Why Su-24 zoomed over "Donald Cook" — «Russian Spring» investigation (FOTOS, VIDEO, INFOGRAPHICS)

Why Su-24 zoomed over "Donald Cook" — «Russian Spring» investigation (FOTOS, VIDEO, INFOGRAPHICS) | Русская весна

Engineering specifications, little-known facts and the true reasons of pained Washington’s reaction to “very dangerous approach” to US Navy destroyer — in Russian Spring’s own investigation.

April 13 Pentagon’s representatives blaimed Russian pilots for air attack simulation over US Navy destroyer “Donald Cook” in Baltic Sea. They published photos and video showing Su-24 belonging to Russian Air Force low-altitude zooming over the American war-ship.

One of the highest Pentagon’s officers Steve Warren called Russian pilots’ actions «provocative and unprofessional».White House has also commented on the incident having called it «inappropriate for the military».

U.S. Department of State’s reaction has also followed. «Secretary of State The Secretary was alarmed at looking at the – at seeing the imagery and the reports of these overflights, these passes on the USS Donald Cook. And he found it unprofessional, needlessly provocative and, indeed, dangerous», — State Dept’s officiaal spokesman John Kirby told at the press briefing on April 14.  

The next day, April 15, Secretary of State John Kerry told journalists that Pentagon could give a command to down Russian Su-24 jets.

«We condemn such behaviour…  It’s reckless. It’s provocative. And it is dangerous. According to rules of engagement (the Russian jets) could have been downed», — Kerry told.

However despite all the talking about Russian planes’ «provocative maneouvres» Kerry did not bother to explain why the American military refused to use force having all the the grounds to open fire.

This was explained by retired Navy commanding officer Capt. Rick Hoffman in the interview to «Navy Times». «You don’t get to kill people just because they’re being annoying," said Hoffman, who commanded frigate DeWert and cruiser Hue City. ​

«Well, we’re not at war with Russia," Capt. Rick Hoffman said. «It would be one thing to be operating and have a threatening attack profile from someone who might not recognize me — that’s not the case here». 

If you have visual identification of the jet, can see it isn't carrying weapons, and don't detect any electronic emissions suggesting there was a missile lock on the ship, there's nothing to be done.

And ultimately, the rules of engagement allow the CO to take defensive action if they feel they safety of their vessel is in danger, according to U.S. European Command spokesman Capt. Danny Hernandez told Navy Times. In this case the CO did not feel threatened, he added.

According to the American military’s comments Russian Su-24 approached “dangerously close” to :Donald Cook” several times over the period between April 10 and 12.

The Americans were bund to acknowledge that Russian jets had neither bombing equipment nor missile weapon. Still “Donald Cook” CO Charles Hampton said that Russian planes “had simulated attack”.

«Our vessel designed to find and trace such contacts and such planes from the distance of several hundreds miles. Ths complies with our training and our scenarios which we constantly practice. We have been tracking the lanes over the long period of time. We were watchung them from the distance of 100 n.m. US Navy will carry on working with pertners and allies in the sea, we will not yield the space», — told the CO.

“Donald Cook” CO Charles Hampton

Besides according to Pentagon’s information the destroyer was also approached by Russian war helicopter Ka-27 on April 11. Accordng to the Americans this was done to perform photographic surveying of the vessel.

Russia’s position

Russia’s Ministry of Defence in its turn did not agree with the American assessment of Russian pilots actions and expressed puzzlement with Washington’s pained reation to routine incident.

Official representative of Russian Defence Ministry, Major General Igor Konashenkov put on the record that «Russian pilots made security-wise breakaway manoeuvre after detection the vssel in seeing coverage zone».

According to him «April 13 Su-24 air crews were on scheduled training missions over neutral water of Baltic Sea.

Russian jets’ air route crossed the area where US Navy „Donald Cook“ destroyer was which was approx. 70 km from Russian Navy base».

Konashenkov aslo remarked that Russian miliary command did not understand «such overt and pained reaction of our Ameican counterparts» and that «being so close from Russian Baltic Navy base US destroyer’s freedom of sea principle did not cancel Russian planes’ freedom of the air».

According to him «all the flights of the Russian Air Force are carried out in strict adherence to international rules of air space use above neutral waters».

The Federation Council International Committee member Igor Morozov commented on the Russian pilots’ actions and American side’s reation said that if the USA really downed Russian Su-24 a harsh reaction would folow immediately.

He answered in particular John Kerry’s words on weapon employment: «They (the Americans) should be aware that “Donald Cook: approached our borders and it might not leave the area as well ».

The Russian politician assumed that USA political and military command still cannot understand that Washington’s internatonal domination era was over long time ago. He added that in multipolar world one should be able to compromise. He also reminded of interaction between the USA and Russia in the Syrian tipic as an example of good negotiation skills.

Senator’s opinion was confirmed by Vladimir Komoyedov, head of State Duma committee on defence who commented on “Donald Cook” situation and was quite sure that the Russian hets had no weapon aboard so they could not simulate an attack.

According to MR’s opinion the pilots did not breach any international rules because «Russian jets beard neither bombs nor rockets on the mount. And the numerous videos published by the American marines show jets performing no aerobatic operations over U.S. destroyer».

He mentioned that «scheduled training flights over neutral waters of Baltic Sea had been carried out in close vicinity to Russian navy base and Russian Air Force depolyment sites».

«I cannot understand what were the Americans doing there», – underlined the senator.

READ ALSO: Boy, that was close! The Americans are told why exactly Russian Su-24 jets zoomed so close over US 'Donald Cook' (VIDEO)

Vladimir Komoyedov has also pointed out the fact that «international treaties on prevention of incidents on and over the high seas did not stipulate parameters of close appoach between plane and ship» and reminded that «attacks simulations by means of weapon imployments, aerobatic operations and dropping various dangerous objects is prohibited under the treaty between the USSR government and the USA on prevention of incidents on and over the high seas dated 1972».

Su-24 capabilities 

Colonel Anatoliy Kvochur, Honoured USSR research pilot, Hero of Russia told journaists that the manoeuvre performed by the Russian pilots i.e. low pass was sually used to concealed fly-to».

«With good speed and it was approx. 900 km per hour it’s nirmally hard to detect such plane — at a low altitude it is a dot turning into quite a large booming object».

Su-24 bomber jet is «a strike aircraft with a variable-swept wing designated for bombardment by aircraft and missiles under good and complicated weather conditions, day and night, including low latitude operations with aiming gound and surface targets damaging».

Variable-swept wing is a type of «aircraft construction with fixed wing allowing to alter wing geometry in flight. At greater flight speeds high sweep is more efective, low speeds (take-off, landing) low sweep proves right».

Colonel Kovchur points out: «for they (Su-24) were flying with unswept wing  – a position for cruising flight and landing – it’s obvious that the speed wasn’t high.

If the wing was fully swept then it’d be possible to fly over at a speed of 1300–1400 km per hour which would lead to serious slam because hypersonic speed entails the so called shock wave.

This wae could lead to destruction of some under-reinforced constructions i.e. aerials or small buildingson the ground».

That’s why the expert is sure that the pilots have received strict instruction not to sweep the wings in order no to break allowable norm and no to provoke conflict.

According to him «if those pilots performed such manoeuvre on their own initiative out of patriotism it is up to their commander but I would commend them for professionalism».

“Russian Spring” expert group

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