Royal Navy warship swarmed by force of Russian jets in Black Sea raid The action took place earlier this year as HMS Duncan sailed 30 miles off the coast of Crimea – the closest any British Royal Navy warship has come since Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014.
The worrying display of airborne aggression, captured on camera by a Channel 5 documentary crew embarked on Duncan, has been branded ‘unprecedented’ by naval top brass At points, the warplanes hurtled just a few hundred feet away from the £1bn destroyer, while brazenly ignoring repeated warnings from the ship.
The Russian pilots were flying so dangerously close to Duncan’s high-powered radar system that their jets’ electronics could have been scrambled, causing the planes to crash – and potentially sparking a major international incident
HMS Duncan, a $1.7 billion Type 45 Destroyer, was leading a NATO fleet through the Black Sea when a mix of Russian fighter jets and fighter-bombers repeatedly swarmed the vessel at incredible speeds. The Russian fighters flew so close ( less than 200 meters away ) to the destroyer it was feared the ship’s high-powered radar could have malfunctioned the jets’ computer systems and caused a fatal crash.
The footage shows the jets circling the ship before returning to Russian airspace with one of the pilots sending a message to Duncan’s crew, saying: “Good luck, guys.”
The documentary shows one of Duncan’s sailors saying they felt the message could have been a warning to the ship while another said: “They had 17 aircraft, we have 48 missiles – I think we’re going to win that one.”
Video of the dramatic moment in May earlier this year is being aired as part of the Channel 5 documentary following the operations of the Type 45 destroyer in the volatile region.