Russian warplanes carry out ‘aggressive’ maneuvers near U.S. Navy ship

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Multiple Russian warplanes have carried out a series of “aggressive” flight maneuvers in the Baltic Sea in close proximity of the U.S. Navy ship the USS Donald Cook, according to footage released by the U.S. military on Wednesday.

The first incident happened at around 3 p.m. local time on Monday when two planes, identified as Russian Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft – which are commonly used as a warplane – made ”numerous, close-range and low altitude passes” near the USS Donald Cook, according to U.S. European Command.

The following day, a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter flew around the destroyer several times at a low altitude before two more Russian Su-24’s arrived and carried out additional close-range, low altitude passes – 11 in total.

The officers onboard the ship radioed the planes involved several times in both English and Russian, but the aircraft failed to respond, the U.S. military said, which described the maneuvers as a “simulated attack profile.”

In a news release, U.S. European Command said: “We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers. These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries, and could result in a miscalculation or accident that could cause serious injury or death.”

There was no immediate comment from the Russian government, but European Command released photos and videos that showed some of the maneuvers. The U.S. military added that it would use existing diplomatic channels with Russia to address this week’s incidents.

Several similar incidents have taken place over the past few years. The most recent incident happened in October 2015 when two Russian warplanes flew near the USS Ronald Reagan as it sailed in international waters east of the Korean peninsula.

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