Russian and U.S. Navy Warships Nearly Collide In East China Sea

A Russian Navy Udaloy I class ASW destroyer Admiral Vinogradov (572) and a U.S. Navy Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) nearly collided during maneuvers in the East China Sea, according to reports.

The incident happened at approximately 11:45 am on June 7 with each side blaming the other for the incident.

According to the U.S. Navy, the Russian destroyer made an unsafe maneuver against the guided-missile cruiser closing to approximately 50-100 feet putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk while operating in the Philippine Sea.

“While USS Chancellorsville was recovering its helicopter on a steady course and speed when the Russian ship DD572 maneuvered from behind and to the right of Chancellorsville accelerated and closed to an unsafe distance of approximately 50-100 feet. This unsafe action forced USS Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision”, said a statement from the U.S. 7th Fleet.

“We consider Russia’s actions during this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional and not in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), “Rules of the Road,” and internationally recognized maritime customs”, the statement added.

A statement from the Russian Pacific Fleet blamed the U.S. Navy for the incident saying that the U.S. warship hindered the passage of Admiral Vinogradov some 50 meters in front of it, forcing the vessel to perform a dangerous maneuver.

“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 maneuver,” the statement said.

According to Russia, the incident occurred at 6.35 a.m. Moscow Time in the southeastern part of the East China Sea, when a task force of the Russian Pacific Fleet and a U.S. carrier strike group were sailing in parallel directions.

Commander Clayton Doss, a spokesman of the U.S. 7th Fleet, dismissed the Russian allegation as “propaganda”.

Admiral Vinogradov (572)
GULF OF ADEN (Feb. 9, 2009) The Russian Udaloy I class ASW destroyer, Admiral Vinogradov (DDG 572) underway in the Gulf of Aden.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky/Released)
USS Chancellorsville (CG-62)
PHILLIPINE SEA (June 15, 2018) The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) underway during Exercise Malabar 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anna Van Nuys/Released)

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