The United States Navy has released video footages of what it claims is "an unsafe manoeuvre" by a Russian anti-submarine destroyer, which came within 50 metres of its guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville near the South China Sea on Friday. The footage shows the Russian Pacific Fleet's anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Nikolai Ignatevich Vinogradov almost colliding with USS Chancellorsville, in yet another incident of interception by the two militaries.
According to the US Navy the USS Chancellorsville was operating in the Philippine Sea when "at approximately 11:45 am on June 7 (9:05 am Friday, in India) the Russian destroyer (Udaloy I DD 572) made an unsafe manoeuvre against USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), closing to 50-100 feet putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk".
The Americans claimed that "USS Chancellorsville was recovering its helicopter on a steady course and speed when the Russian ship DD572 manoeuvred from behind and to the right of Chancellorsville accelerated and closed to an unsafe distance of 50-100 feet". "This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to manoeuvre to avoid collision," the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. USS Chancellorsville is a guided-missile cruiser of US Carrier Strike Group 5 under the 7th Fleet.
However, the Russian Pacific Fleet accused the US warship of performing a dangerous manoeuvre and obstructing the passage of its anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Nikolai Ignatevich Vinogradov in southeastern East China Sea. The incident comes just three days after the US alleged that a Russian Sukhoi Su-35C fighter intercepted its P-8A Poseidon aircraft in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea.
The face-off between the Russian and American warships took place at 6:35 am Friday Moscow time (9:05 am Friday, in India). According to the Russian Pacific Fleet, the US guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville of the US Carrier Strike Group 5 under the 7th Fleet came 50 metres in front of Admiral Nikolai Ignatevich Vinogradov in South China Sea, forcing its warship to perform a dangerous manoeuvre to avoid a collision. Both the Russian warship and US Carrier Strike Group 5 were reportedly heading in parallel directions when the incident took place.
"The US cruiser Chancellorsville suddenly changed its course and crossed the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer’s course some 50 meters away from the ship. In order to prevent a collision, the Admiral Vinogradov’s crew was forced to conduct an emergency manoeuvre," the Russian Pacific Fleet press service said. It added that the Russian fleet protested to the US vessel’s command, pointing out that manoeuvres were not acceptable.