The USS Gravely destroyer was spotted on Thursday passing through the Danish straits and approaching the Baltic sea, according to social media reports citing online maritime monitoring software.
— ALEX (@ALESHKA_MIL) 10 января 2019 г.
Also on Thursday, the US Navy's official website published a photo of the destroyer pulling into Copenhagen, Denmark, with the accompanying caption saying the ship was there "for a scheduled port visit."
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) 10 января 2019 г.
The destroyer, capable of carrying a complement of up to 56 Tomahawk missiles, which have an effective strike range of 1,600 km, is also equipped with the Aegis missile-based air defence system. The vessel is currently the flagship of NATO's Standing Maritime Group 1 in the US 6th Fleet's area of operations, which includes Europe and Africa. The ship left its base in Norfolk, Virginia on December 28.
Earlier, the US Navy published a photo of the USS Gravely transiting through the North Sea:
The #USNavy photos of the day: #USSGravely transits the #NorthSea, a Sailor works on F/A-18E Super Hornet, #USSAnchorage gets vertically-replenished, and @INDOPACOM commander Adm. Phil Davidson takes questions in New Delhi, #India!— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) 9 января 2019 г.
Info and download: https://t.co/6QmONUFx08 pic.twitter.com/uapitHhwEG
The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer has a sour history around Russian ships. In June 2016, the USS Gravely had a close encounter with Russian Navy frigate Yaroslav Mudriy in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea while escorting a US carrier group, coming dangerously close to the Russian vessel. Russian officials described the USS Gravely's actions as a "deliberate provocation." The US Navy denied that the ship had engaged in any dangerous behaviour, and accused the Russian frigate of acting in an "unprofessional" manner.
This story was updated — the headline was changed to reflect the fact that the ship approached rather than entered the Baltic sea and pulled into Copenhagen.