Russian media is reporting that the USS Donald Cook, a destroyer equipped with the powerful Aegis missile defense system, has crossed through the Bosphorus and entered the Black Sea. This comes amid concerns that the United States is assembling a battle force to attack Russia.
Intelligence sources report that the Russian Ministry of Defense has gone on nuclear alert and the air force has assembled long range “Black Jack” Tupolev Tu-160 bombers are idling on runways across Russia – fueled and ready to strike the United States in the event of war. The Tu-160 is currently the world’s largest combat aircraft, largest supersonic aircraft, and largest variable-sweep aircraft built. The Tu-160 is a variable-geometry (“swing-wing”) heavy bomber with a maximum speed of Mach 2.3. It can reach targets inside the United States in less than 12 -16 hours.
The USS Donald Cook had already aroused the anger of Moscow when it arrived in Europe earlier this year, as it carries the sophisticated Aegis weapons and radar system and will form a part of NATO’s missile defense shield in Europe.
On 12 November 2009, the Missile Defense Agency announced that Donald Cook would be upgraded during fiscal 2012 to RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) capability in order to function as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System (source: http://www.navytimes.com/news/2009/11/navy_aegisbmd_111209w/).
The provocative act comes amid rising tensions over the Russian incursion into Crimea.
Russian military officials at the Kremlin refused comment in this situation.
The Pentagon also refused comment in this matter as well.
Armament aboard the USS Cook include:
Class & type: Arleigh Burke class destroyer
Displacement: Light: approx. 6,765 tons
Full: approx. 8,900 tons
Length: 505 ft (154 m)
Beam: 66 ft (20 m)
Draft: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Propulsion: 4 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbines, two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower (75 MW)
Speed: >30 knots (56 km/h)
Range: 4,400 nautical miles at 20 knots
(8,100 km at 37 km/h)
Complement: 33 Officers
38 Chief Petty Officers
210 Enlisted Personnel
AN/SPY-1D 3D Radar
AN/SPS-67(V)2 Surface Search Radar
AN/SPS-73(V)12 Surface Search Radar
AN/SQS-53C Sonar Array
AN/SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array Sonar
AN/SQQ-28 LAMPS III Shipboard System
AN/SLQ-32(V)2 Electronic Warfare System
AN/SLQ-25 Nixie Torpedo Countermeasures
MK 36 MOD 12 Decoy Launching System
AN/SLQ-39 CHAFF Buoys
1 × 29 cell, 1 × 61 cell Mk 41vertical launch systems with 90 ×RIM-156 SM-2, BGM-109 Tomahawk or RUM-139 VL-Asrocmissiles
1 × Mark 45 5/54 in (127/54 mm)
2 × 25 mm chain gun
4 × .50 caliber (12.7 mm) guns
2 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
2 × Mk 32 triple torpedo tubes
Aircraft carried: 1 × SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter can be embarked
Motto: Faith Without Fear