A couple days after my previous update, the Alaed story grew new wings. First, the Russian MOD informed the world that Northern Fleet Udaloy II-class destroyer Admiral Chabanenko, three landing ships and two auxiliary vessels had departed port bound for the Atlantic Ocean, where they will be met by Baltic Fleet Neustrashimyy-class frigate Yaroslav Mudryy and a tanker... Sound familiar?
While Rosoboroneksport has officially denied any of the MI-25 helicopters are being transported to Syria by the landing ships, it did not deny reporting that other cargo (munitions, missiles, and the like) is, in fact, being transported to Syria by means of the Northern Fleet landing ships.
And, so, Alaed continues its southerly transit of the Norwegian Sea en route to the Baltic Sea. The vessel, which was last located near 69-39N 014-24E (heading 228 degrees, speed 13.3 knots) at 1017 GMT on July 12, is reportedly heading for Baltiysk. It remains to be seen whether the helicopters will be offloaded there or in St. Petersburg.