A Russian Destroyer And A US Warship Almost Collided – But The Russian Sailors Just Chilling & Sunbathing

Pin It

Jun 09 2019
Linked In

A warship from a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group and a Russian destroyer nearly collided in the Philippine Sea on Friday (June 7). The USS Chancellorsville, a Ticonderoga-class cruiser, and the Russian Udaloy-class destroyer Admiral Vinogradov (DD572) came within 50 to 100 feet with each other – triggering both countries accusing one another of dangerous and unprofessional behaviour.


The U.S. 7th Fleet accused the Russian anti-submarine destroyer of performing “unsafe and unprofessional” manoeuvres from behind and to the right of USS Chancellorsville, accelerated and closed to an unsafe distance. The U.S. Navy complained – “This unsafe action forced USS Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision.”


USS Chancellorsville, currently assigned to Carrier Strike Group Five of which its flagship is the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan based in Yokosuka, Japan, is a guided-missile cruiser with anti-air, anti-surface and anti-subsurface capabilities. The ship also carries two Seahawk Light airborne multi-purpose system (LAMPS) helicopters to engage submarine warfare.

USS Chancellorsville - Guided-Missile Cruiser

Admiral Vinogradov - Udaloy-class Destroyer

Russia’s military, however, provided a different version of the story. The Russian Pacific Fleet claimed – “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.”


Admiral Vinogradov, a large anti-submarine guided missile destroyer hatched out of Project 1155, is part of the Russian Pacific Fleet. Designed to fight nuclear submarines in the ocean zone, the Udaloy-class destroyers provide safety to ensure the operation of Russian submarines and protect surface warships. A Udaloy-class destroyer can be upgraded to fire the fearsome Kalibr cruise missiles.


The videos of the close encounter have since emerged showing the near collision incident between both military superpowers. However, as both countries point finger at each other, the attention has shifted to not how close the warship and destroyer almost start a new world war, but the unbelievable sight of some Russian sailors chilling and sunbathing – shirtless – on the helicopter pad.

Admiral Vinogradov - Udaloy-class Destroyer - Sailors Chilling and Sunbathing

Near Collision - Admiral Vinogradov and USS Chancellorsville

The U.S. Navy might not be impressed with the Russian Navy’s explanation of the so-called “unsafe and unprofessional” manoeuvres, but they certainly cannot explain the peculiar behaviour of the Russian service members during a period when both vessels were about to crash into each other. And they certainly have no plan to make it a big issue.


Judging by the complaints lodged by the U.S. 7th Fleet, it appeared there was intense panic on the USS Chancellorsville. But it was the opposite on the helicopter deck of the Russian Admiral Vinogradov destroyer. The Russians’ stunt showed either they were unaware of what was going on, or they were a bunch of cool guys who believed greatly in the navigation skills of their captain.


Perhaps there were some truths to a statement from the Russia’s Pacific Fleet that blamed the Americans for poor seamanship. On June 2017, the USS Fitzgerald, a US$1.8 billion Arleigh Burke-class destroyer belonging to the 7th Fleet, collided with a giant cargo ship off the coast of Japan. Seven sailors drowned in their sleeping quarters. It was the deadliest naval disaster in four decades.




Barely two months later, another modern Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, USS John S. McCain, turned directly in front of a 30,000-ton  Liberian-flagged oil tanker – “Alnic MC” – off the coast of Singapore. Ten more sailors died. Later in November, a Japanese tugboat lost power and drifted into the USS Benfold off Sagami Bay, Japan, causing minor damage to the guided-missile destroyer.


Earlier, in late January of the same year, the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam ran aground while trying to anchor in Tokyo Bay, damaging its propellers and spilled hydraulic oil into the sea. Then in May 2017, a South Korean fishing boat struck the USS Lake Champlain, while the U.S. warship was conducting operations near the Korean Peninsula.


The U.S. Navy, extremely embarrassed, scrambled to explain to Congress and America’s allies how such seemingly inexplicable disasters could have happened. It quickly prosecuted members of ship crews it declared all but incompetent and stripped senior officers of their commands. As it turned out, not only the fleet was short of sailors, they were poorly trained.

USS Decatur and Chinese Destroyer - Almost Collided

But this is not the first time a U.S. warship nearly collided with a foreign destroyer. Last October, USS Decatur (DDG-73), a guided-missile destroyer, was conducting its usual “freedom of navigation” operation in the South China Sea when it sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands.


Provoked, China sent its Type 052C Luoyang II-class guided-missile destroyer Lanzhou (170), part of the Chinese navy’s South Sea Fleet, to chase the Arleigh Burke-class USS Decatur. The Chinese challenge was described by the U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman as “an unsafe and unprofessional manoeuvre.”


Gorman said the Chinese destroyer came closer than half a football field from the Decatur’s bow, forcing the U.S. ship to manoeuvre out of the way to avoid a collision. However, Beijing, who has been condemning the U.S. operations in the South China Sea, argued that the U.S. “repeatedly sends military ships without permission close to South China Seas islands, seriously threatening China’s sovereignty and security.

U.S. Navy Sailors and American Flag


Other Articles That May Interest You …

Pin It

FinanceTwitter SignOff
If you enjoyed this post, what shall you do next? Consider:

Like FinanceTwitter Tweet FinanceTwitter Subscribe Newsletter   Leave Comment Share With Others


Add your comment now.

Leave a Reply


(required)(will not be published)