In the past couple weeks we have seen an escalation of provocation by Russia’s military. First there was the insane flyby of a United States military ship by 24 Russian fighter jets. Then there was a Russian SU-27 fighter aggressively and dangerously barrel-rolling within 50-feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane. Then there were reports that Russian submarine patrols had risen by almost 50 percent over the past year. Well, the Ruskies are not showing any signs of discontinuing their aggressive military maneuvers.
On Friday, the Department of Defense said ANOTHER Russian SU-27 did ANOTHER barrel roll above a U.S. Air Force RC-135 plane on a reconnaissance mission in international airspace above the Baltic Sea. “The Russian SU-27 approached alongside within 25 feet of the U.S. aircraft and then flew inverted over the top of the plane to the other side,” Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza, a U.S. Army spokesperson, said in a statement. “The SU-27 intercepted the U.S. aircraft flying a routine route at high rate of speed from the side then proceeded to perform an aggressive maneuver that posed a threat to the safety of the U.S. aircrew in the RC-135.”
Also on Friday a Russian nuclear submarine launched a cruise missile to destroy a coastal training target. The nearly 400-foot-long Severodvinsk submarine was conducting Arctic combat drills in the Barents Sea. The sub fired a Kalibr missile from underwater that caused a trail of smoke that billowed as the weapon sped into the air, and a camera just so happened to be there to film this launch and then post it to the internet. The Russian military said the cruise missile struck its target “with high accuracy.” The strike was part of broader navy combat drills in the area. “A strike group of the flotilla has conducted firing drills using naval practice targets and hit them successfully,” the Russian military said in a statement.
The supersonic 3M-54 Kalibr missile has a range of over 1,200 miles and is capable of carrying both a conventional or nuclear warhead.
Earlier this month Admiral Mark Ferguson, the U.S. naval commander in Europe, said Russian submarine activity was at levels not seen since the Cold War and that the country’s new vessels are “much more stealthy.”