Ram me, America

Ram me, America

Incidents on the sea and in air between Russia and NATO – whether are dangerous they?

The last one and a half years of mass media repeatedly pointed to the increased activity of the Russian fighting aircraft and fleet in the Baltic Sea and other regions. Whether it is necessary to worry because of headings of newspapers, to a portal of Delfi the captain of the first rank helped to understand resignation of the Navy of the USSR/the Russian Federation Pavel Georgiyevich Vishnyakov. The person, with whose participation in due time the Soviet seamen «forced to be fidgety» an aircraft carrier of the USA "America".

Messages on growth of military activity of Russia arrived last year. In 2014 of Naval Forces of Finland carried out for 70 % more operations on an identification of another’s objects, than year before. On Sunday, September 6, National armed forces of Latvia reported about 80 cases of approach of the Russian fighting ships to border of territorial waters of the country. Estonia complains the second year in a row about the become frequent cases of violation of air space by the Russian planes.

Last year fixed eight such cases, in they be two. As a rule, the Russian planes were in air space of Estonia less than a minute, lieutenant Kristel Maasikmets explained press secretary Sil of defense.

Often incidents with participation of the Russian military caused rough reaction of the press. For example, in Independence Day of the USA, on July 4, the American fighters took off for support come nearer to the coast of California approximately on 60 kilometers of the strategic Tu-95 bombers. In the message of one of the Russian pilots on emergency frequency «Good morning, the American pilots, we here to congratulate you on Independence Day» some noticed veiled threat. Others referred to specific army humour.

However, the Russian side also declared «uninvited guests». In August of last year the Northern fleet of the Russian Federation reported about "exclusion" from frontier waters of an expected foreign submarine, probably, American. The USA did not comment on a case. However the former commander-in-chief of the incorporated forces of NATO admiral James Stavridis in interview of Delfi hastened to calm that «with tension strengthening between Russia and NATO both parties are inclined to declare and prove in every respect».

Now Estonia fixedly traces the events near country borders, and for «structures of safety of Estonia and Forces of defense there is an adequate picture of the events around», lieutenant Maasikmets assured. Threats for safety in activity of the Russian aircraft in army do not see.

«Flights of planes of armed forces of the Russian Federation over Baltic for safety do not represent threat. However flights with the switched-off transponder, without providing the plan of flights and without communication with civil dispatchers are extremely dangerous to civil aviation», – the commander of the Air Force of Estonia colonel Yaak Tariyen specified. Within this year some civil boards had to change a course as flying «in dark» the Russian planes flew up to liners closer, than it is provided by requirements to safety, he added.

However whether it is possible to speak about growth of intensity which conducts the world to conditions and incidents, characteristic for an era of cold war? The captain of the first rank of the Navy of the USSR/the Russian Federation Pavel Georgiyevich Vishnyakov helped to understand this question Delfi. For years of the service with 1977 on 1998 it repeatedly «went for a corner» and not by hearsay knows about relationship of seamen of the different countries.

«The Russian boat in the Swedish shkher was not»

– If to trace mass media, there can be a feeling of a sharpening of intensity and increase in number of incidents at the sea with the assistance of the fighting ships. Whether you share opinion on a situation aggravation on the sea?

– I do not divide. I consider that to that level of opposition which existed, to us is still very far. Even from the point of view of any situations which would complicate objective performance.

All have tasks. From aircraft carriers planes fly up. The anti-submarine ship carries out search in the appointed area. The scout – reconnoiters. And so on. Before one of the purposes of fighting activity the difficulty of performance of a task to the probable opponent was. Incidents which were connected with it, occurred quite seldom as failure of performance of a task was that is called bravery: «And I here will show it».

For example, there was a situation. We watch an aircraft carrier, we will allow "America" (USS America – the Kitty-Hawk type aircraft carrier, served in fleet of the USA till 1996. In 2014 the American fleet received a new aircraft carrier with the same name. – an editor’s note), we watch it in the Mediterranean Sea. There comes the southern night. Suddenly at station two marks – one mark from an aircraft carrier, another – from the ship of complex supply merge. After a while marks are divided and about 30 knots (about 55,5 km/h start to disperse in different directions on quite decent speeds. – editor’s note). Where now we do not know an aircraft carrier, and we should watch it and every 15 minutes give out on it a targeting.

We include everything that is possible, as it is accepted to tell «gas handles to the full», and we rush behind one of these purposes. For what – we do not know, at night we do not see – fires are switched off. Through any time, hour through four, we catch up with the purpose and it appears that this vessel of complex supply. We are developed and rush behind other purpose which is on border of the horizon of radar-tracking observability. Having been out of breath we to it we fly up, it gives 12 knots and starts to make planned flights. Just the sun ascends.

After a similar case my commander waited flights, at full speed left and rose at it in twenty kabeltovy on a nose (3,7 km. – editor’s note). There was also all: «Give, ram me». At the same flights, pilots fly up, sit down, this well-known air roundabout, and before it "Krivak" (on NATO classifications, the patrol ship 1135 of the project begins. – editor’s note). It starts to crawl, submit us signals somehow. During the most last moment when there are literally two hundred meters, the commander sets in motion and we leave from his course. Through any time we again to it break flights and so the whole day proceeds. It is more never within two months of tracking such that two labels on a radar merged, was not. Understand?

This sort of things occurred continuously. And all perfectly understood, Americans and we, to it there was a normal relation. Never, as now like to speak, in a sight seriously did not look. At me it any more was not.

– This year I repeatedly had to communicate with officers of NATO. Such case that they responded about Russians with hatred and it was not disrespectful. And what moods were during your time how the Soviet and American seamen belonged each other?

– Never such was, that we spoke about any hatred. Never such was, that we treated them as to enemies that seriously, if to speak about hatred. We perfectly understood that it not allies, and opponents. But without fanaticism, not as in «A red dawn» (the feature film in which the Soviet armies interfere in the USA. – editor’s note).

– If to speak about attempts to prevent opponents to carry out a task, about bravery is decided as a personal initiative of the commander?

– Certainly – according to its decision. I managed in due time to remove on the most primitive then still a video camera not only flight of our ship, but also the lifted flags according to the table of special signals under the agreement of 1973 on prevention of incidents. These flags reported that we carry out doctrines and we ask not to disturb us. After once flew about us already now I do not remember what plane, quite low, quite unpleasantly, we lifted a flazhny signal of MZ1 is on the international arch of signals I mean «I consider your actions dangerous to navigation and intends to report about it». We fixed it on video and the telegram reported. It was 1993, we received information from the attache in Turkey that the crew of the plane suffered – it was punished for these actions. Respectively, at us too punished.

– You can remember incidents for the last two-three years when someone moved itself(himself) "impolitely" and afforded excessive bravery, for what it was possible to receive a blow?

– Look, let’s take the last most sensational incident when the American destroyer wandered in the Black Sea after the Crimean history and all the rest, and it was flown by our plane when all these fables rushed that Americans took offense.

Anybody there did not take offense. If to judge on that I saw on video, everything was made according to requirements of the agreement about prevention of incidents of the sea of the USA-USSR, now the USA-Russian Federation. It flew about it from traverzny course corners, it passed on rather big, certainly safe, height (on June 1, 2015 the Ministry of Defence of the USA confirmed that flight of Su-24 of the destroyer USS Ross was safe. Also the Pentagon disproved messages of mass media that the Russian plane compelled the American ship to leave the area. – editor’s note).

Here threat in what it consists? Threat consists in flight from nasal and fodder course corners are bad zones for the weapon. Therefore when during an era of a discharge the agreement was developed, it was clear that flights will proceed. Then offered: «Let’s fly each other from traverzny course corners». Thereby the plane is substituted under blow. Flight from traverzny course corners emphasizes that it has no purpose of a use of weapons. That is, the plane is certainly taken on support, on it even electronic start-up can be made.

– It seems to me, I saw this shooting. On it there is an impression that Americans with interest waited for flight and the chamber was sent to the necessary sector of the sky.

– For seamen in it there is nothing extraordinary. So was and will be always. I have no doubts that if something happens, we will help them. The sea is the sea. At need and they will help us.

– This summer the Russian ships watched a course of sea disembarkation in Poland which was carried out within doctrines of NATO of Baltops-2015. One of representatives of alliance recognized that Russians behaved politely, observed, but did not disturb. In this regard whether it is possible to tell that in the press the sensation which forms the distorted representation what occurs on the sea on itself business is inflated?

– Certainly, and from both parties. Hysterics go from both parties.

– Whether you still can give examples of "impolite" behavior on the sea? For example, in air it is considered that cutting of one plane by another, "belly" display on which the arms are suspended. And on fleet?

– I do not know, whether it is possible to consider it as impolite behavior, but here we closed in due time the area dangerous from firing practice. Met with well-known "Maryata" – the Norwegian vessel of a radioravedka. It seems, already the third reincarnation of a vessel with such name. And so, it very persistently climbed to the closed area. Eventually, it was necessary to put some shells in kabeltovy to five on a nose. After that all attempts to pass for an edge of the area stopped. As far as I know, more them never was, it always precisely went on a kromochka.

– Correctly I understand, what professional seamen sometimes as big boys with serious toys purely just for fun try to work on nerves of the opponent?

– I told you already about an aircraft carrier. There is a certain principle of reciprocity: we understand that you have the work, and you understand that we have our work. We go for you in 30 kabeltovy, we do not disturb you, in fighting orders we are not built in, try to consider in every possible way that at you people fly. But also you to us too do not prevent to watch. This principle always everything was extremely clear.

Here now I remember, in 1984 there was «An autumn wedding» – doctrines in Northern Atlantic, too "America" took part in them. From them the helicopter arrived and hanged directly at our board literally meters in twenty. You sometime near helicopter stood? Blows off literally a wind stream. At us right there broke flags, signallers had to escape. And it hung long enough, and then departed. Then again returned and hung at other board. These children sit in the helmets and laugh. There was my commander, in a telnik, a sheepskin coat and a peak-cap and shot from a raketnitsa. Got directly to the helicopter. They more never arrived.

– He not specially aimed?

– No, it aimed. To rather unambiguously them it was shown: «Children, leave». And those showed us middle fingers and so on. It was rather extreme and transparent provocation to which reacted. Punished nobody, by the way.

– From both parties?

– From that party I do not know, at us punished nobody.

– Marine painter Oleg Rykov who went in due time to the coast of the USA on vessels scouts SSV, so-called Charlie-Charlie-Bravo, mentioned cases when there was if not a fraternization, an exchange of courtesies between seamen. You did not face the such?

– Faced and repeatedly. For example, we approach to the warrant, in the center the aircraft carrier, and on each side the okhraneniye ships instead of a reasonable pyatikonechnik were constructed in not closed a shestikonechnik – obviously us invite, rise here here. Were attached, rose in this place, it is really convenient – we see all. Was such, everyone happened.

For example, watched "Iowa" (USS Iowa – the linear ship of construction of times of the Second World War, the last ship in the class by the time of War in the Persian Gulf. – an editor’s note) in 1989 near Lebanon. Situation there always the quite hot. They throw out garbage, at us under way a boat. The matter is that they quite often threw out together with garbage rather interesting things, let us assume, the magazine of combat training of the foreman of the surface-to-air missile system – it quite interesting to professionals. Well here we always rushed behind these dustbins, then it everything business on Utah was raked. Few times found packings of sex magazines. Too it is so ridiculous, laughed.

– There were various incidents. In the Black Sea the Soviet ships even went on a ram.

– At us similar cases on Northern fleet too took place. According to my some companions, all this is connected with different systems of counting of territorial waters. In the mid-seventies the convention of the United Nations on the international marine law was widely discussed, it was accepted in the eighties. We signed it, by the way, quite recently. In full. There is an order of counting of territorial waters from the line of the greatest outflow, and is from direct conditional lines which are intended to smooth the cut-up sites of the coast.

That situation in Black arose, when they came in that треугольничек which was educated by our new and old lines тервод. And they speak: «We do not recognize your system of counting тервод». Them from there also forced out.

We in the north on an entrance to Kola Bay too have such slice. If to itself the card represent, there is a peninsula Fishing and Kildin’s island. If to draw line from the line of the greatest outflow, терводы go, bending around the coast. And ours declared from the cape Tsypnavolok to a beacon of Kildinsky-Severny the direct initial line and as a result терводы were removed well very decently, I think, miles on 7-10. And Americans there constantly climbed, and Norway too.

And so some collisions of our submarines with American just occurred on this slice. The same "Baton Rouge" well-known (on February 11, 1992 in this area faced the American submarine "Baton Rouge" and Russian K-276 "Kostroma". – editor’s note). That is, they in every possible way showed non-recognition of our new measures of counting of territorial waters.

The reason of incidents is clear. Nevertheless, incidents quite unpleasant both for us and for them. "Baton Rouge" then, in my opinion, hardly limped, and our boat American brought a piece of the case in the cabin at itself.

– Recently American side initiated a meeting with Russia, aimed at the prevention of dangerous incidents in air and on the sea. It is a signal to normalization of the relations or there is other explanation?

– I want to emphasize that the professional relations between us – normal. In the sea unconditional mutual understanding in absolute majority of cases remained still. At least, two-three years ago my friend ordered group into which the American entered, the Englishman, the Frenchman and our northern ship – they were engaged in fight against pirates near the Horn of Africa. He speaks: with anybody there were no questions.

Still that I want to note, in Halifax in the late eighties or the beginning of the 90th there was such conversation: the man from US State department acted and he told that wants to emphasize especially, what even during the worst moments of relationship between the USSR and the USA the agreement on prevention of incidents and in air never ceased to act on the sea. On the basis of this agreement we always cooperated and we will continue to cooperate further.

– Probably, the system operates, and thank God?

– Certainly operates. Simply, probably, it somehow is necessary for improving – it was created during an era when there was no Internet. It is now quite possible to establish a network for the ships. Once it was called as VZOI – the line of mutual exchange of information. Probably, there was a need of modernization of this system. But the in itself system of the prevention of incidents constructed forty years ago continues to work at the sea.

– I should ask about incident in the Swedish shkher where the Russian submarine was allegedly found. This year Finns too fixed a certain underwater object, but thus did not declare a submarine. What after all Swedes, in your opinion, found in themselves?

– Boats there were not, I more than am confident in it.

– On what your confidence is based?

– At least on indirect representation that from themselves underwater forces of the Baltic fleet represent and for what solution of tasks they are intended. I do not know boats which were able come there. This the first, now the second. After all anybody did not see it visually.

– It is the truth, Swedes recognized that in the presented picture there was not a boat.

– Concerning a hydroacoustic way of detection. I all life was engaged in search of submarines. That I only did not see on these screens that I only did not meet. Hydrological conditions of the Baltic Sea, in particular near the coast, are extremely difficult. From the point of view of salinity of water and temperature which, as a matter of fact, define conditions of passing of hydroacoustic signals, the Baltic Sea is a puff pie. That is, when we there work with hydroacoustics, we not so well understand, from what layer the signal is reflected and whether we punch to the bottom.

In difference, let us assume, from the sonic depth finder which works under almost right angle, the hydroacoustic station works with a certain bias. The hade is equal to a reflection corner – from what is reflected and that there appears – a single question. With confidence to tell that this эхосигнал is or the reflected signal from the submarine, or it is a signal containing information on noise, connected with submarine movement, very difficult and expensive mathematical apparatus embodied in the high-speed computer is necessary.

Secondly, the library of noise is necessary. If we want to tell that it is the boat, the acoustic portrait is necessary. One of problems of all trackings, to all other, consists in drawing up of such portrait not only submarines, but also the ships. As far as I understood, there the similar analysis was not, and there were the wrinkled eyebrows, any unclear offenses. All remember this unfortunate boat from Karlskrona (on October 27, 1981 nearby to base of the Swedish Navies the Soviet S-363 submarine ran around. – editor’s note). I as the navigator am absolutely convinced that at the heart of that case there was a limiting nonprofessionalism of the navigator of this ship and feature of work of RNS "Dekka".

– Summing up, the situation towards deterioration did not move?

– In total at rhetoric level.

Remarkable incidents with participation of the USSR/the Russian Federation and the USA

On March 21, 1984 the Soviet nuclear K-314 submarine watched the American-Korean sea doctrines Tim Spirit-84. Being in the center of creation of the American ships, the submarine went on emersion and rammed "Kitty-Hok’s" aircraft carrier. Due to the incident of the doctrine curtailed. At an aircraft carrier the bottom throughout forty meters was damaged. The boat damaged the rowing screw, it should be towed off to the port. At the moment of collision onboard both the surface ship, and a submarine there were nuclear weapons.

On February 12, 1988 in the Black Sea the Soviet Selfless and SKR-6 patrol ships made навал on the cruiser "Yorktaun" and the destroyer "Keron". During the second blow "Selfless" thanks to a high stem "got" on "Yorktaun’s" helicopter deck and damaged to the last installation of the anti-ship missiles "Harpoon". On the cruiser the fire began. Incident came to the end with a mutual exchange of threats. After the commander "Selfless" awarded the order the Red Star.

Incident resulted from attempt of the American ships to pass through the area which the Soviet party declared closed as considered this site as the territorial waters. Americans considered that they realized the right of an easy access.

On February 11, 1992 at Kildin’s island the American submarine "Baton Rouge" faced the Russian Kostroma K-276 submarine in the area which Russia carried to the 12-mile zone. The USA declared that incident occurred in the international waters. In spite of the fact that initially Americans reported about absence of damages at the boat, late it became clear that "Baton Rouge" received two cuts, dents and scratches. "Kostroma" repaired by June of the same year.

Slightly more than a year later, on March 20, 1994, in attempt of the hidden tracking in the Barents Sea at the Kola Peninsula the American Greyling submarine faced the Russian nuclear underwater cruiser of strategic appointment K-407 "Novomoskovsk". Failure occurred a month before a meeting of U.S. Presidents and the Russian Federation Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin. Both boats after repair returned to structure of fleet. As a result of failure of the USA considerably reduced the activity in this area.

On October 16, 1996 during the first exit in the sea the scout plane of the royal Air Force of Sweden of SH37 Viggen broke into trial runs of the nuclear cruiser "Peter the Great" in the Baltic Sea. According to messages of the Russian military, one of pair of Swedish planes watching the cruiser, after the right turn at low height fell in water in 700 meters ahead of the ship. At the same time in air there was an amphibian of the Navy of Russia Be-12. On one of versions, the Russian plane prevented the Swedish scout to make maneuver. On another, failure occurred during execution by the Swedish planes of dangerous maneuvers at low height. The crew of the broken plane was lost. The Swedish authorities did not show Russia of claims and thanked for participation in rescue operations.

Actual in the sky

Recently the Russian warplanes became heroes of incidents on the sea and in air. The overwhelming part of these cases can be written off on routine and to recognize as frivolous. It is possible to rank support by the Russian fighter Su-27 as this category in the sky over Baltic the patrol plane of NATO of P-3 Orion in November, 2014.

However not it is possible to call all meetings with the Air Force of the Russian Federation harmless. According to the statement of the authorities of Sweden, in March, 2014 in the sky over the Bulltrout the Russian fighter came nearer on dangerous distance to a civil airliner. In December of last year the Norwegian mass media published video of dangerous maneuver Russian MiG-31, forced to unscrew the fighter Air Force of Norway. The Russian plane on high speed came nearer to the Norwegian colleague from a back hemisphere and overtook it. By estimates of military, the distance between planes thus made less than twenty meters. Besides, in March of this year messages on simulation by the Russian planes of attacks to NATO ships in the Black Sea arrived.

Arthur Zakharov

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