Russian navy in show of strength with 26 new ships this year

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Russia’s navy will deploy a total of 26 new ships this year including four carrying Kalibr cruise missiles, President Vladimir Putin said Sunday as the country celebrated Navy Day with a show of strength. Continue reading

Russia’s Navy Establishes Permanent Presence in Mediterranean Sea

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said a naval standing force, including warships with Kalibr long-range land attack cruise missiles, will be permanently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea. The statement was made at a meeting with top military officials and defense industry leaders that took place in Sochi on May 16. One of the missions is delivering strikes against terrorist targets in Syria. 102 expeditions of ships and submarines are planned in 2018. The force will go through intensive training.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet has become a much different force in comparison to what it was just three years ago. Since 2015, the year the operation in Syria was launched, it has received 15 new ships, including two frigates and six conventional submarines armed with Kalibr cruise missiles. With S-400 and S-300V4 air defense systems, Krasukha-4 electronic warfare systems and shore-based anti-ship Bastion batteries deployed on the Syrian coast, the ships in Eastern Mediterranean operate in a relatively safe environment. Kalibr missiles have already been fired from frigates and submarines at terrorist targets in Syria. Continue reading

11 Russian Warships Leave Syrian Port To Conduct Exercises

 

Update: The Russian warships leaving port has been reported as a drill, as InterFax reports:

Russian Navy ships, starting from April 11, will conduct exercises near the coast of Syria, follow from the international notification for aviation personnel (NOTAM) and navigational warning for seafarers.

The reports contain the coordinates of the closed area, as well as the conduct of training shooting there.

Continue reading

Russia Begins Massive War Games Involving Crimea and Russia’s Black Sea Fleet

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The exercise codenamed as Caucasus 2016 follows a period of heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine after the Kremlin accused Kiev of plotting terror attacks against Russians in Crimea.

On Monday, the Russian forces began a massive military exercise to test troops’ combat readiness and cooperation between different branches of the country’s armed forces. The exercise, involving over 12,500 servicemen including Navy, Airborne and Aerospace units was conducted in the south of Russia. Continue reading

US: Russia Building ‘Arc Of Steel’ From Arctic To Med

WASHINGTON — A resurgent Russia is creating an “arc of steel” meant to challenge and confront NATO, a top US naval officer warned Tuesday.

“We are observing the manifestation of a more aggressive, more capable Russian Navy,” Adm. Mark Ferguson, commander of US Naval Forces Europe and commander of the Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, said in Washington. “It is naval capability focused directly on addressing the perceived advantages of NATO navies. And they are signaling us and warning us that the maritime domain is contested.”

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Russia May Use Navy to Blockade Syrian Coast

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet may be used in Syria to blockade the Syrian coastline and deliver armaments, as well as possibly deliver artillery strikes, the head of Russian State Duma’s defense committee and former Black Sea Fleet commander Vladimir Komoyedov said.

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Saudi Arabia in oil-price war with Iran, Russia

Riyadh avenging Moscow’s backing of nemeses Assad, Iran

WASHINGTON – Saudi Arabia is extending its own international jihad not only through its export of Wahhabism, an extreme form of Sunni Islam.

The Islamic kingdom is now going after Russia, a main backer of the kingdom’s sectarian opponent, Shiite Iran, by targeting its oil production clout to adversely impact the Russian economy.

Sources say the United States might even be colluding with Saudi Arabia to cause a dramatic drop in the international oil price in an effort to punish Russia not only for its support of rebels in Ukraine but for its backing of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as Iran.

The Saudi strategy is to flood the international market to harm the economies of Russia and Iran, both of which need the international price to be above $100 a barrel to break even. The price of oil today is less than $50 a barrel. Continue reading

Russia starts reinforcing naval fleet in Crimea

Sevastopol (AFP) – Russia announced Wednesday that it had begun expanding and modernising its Black Sea fleet based in Crimea with new ships and submarines, just months after annexing the peninsula from Ukraine.

“Today we have started forming a powerful Black Sea fleet with an absolutely different level of air service, coastal missile and artillery troops and marines,” said Alexander Vitko, the Black Sea fleet commander, in a message to servicemen. Continue reading

Russia Could Take Command of Half of Ukrainian Fleet – Lawmaker

MOSCOW, March 18 (RIA Novosti) – Up to 20 warships and auxiliary vessels of the Ukrainian navy could become part of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet following the reunification of Crimea with Russia, a senior Russian lawmaker said Tuesday.

According to Adm. (Ret.) Vladimir Komoyedov, chair of the State Duma Committee on Defense, the Ukrainian navy comprises some 40 ships, 20 of which are currently docked at naval bases in Crimea at Sevastopol and Donuzlav Bay. Continue reading

Russia to Strengthen Mediterranean Force With ‘Stealth’ Subs

MOSCOW, February 20 (RIA Novosti) – The combat capability of Russia’s naval task force in the Mediterranean will increase significantly following the first deliveries of Varshavyanka-class submarines to the Black Sea Fleet in 2015, Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said Thursday.

Russia formed a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean last year to defend its interests in the region. The move was widely seen, however, as a response to calls for international intervention in the worsening civil war in Syria, Russia’s longtime ally. 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

Russia sending anti-submarine ship, missile carrying cruiser to Mediterranean Sea

The composition of the Russian Navy’s group of ships in the Mediterranean Sea will be changed within the next few days, a Russian Armed Forces General Staff source said. Continue reading

Russia staffs Mediterranean fleet. Turkey weighs payback for Syrian bombings

Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov said Sunday, May 12, that the process is underway for creating a permanent staff to run Russian fleet operations in the Mediterranean Sea.  Speaking at Sevastopol, the Black Sea fleet’s home port, Adm. Chirkov said a staff of 20 officers was already in place. And the Mediterranean deployment would comprise five to six warships and their service vessels as well possibly as nuclear submarines which, say our military sources, are armed with nuclear ballistic missiles.

debkafile’s military sources: The new permanent deployment is the next Russian step for safeguarding Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus and deterring military attacks on his Hizballah allies and Iranian interests in their three-way bloc.

Moscow is also announcing loud and clear that Russia is finally restoring its military presence to the Middle East in 2013 after the last Soviet squadron exited the Mediterranean in 1992. Continue reading

Russian warships sail for Syria, large anti-submarine ship for waters near Iran

Russian warships set out Tuesday, Dec. 18, for two Middle East flashpoint destinations: Naval sources in Moscow reported that two assault ships, a tanker and an escort vessel were detached from the Baltic Fleet and are sailing for the Syrian port of Tartus – possibly to evacuate Russian citizens. A second naval group led by Russia’s largest anti-submarine vessel, the Severomorsk, is on its way to the Gulfs of Aden and Oman close to the Persian Gulf and Iran. Continue reading

Russia Docks Warships in Syria as NATO Arms Turkey

Russian warships docked at a naval base in Syria, according to reports on Wednesday, further separating Moscow from Western actions in the war-torn country.

The two ships made a rare call at the port in Tartus, Russia’s only remaining international military base since the Soviet Union collapsed, according to AFP and Interfax reports. Russian authorities claim the stop was only to load fuel and water and make “minor repairs.” This is the second time the Russian Navy has raised eyebrows in recent weeks, following reports that it docked warships off the coast of Gaza in late November, during the height of the fighting there with Israel. Continue reading