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A Russian warship “aggressively approached” one U.S. Navy destroyer on Friday, despite U.S. warnings of a possible collision.
The incident, first reported by CNN, is one in a trend of close encounters between U.S. and Russian forces in which Russia has previously demonstrated unsafe and provocative maneuvering around its U.S. counterparts. The incident occured in the North Arabian sea, amid U.S. tensions with Iran.
Video shows the Russian vessel pulling up alongside the Farragut and eventually evening out to a parallel course with the ship.
“On Thursday, Jan. 9, while conducting routine operations in the North Arabian Sea, USS Farragut was aggressively approached by a Russian Navy ship,” the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet said in a statement to CNN.
“Farragut sounded five short blasts, the international maritime signal for danger of a collision, and requested the Russian ship alter course in accordance with international rules of the road,” the statement continued. “The Russian ship initially refused but ultimately altered course. 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.”
Two defense officials told CNN the Russian ship got within 180 feet of the Farragut in spite of bridge to bridge communication between the ships.
The USS Farragut is part of the U.S. Fifth Fleet which oversees operations in the Middle East. The Farragut is part of USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier group and one of its responsibilities includes intercepting potential enemy ships approaching the carrier.
In a previous incident in June of last year, US and Russian warships came so close to colliding that the US Navy had to take an emergency evasive maneuver. In a statement in the days following that incident, a Russian admiral said the Russian sailors were busy sunbathing when the ships nearly collided.
A U.S. Navy statement on the incident noted the Russian ship had steered in behind its own ship and sped up as the U.S. ship was on a steady course and attempting to land a helicopter.
More recently, a Russian spy ship was reported making unsafe maneuvers while close to a U.S Navy submarine base. The ships activities prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to warn ships in the area of the ships erratic movements and failure to keep safety lights on in low visibility conditions.