U.S. Navy on alert: China, Russia to launch largest-ever joint navy exercise

The Chinese and Russian navies are gearing up for their largest-ever joint exercises, slated to begin Thursday in the Pacific with more than 20 ships and featuring anti-submarine operations as well as a joint-beach landing.

The “Joint Sea 2015 II” exercises will run through Aug. 28 in the Sea of Japan and off the coast of Vladivostok. Continue reading

China’s PLA Launches Massive War Games in South China Sea

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Amid high tensions in the South China Sea, Beijing announced it conducted large-scale military drills at both air and sea on Tuesday, focusing on new information warfare systems.

With over 100 ships and dozens of aircraft, state-run China Military Online reported that Beijing conducted large, live-ammunition drills in the South China Sea.

According to the Chinese Defense Ministry, the exercises concentrated on integrating information warfare systems between air and naval defense, and accomplished “new breakthrough” in China’s military capabilities. Continue reading

China’s PLA Navy sends new surveillance planes on submarine hunt

The military deploys advanced Gaoxin aircraft to its North Sea Fleet to flex its maritime surveillance muscle in disputed waters

The navy has deployed several new advanced surveillance aircraft to its North Sea Fleet to hunt down submarines in the East and South China seas.

The new “Gaoxin-6” maritime anti-submarine warfare planes are modified versions of the Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation’s Y-8 and Y-9 medium transport aircraft and were added to the People’s Liberation Army’s North Sea Fleet late last year, Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said yesterday.

Continue reading

Russia’s stealth ‘black hole’ submarine prepares for 4,000km trip, deep water trials

 

A new Russian advanced stealth submarine, dubbed a “black hole” by NATO for its ability to be undetectable, has begun preparations for deep water tests. However, it must first make a 4,630km journey to the Barents Sea in Russia’s north.

“The crew of the electric diesel submarine Rostov on Don which was handed to the Russian Navy by Admiralty Shipyards has started the preparation for the passing from the Baltic Sea zone to the Barents Sea,” Captain Igor Dygalo from the Ministry of Defense said. Continue reading

Inside the Ring: B-2 bombers’ ‘messages’

Three B-2 strategic nuclear bombers completed a tour of duty in Guam this week, as tensions remained high between the United States and China over what the Pentagon called a “dangerous” Chinese fighter-jet intercept of a U.S. surveillance plane last week.

Adm. Haney said in a statement that the bombers are intended to send a message to allies and adversaries.

“It is important for U.S. Strategic Command to continue to project global strike capabilities and extended deterrence against potential adversaries while providing assurance to our allies through deployments such as this,” he said. Continue reading

Russia’s ‘carrier-killer’ Moskva enters Mediterranean

Missile cruiser "Moskva" (RIA Novosti/Vitaliy Ankov)

 

Russia’s Moskva missile cruiser, dubbed a “carrier-killer” by NATO, has passed through the Straits of Gibraltar and is now heading toward the eastern Mediterranean to assume command of the Russian naval force there.

The Russian Navy said in a statement that the Moskva cruiser passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on September 10.

Interfax news agency added that the Moskva cruiser, “commanded by Sergey Tronev, Captain 1st Rank of the Guards… has enough room for maneuver now.”

“The Black Sea flagship entered the Russian Navy’s area of responsibility in the Mediterranean at 11:00 pm Moscow time yesterday,” the agency reported a military source as saying. Continue reading

Russian Ships ’Able to React’ in Case of Syria Escalation

Russian naval vessels in the Mediterranean are capable of reacting to an escalation in the Syria conflict, a military source said Wednesday, as Moscow fine tunes its maritime presence ahead of possible US military action.

“Today we consider our presence in the eastern Mediterranean to be sufficient to solve the tasks. If necessary, together with submarine forces, they (the ships) are capable even today of influencing a military situation,” a general staff source told the Interfax news agency. Continue reading

China’s new stealth frigate commissioned

HANGZHOU – A Chinese-developed next-generation stealth frigate was commissioned to the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) on Tuesday.

The country’s first “type 056” stealth frigate, formerly known simply as ship 582, was renamed Bengbu at a commission ceremony held in a naval port in Zhoushan, a coastal city in East China’s Zhejiang province. Continue reading

Big Russian fleet nears Syria. Iran to fight regime change as foreign forces pile up

Russian, Western and Arab forces were piling up on Syrian borders Wednesday, July 25, bringing closer a war confrontation which could spur the Assad regime into making good on its threat to use chemical weapons against “external aggression.”

Based on this reading, Moscow added its voice Tuesday to that of US President Obama and warned Bashar Assad against using chemical weapons in view of “its commitments under the international convention it ratified prohibiting the use of poisonous gases as a method of warfare.”

debkafile’s military sources: With operational intelligence deployment and electronic stations positioned inside Syria, the Russians are better placed than any other outsiders to know what is happening on Syria’s battlefields.

Their warning must therefore be tied to solid information confirming Washington’s assessment that Assad is dangerously close to deciding to use his chemical and biological weapons in a way that would precipitate a regional conflict.

Israel, Turkey and Jordan would be the first targets on his list.

The immediacy of the peril, debkafile’s military sources report, has speeded the arrival of Russian warships to Syria to counter a potential Western, Arab or Israeli assault on the embattled country.

The Russian Ministry of Defense, which rarely discloses Russian military movements outside its borders, announced early Wednesday morning, July 25 that a fleet of Russian warships had passed through the Strait of Gibraltar and entered the Mediterranean.

The fleet is headed by the anti-submarine and anti-aircraft Admiral Chabanenko warship and consists of another three vessels carrying a large number of Russian marines. This fleet will rendezvous with a Russian flotilla standing by in the Mediterranean since July 21, detached from Russian Black Fleet and composed of the Smetlivy figate and  two large landing craft loaded with Russian marines. This group awaited the main force before approaching Syria.

The fact that Russia is massing large numbers of marines off the Syrian coast looks as though a landing on Syrian soil is on Moscow’s cards.

The Russian marine contingent,  debkafile’s sources say, will stand ready – either to come to the aid of the Assad regime or to serve as a bargaining chip for a last-minute deal between Moscow and Washington for ending the war by establishing a transitional military regime in Damascus whose makeup would be agreed between them and Assad.

Deputy Iranian Revolutionary GuardUS President Obama chief, Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, warned on Tuesday, July 24, that Tehran would not permit regime change in Damascus and if Syria’s enemies intervened, Iran would hit them hard. The Iranian commander pointed a finger at Saudi Arabia and Qatar, adding that the US and Israel are at the forefront of the comprehensive campaign against Syria but are being beaten back.

This was the first time Tehran had explicitly threatened military intervention in Syria.

Wednesday, Turkey shut its border crossings to Syria. Military sources in Ankara confirmed that massive Turkish military strength had been on the move toward the Syrian border.

Full article: Big Russian fleet nears Syria. Iran to fight regime change as foreign forces pile up (DEBKAfile)