Black Sea attack runs by Russia are clear military aggression

World Review March 12, 2015.

USS Donald Cook’s combat systems suite was reportedly ‘shut down’ by the Russian aircraft. The Russian Su-24 aircraft was carrying an electronic warfare pod.

I believe the Russians accomplished this ‘shut down’, by mass-dumping false aerial track data to the ship’s AEGIS combat system, which then choked on that data due to the COTS components I spoke of in my post; Lunkhead Moron Craporation.

SIMULATED attack runs by Russian warplanes against Nato warships in the Black Sea are not simply training, or even ‘Cold War style’ posturing, writes Kevin Brent, a freelance writer on geopolitics and military events.

Strike aircraft belonging to the Crimea-based Russian Black Sea fleet have been making mock attack runs on Nato vessels, which are operating there in response to Russia’s military incursion in eastern Ukraine.

While such incidents have gone on for over a year – and have largely gone unreported by western news agencies and without mention by State Department or Pentagon officials – there is growing disquiet about them.

The most recent incident on March 3, 2015, was reported by Russia’s Sputnik News, which described three Russian Su-30 multi-role fighters and four Su-24 fighter bombers practicing attack scenarios over the American USS Vicksburg and Turkey’s frigate Turgut Reis.

However, a more serious event took place on April 10, 2014, when a Russian Su-24 Fencer made 12 passes within 1,000 yards of the American destroyer USS Donald Cook at less than 500 feet altitude.

At the time, Army Colonel Steve Warren, the Pentagon spokesman, described the 90 minute incident as ‘provocative’ and said Russia had been involved in ‘unprofessional behavior’.

What news reports have been available also describe such incidents as ‘routine’ or ‘throwbacks’ to the Cold War era which have been generated solely by the crisis in Ukraine.

However, when one sees Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers undertaking aerial incursions against Nato, Sweden, Finland, the United States and US Pacific Territories, as well as flyovers of US Navy carrier battle groups, these cannot be viewed as isolated episodes due to the Ukraine crisis.

There is a clear pattern of military provocation – outright ‘sabre rattling’ the likes of which have not been seen on such a sustained basis since 1945.

It was common practice for Soviet aircraft and ships to shadow western naval vessels during the Cold War, while Soviet warships would occasionally make random course changes towards, or across the paths of Nato ships to ‘rattle the cage’ of those ships’ captains and crew.

Soviet Tu-95’s also flew regularly over US and British aircraft carriers at low altitude.

But, the reaction to today’s attack runs would have been very different during the Cold War – they would certainly have generated international incidents.

In particular, the electronic warfare applied successfully against USS Donald Cook would have triggered a National Security Team meeting at the White House.

The Soviets only engaged in such conduct during face-to-face military stand-offs with the West, an example of which was when Soviet fighters made attack runs on allied cargo aircraft during the 1948 Berlin Airlift but turned away at the last second without opening fire.

The crisis in Ukraine, though deadly serious, is not yet a military stand-off between Russia and the West, although one could argue that the Kremlin may be trying to generate one.

What is certain, however, is that Russian naval aviators are honing and refining attack skills and procedures just short of actually releasing bombs or missiles.

But sooner or later, one of these ‘attack runs’ may not be merely for practice.

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