passes,” he said.
The “wingman stayed at a considerably higher altitude”, Warren said.
The Russian Ministry of Defense refused comment in this matter and did not respond to repeated email requests for comment.
See related article: Russians go on full nuclear alert as USS Donald Cook enters Black Sea https://groundreport.com/russians-go-on-full-nuclear-alert-as-uss-donald-cook-enters-black-sea/