Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Follow-Up: Drafting Commercial Ships into the Russian Navy

"Kazan-60" in Sevastopol --- January 12, 2016
(credit: Andrey Brichevskiy)

Four commercial ships that were commissioned into the Russian Navy three months ago have made several trips between Russia and Syria. But a few of them have already required repairs since joining the fleet. Here is a brief update on their condition:

  • "Dvinitsa-50" has completed at least two missions to Syria and appears to be operational. It was noted loading cargo earlier this month probably in preparation for another trip to Tartus, Syria.

  • "Kazan-60", has never been noted by Turkish shipspotters transiting the Turkish Straits since joining the Russian Navy. On January 12, this vessel was photographed at the 13th Shipyard.

  • On December 24, "Kyzyl-60", which was returning from its first mission to Syria, was photographed being towed by Black Sea Fleet tug "MB-31" northbound through the Turkish Straits. The vessel was towed to the 13th Shipyard in Sevastopol, where it remains today, to undergo unspecified repairs.

  • "Vologda-50" has completed at least three missions and also appears to be operational.

"Aleksandr Tkachenko" undergoing dock repairs in Sevastopol
(credit: United Shipbuilding Corporation)

While not part of the Russian Navy, the cargo vessel "Aleksandr Tkachenko", which also has ferried cargo between Russia and Syria, recently completed dock repairs at Sevastopol Shipyard. Following post-repair sea trials on January 16-17, the ship began an easterly transit towards Novorossiysk.

"Aleksandr Tkachev" at-sea activities --- January 16-18, 2016

While a recent decrease in known ferrying activities may have been associated with the winter holiday season, it also may have been linked to the condition of some of the vessels tasked to perform such missions.