Video: Russian Spy Ship Maneuvers "Aggressively" Near U.S. Destroyer


Published Jan 10, 2020 6:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Thursday, the destroyer USS Farragut was "aggressively" approached by a Russian Navy spy ship in the Arabian Sea, U.S. Fifth Fleet reported Friday.

In a video posted by Fifth Fleet on social media, the Russian vessel - identified by defense media as the spy ship Ivan Khurs - approached Farragut's starboard quarter, then crossed close behind her stern.

In a separate video, the Khurs is seen sailing in parallel off Farragut's starboard side, at close range. Farragut sounded five short blasts, the COLREGS warning signal, and she requested the Khurs to alter course. The Russian ship initially refused, 5th Fleet said, but ultimately altered course, and the two ships opened distance from one another.

"While the Russian ship took action, the initial delay in complying with international rules while it was making an aggressive approach increased the risk of collision," U.S. Fifth Fleet said in a statement. "The U.S. Navy continues to remain vigilant and is trained to act in a professional manner. We continue to encourage vessels from all nations to operate in accordance with internationally recognized maritime laws, standards and norms."

The close-quarters interaction is the second between a U.S. Navy and a Russian Navy ship over the past year. In June 2019, the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov "maneuvered from behind and to the right [sic]" of the cruiser USS Chancellorsville, then added speed and approached to within 50-100 feet of Chancellorsville's starboard side. USS Chancellorsville had to put all engines back full and maneuver in order to avoid collision. In a statement, U.S. 7th Fleet condemned the Admiral Vinogradov's maneuver as "unsafe" and "unprofessional." For its part, Russia's military accused USS Chancellorsville of causing the close-quarters interaction.