The first, on April 11, involved two Russian SU24s, when the USS Donald Cook left the Polish port of Gdynia and was about 70 nautical miles from Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea. The official said the Russian jets made 20 passes of the American ship and flew within 1,000 yards at an altitude of just 100 feet.
In the second incident on April 12, two Russian KA27 Helix helicopters flew several circles around the Donald Cook, apparently taking photos, after which two jets again made numerous close passes of the ship in what the official described as “Simulated Attack Profile.”
This should be considered a very bold and provocative move, as the Russians are showing their military strength in the area. It could be considered a “simulated attack profile,” which would violate the 1973 treaty between the U.S. and Russia prohibiting those types of maneuvers. The crew of the USS Donald Cook didn’t directly respond to the aircraft, as they did not see any armament on the wings. The pilots of the Russian aircraft should be grateful that the commander and sailors reacted the way they did, otherwise they could have quickly found themselves at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Russia seems to be testing the waters to see just how much they can get away with before we respond, either diplomatically or militarily. According to CNN, this is not the first time these types of interactions have occurred: