The U.S. Navy says a Russian destroyer came as close as 50 feet from a U.S. guided missile cruiser in the Philippine Sea, releasing dramatic footage that showed the two massive ships nearly colliding.
The USS Chancellorsville nearly struck the Udaloy I DD 572 after the Russian ship made an “unsafe maneuver,” the Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a statement. The U.S. ship had to take extreme measures to avoid a crash.
“This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision,” the Navy said.
“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 maneuver against USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), closing to ~50-100 feet putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk,” the Fleet said.
“While Chancellorsville was recovering its helicopter on a steady course and speed when the Russian ship DD572 maneuvered 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 maneuver 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 7th Fleet said.
The Fleet posted two videos of the encounter.
The near collision occurred less than a week after the U.S. Navy accused a Russian fighter jet of coming too close to a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the Mediterranean Sea three times. The U.S. P-8A Poseidon aircraft was flying in international airspace when the Russian jet buzzed it, Navy officials said.
The incidents came as the U.S. Navy prepares to hold a series of war games in the Baltic Sea with other NATO nations.