Russian Navy escorts US warship in Black Sea

On Sunday, September 15, the Russian Black Sea Fleet started escorting the transport ship USNS Yuma, which entered Black Sea waters at around 17:30, Interfax reports, citing Russia’s National Defense Management Center.

“The designated on-duty forces and vessels of the Black Sea Fleet are continuously tracking the American ship,” the article states.

At the end of June, the Yuma brought a battalion of US marines and vehicles to Odessa, Ukraine, for the Sea Breeze 2019 exercise. According to BlackSeaNews editor-in-chief Andrei Klimenko, it is most likely heading for Georgia now.

The USNS Yuma is the eighth Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport catamaran. The vessel was commissioned in 2016. It has a length of 103 m and a breadth of 28.5 m, an extremely high top speed of 43 knots (80 km/h) and a displacement of 2,400 tons.

The vessel can carry more than 300 marines and roughly 550 tons of munitions and vehicles, including tanks. Its draft is just under 4 m, allowing it to operate in shallow water. The ship also has a helicopter pad. The ship has an unusual appearance, being made of an aluminum alloy and not painted any particular color.

  Russian Navy, US Navy, Black Sea