“VIDEO: Russian Destroyer Put U.S. Cruiser at Risk with ‘Unsafe’ Maneuver” USNI

US Naval Institute brings us a report on an encounter between a US cruisers, USS Chancellorsville and a Russian Udaloy class large anti-submarine vessel (destroyer).

Both are large surface combatants, with the Russian nearly as large as the cruiser. Both are gas turbine powered and about 30 years old.

Looking at the wakes of the ships, it appears to me the Russian did in fact change course to close the Chancellorsville and veered away only at the last moment. I do not see in the video the crash stop by Chancellorsville that was reported. Looks almost like they are ready to conduct a highline drill. Maybe the Russian would like to trade movies. 

With Coast Guard cutters operating in the South China Sea we can probably expect that they may encounter similar behavior from the Chinese and Russians.

8 thoughts on ““VIDEO: Russian Destroyer Put U.S. Cruiser at Risk with ‘Unsafe’ Maneuver” USNI

  1. According to a Reuters article, both sides are saying the other is at fault (big surprise, there!). The Russians say, “…Chancellorsville suddenly changed course and cut across the path of the destroyer Admiral Vinogradov coming within 50 meters of the ship.” Conversely, the USN says, “While operating in the Philippine Sea, a Russian Destroyer…made an unsafe manoeuvre against USS Chancellorsville.” https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/us-and-russia-blame-each-other-for-near-collision-in-east-china-sea/ar-AACxoIl?ocid=spartandhp

    Unfortunately, we don’t really see how the Chancellorsville is maneuvering (nor, as you mentioned, the crash stop). So, who gets the traffic ticket?

  2. Not enough info – sorry not ready to believe the US version completely yet – did the Chancellorsville declare that they were restricted in the ability to maneuver? Implied that there is more video somewhere – with just a couple of frames released by the US I am less inclined to completely buy their version.

    Question: Was the Russian ship crossing from right to left? If so they are stand on. If the Russian vessel was overtaking then they are give way. The small amount of info makes me think the vessels were right on the edge between he two rules. When faced with this condition being in the position of the Chancellorsville I would back off the throttle and let the other vessel pass well ahead of me. Seems to me there might be a testosterone issue here.

    If the Russian ship did change course to close on the US vessel perhaps an argument could be made that they did not give the US vessel sufficient time to adjust to the new Russian course.

    As normal one commentator that probably has never been on anything other than maybe the Staten Island Ferry breathlessly condemned the Russian vessel, as did a couple of Retired 4 star Admirals who I doubt had been at the conn in 20 years.

  3. @ Chuck

    I hadn’t thought of that. I just knew it was Rule 15 that was in question. And it was the only picture that was clear showing both vessels. If pushed I would say both were at fault. A Tico can stop in its own length I believe…….

    • They are both very maneuverable vessels with great acceleration and deceleration. If the Russian had not turned, in this case, there would have been a collision. I suspect the Russian choose to approach from the starboard beam because it supports the narrative of a crossing situation where the US ship would be burdened. US reports are that the Russian was trailing them until they started helo ops, then came parallel, then turned in toward the US ship. That is credible, if it were not true, some US sailor would spill the beans. Russians are better able to control the narrative. Still the US ship could have done a better job of documenting the incident. The video I have seen seemed more interested in getting good detail of the Russian’s equipment instead of observing the reported course change that lead to the incident. Of course they probably did not recognize there was going to be an incident until after the course change. Was there the 5 short blasts of a danger signal?

  4. Looks similar to some ramming manoeuvres used by Icelandic Coast Guard in the Cod Wars. They did swing their stern into contact with British warships at times.

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