The Russian Navy intends to build its presence in the Mediterranean Sea - particularly in the area close to Syrian shores - to up to 10 battleships, announced Admiral of the Fleet Viktor Chirkov.
“The task is crystal clear: to avoid a slightest threat to the security of the state. This is a general practice of all fleets around the world, to be there when a tension level increases. They are all going to act on operational command plan of the offshore maritime zone,” Chirkov told journalists on Friday. "Russia will be building up its Mediterranean fleet until it is deemed sufficient to perform the task set."
Russia began military build-up in the Mediterranean in 2012, and starting from December last year the Navy established a constant presence in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
On May 1, 2013 all Russian battleships operating in the area were assigned to a single task force under special offshore maritime zone operation command.
Currently there are seven warships deployed in the area:
1-landing craft carriers 'Aleksandr Shabalin’ Project 775 Large Landing Ship (LLS),
2-‘Admiral Nevelskoy’ Ropucha I (Project 775),
3-‘Peresvet’Project 775M Large Landing Ship (LLS),
4-‘Novocherkassk’ Project 775 Large Landing Ship (LLS) and
5-‘Minsk’ Project 775 Large Landing Ship (LLS)
from Russia’s Black and Baltic Sea Fleets, as well as the escort vessel
6-‘Neustrashimy’ Project 11540 Yastreb Frigate,
7-and large anti-submarine ship ‘Admiral Panteleyev’ Project 1155 large ASW ship.
According to previous reports,
8-the missile-carrying cruiser ‘Moskva’ Project 1164 Atlant (Slava) lead ship, Guided Missile Cruiser passed the Straits of Gibraltar on September 10 and is expected to arrive at its final destination in eastern Mediterranean on September 15 or 16.
Two battleships of the Russia’s Black Sea Fleet,
9-guided missile destroyer ‘Smetlivy’ Project 01090 ASW destroyer. and
10-landing craft carrier ‘Nikolay Filchenkov’ Project 1171 Large Landing Ship (LLS)
left their bases in Sevastopol and Novorossiysk respectively and early on Friday morning have passed the Bosphorus Strait, heading to the eastern Mediterranean.
Upon the arrival of the ‘Moskva’, its commander, Sergey Tronev, will assume operative command of the task force.
Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov also informed that more than 80 Russian battleships and support vessels are currently offshore in various parts of the global ocean.
1 Slava Class Cruiser
1 Udaloy Class Destroyer
1 Kashin Mod Class Destroyer
1 Neustrashimy Class Frigate
6 Landing Ship