In a move to boost NATO’s fleet in the Black Sea, the USS Donald Cook arrived in the area on Friday, bringing again quick denunciations from Moscow. This is the second time the US warship has entered the Black Sea since the start of the Ukraine crisis which began in spring 2014, in a show of NATO’s support for its regional allies bordering Ukraine.
“Donald Cook’s presence in the Black Sea is meant to reassure and at the same time demonstrate our commitment to work closely with NATO allies in order to enhance maritime security,” Cmdr. Charles Hampton, the ship’s commanding officer, said in a statement quoted by Russia Today.
Moscow is being forced to come up with countermeasures in response to NATO’s increased presence in the Black Sea, Russia’s envoy to the alliance said following an announcement on the arrival of an US warship in the area.“Unfortunately, the Black Sea is becoming a place where non-regional powers have a permanent presence. What they are doing there is unclear,” Aleksandr Grushko said. “Of course, we will take the necessary countermeasures,” he continued.
Grushko also criticized the North Atlantic Alliance for stationing high alert forces near Russia’s borders by holding frequent military drills with counties including Poland and the Baltic states.
Russia’s new military doctrine, adopted on December 26, stresses that the country’s army remains a defensive tool, but lists NATO’s military buildup and the United States’ Prompt Global Strike concept as main security threats.“The new doctrine was approved on Friday by President Vladimir Putin. Its core remains unchanged from the previous version. The Russian military remains a defensive tool which the country pledges to use only as a last resort,” RT.com also informs.
U.S.-Russian naval incident in the Black Sea in April
“On 10 April 2014, the USS Donald Cook entered the waters of the Black Sea and on 12 April a Russian Su-24 tactical bomber flew over the vessel triggering an incident that, according to several media reports, completely demoralized its crew, so much so that the Pentagon issued a protest,” reads an article published by voltairenet.org.
The USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) is a 4th generation guided missile destroyer whose key weapons are Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of up to 2,500 kilometers, and capable of carrying nuclear explosives. This ship carries 56 Tomahawk missiles in standard mode, and 96 missiles in attack mode.
The US destroyer is equipped with the most recent Aegis Combat System. It is an integrated naval weapons systems which can link together the missile defense systems of all vessels embedded within the same network, so as to ensure the detection, tracking and destruction of hundreds of targets at the same time. In addition, the USS Donald Cook is equipped with 4 large radars, whose power is comparable to that of several stations. For protection, it carries more than fifty anti-aircraft missiles of various types.
Describing the incident, voltairenet.org reports that “the Russian Su-24 that buzzed the USS Donald Cook carried neither bombs nor missiles but only a basket mounted under the fuselage, which, according to the Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta [ contained a Russian electronic warfare device called Khibiny”.
“As the Russian jet approached the US vessel, the electronic device disabled all radars, control circuits, systems, information transmission, etc. on board the US destroyer. In other words, the all-powerful Aegis system, now hooked up – or about to be – with the defense systems installed on NATO’s most modern ships was shut down, as turning off the TV set with the remote control.The Russian Su-24 then simulated a missile attack against the USS Donald Cook, which was left literally deaf and blind. As if carrying out a training exercise, the Russian aircraft – unarmed – repeated the same maneuver 12 times before flying away,” voltairenet.org also writes in its article “What frightened the USS Donald Cook so much in the Black Sea?”
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