US destroyer fires warning blasts at Russian warship in Arabian Sea

Close encounter follows 2019 near-collision in Western Pacific

Alex Woodward
New York
Friday 10 January 2020 21:09 GMT
US Navy sound horn as Russian warship 'aggressively approaches' destroyer in Arabian Sea

A Russian warship ignored warnings from a US Navy destroyer in the North Arabian Sea on Thursday as the Russian craft "aggressively approached" the vessel.

Crew aboard the USS Farragut "fired five short blasts" to signal the Russian ship's danger of collision, according to a statement from the US Navy's Fifth Fleet. Video footage onboard the Farragut shows the Russian Navy's craft steering towards the destroyer and coming within 180 feet of its rear.

The Russian vessel "initially refused" to alter its course, according to the statement, but it ultimately moved away from the Farragut after the US crew made radio contact.

"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."

The Farragut is an interception vessel within the USS Harry S Truman aircraft carrier fleet. It's tasked with preventing potential enemy vessels from approaching the carrier ship.

The incident follows another recent close encounter between the US Navy and a Russian warship.

In June, a Russian destroyer "made an unsafe manoeuvre" against the USS Chancellorsville and came within nearly 50 feet of the US ship, endangering the safety of the crew and the craft, according to a Navy statement.

Video shows that the ships were close enough to see from onboard the Chancellorsville that Russian sailors were sunbathing on the stern of their ship.

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