25 August 2018
The last couple of days have seen a recent uptick in Russian Navy naval deployments into the Mediterranean.
Of interest is the recent transit of 3 ships together through the Bosphorus, ('Pytivyy' along with 2 LSTs ships on the 'Syrian Express' run). was followed up later by 'Admiral Grigorovich' and 'Admiral Essen'. Two additions to be forward-deployed from Tartus.
'Pytivyy' replaced 'Smetlivy' on Med Squadron duties.
At a time when there is increased angst over potential intensification of military operations in Idlib, the US feigned 'concern'and dissimulated combined hint and threat expressed over potential future use of chemical weapons in Syria, it is not surprising that there is a further Russian military build-up in the region.
Once more the US draws a red line, the same way as Obama did in 2013, which resulted in the CW Ghouta false flag ‘event’.
The Russian military build-up is probably Russia’s way of placing a naval ‘red line’ in response to the US ongoing troubling political shenanigans.
The ‘Yaroslav Mudry' recently transited the Suez Canal from the Red Sea. Northern Sea Fleet based Slava class 'Marshal Ustinov' and Udaloy class 'Severomorsk' recently called into Algeria for a port call.
'Admiral Makarov' transited the Channel last weekend under the watchful eye of the Royal Navy, en route to the Black Sea homeport of Sevastopol. So maybe a possibility of a slight 'detour' off Tartus.
There will be shortly a few more Kalibr-carrying warships off the Syrian coast to add to the list, (those highlighted in red in image below).
I forget to add that the Russian MoD mentioned the DDG ‘USS Sullivans’, which has been in the Gulf since July.
The two improved Kilos are likely to be the: 'Kolpino' and 'Velikiy Novgorod'. No surprises to see or hear that other Russian submarines could be in the Med/might deploy there.
To note: Only major and combat surface ships are included in the above image. There are also two minesweepers/ mine hunters forward-deployed (Turbinist and Valentin Pikul) plus the LSTs that shuttle to and fro (Syrian Express), the 'Nikolay Filchenkov' and 'Orsk' the latest participants.Lastly,there is always one AGI on duty:Moma-class intelligence ship ‘Kildin’
Not forgetting a host of auxiliary support ships are also forward-deployed from Tartus such as heavy lift- buoy tender 'KIL 158', potentially the rescue tug ‘Professor Nikolay Muru' and 'SB304', oiler 'Ivan Bubnov', port defence Grachonok class patrol boats, plus the chartered Ro-Ro ships that are also part of the Syrian Express (for years now)
PS Did the ‘Orel’ (Project 949A Antey) nuclear-powered SSN submarine actually return to the Northern Sea Fleet homeport?