Checkpoint Asia

US and Russian Navies Blame Each Other for a Near Miss in South China Sea

Both say the other nearly caused a US cruiser and a Russian destroyer to collide

Both claim the other started a game of chicken and they were the ones to magnanimously back down

Russians claim the US cruiser forced the Russian destroyer to change course to avoid collision. The Americans claim it was the other way around, an “unsafe maneuver” by the Russians forced the US ship to “reverse full and steer away to avoid a collision”:

The U.S. Navy says a Russian destroyer almost collided with one of its guided missile-armed cruisers in the Philippine Sea and denounced the incident as “unsafe and unprofessional.”

“While operating in the Philippine Sea, a Russian Destroyer Udaloy I DD 572 made an unsafe maneuver against USS Chancellorsville,” U.S. Seventh Fleet spokesman Commander Clayton Doss said on June 7.

Earlier on June 7, the press service of Russia’s Pacific Fleet had said that the USS Chancellorsville “unexpectedly changed course and crossed the route of Russia’s anti-submarine Admiral Vinogradov vessel 50 meters afar” in a “dangerous maneuver.”

Doss described the Russian assertion as “propaganda.” The Russian destroyer came to within 15 to 30 meters of the Chancellorsville, he said.

A Ticonderoga-class cruiser comes in at 10,000 tons, a Russian Udaloy-class destroyer at 8,000 tons.

The Russian ship had visited the Philippines in April — previously an exlusive port call of the Americans.