Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Severodvinsk" Launches First Missile as Operational Submarine

"Severodvinsk" launching land-attack cruise missile from Barents Sea -- April 29, 2016
(credit: RF Ministry of Defense)

The Russian Navy's newest nuclear-powered fast attack submarine has launched its first long-range land-attack cruise missile since becoming a fully operational unit in the Northern Fleet earlier this year.

The first report of the missile launch was published by the RF Ministry of Defense at 3:00am (Moscow time) on April 30, indicating the missile launch actually occurred earlier this week. The MOD later released a video purportedly of the missile launch, which occurred from an announced area closure in the Barents Sea. As the area closure did not go into effect until April 29, a day before the missile launch announcement, the missile launch likely occurred on April 29.

А. 69-51.1С 033-54.0В, 69-43.7С 037-53.9В, 69-17.9С 042-59.4В, 68-50.8С 045-00.0В, 68-30.0С 045-40.5В, ДАЛЕЕ ПО БЕРЕГОВОЙ ЛИНИИ ДО 68-39.8С 043-22.0В, 68-53.6С 042-31.3В, 69-17.9С 037-53.9В, 69-30.0С 033-51.6В
Б. 67-45.5С 045-40.0В, 67-18.1С 045-00.5В, ДАЛЕЕ ПО БЕРЕГОВОЙ ЛИНИИ ДО 67-45.5С 045-40.0В
2. ОТМ ЭТОТ НР 061600 МАЙ=
251200 МСК ГС-

Missile launch area closure in Barents Sea -- April 29-30 & May 4-6, 2016

Earlier this month, "Severodvinsk" launched four torpedoes against a group of surface ships that were simulating an enemy amphibious landing group.

The submarine's recent activities are in line with statements made earlier this year that "Severodvinsk" is a fully operational submarine. In January, a naval official stated that the submarine was no longer undergoing operational evaluation. This was reiterated by Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief Vice Admiral Aleksandr Fedotenkov and Northern Fleet press service chief Captain 1st Rank Vadim Serga in mid-March. In his statement, Serga added that "Severodvinsk" was preparing to begin at-sea training to become a fully combat-certified fleet unit.

This month's torpedo firings and missile launch strongly suggest that is exactly what "Severodvinsk" is doing.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Follow-Up 2: Drafting Commercial Ships into the Russian Navy

"Kazan-60" heading southbound through Turkish Straits - March 9, 2016
(credit: Yörük Işık)

The current status of known transport vessels ferrying between Russia and Syria:

  • "Dvinitsa-50" -- operational
  • "Kazan-60" -- non-operational; to undergo repairs - possibly until this fall - following a machinery room fire in late March
  • "Kyzyl-60" -- non-operational
  • "Vologda-50" -- operational
  • "Aleksandr Tkachenko" -- non-operational; after conducting roundtrip missions in February and March, vessel pulled into Feodosiya in mid-March where it probably remains today
  • "Yauza" -- returning to Murmansk

Track of "Yauza" as it heads back to Murmansk (March 30-April 23, 2016)
Previous reporting:

Sunday, April 3, 2016

"Yauza" Probably Completes Syrian Express Support

AIS tracking of "Yauza" heading west from Tartus (March 31-April 3, 2016)

After six months of ferrying materiel and personnel between Russia and Syria,  the Northern Fleet's transport vessel "Yauza" appears to be heading home. "Yauza" departed Tartus, Syria, on March 30 and has continued a westerly transit through today. According to AIS data, the vessel may call in Valletta, Malta, before continuing to its homeport of Murmansk.

"Yauza" departed Severomorsk on September 10, 2015, and arrived in Novorossiysk on October 1. During its half-year deployment to the Black Sea, the naval transport vessel completed six trips between Novorossiysk and Tartus.

Dates Route
Oct 14-Oct 19 Novorossiysk to Tartus
Oct 25-Nov 2 Tartus to Novorossiysk
Nov 17-Nov 22 Novorossiysk to Tartus
Nov 26-Dec 2 Tartus to Novorossiysk
Jan 15-Jan 21 Novorossiysk to Tartus
Jan 26-Jan 31 Tartus to Sevastopol
Feb 1-Feb 2 Sevastopol to Novorossiysk
Feb 17-Feb 24 Novorossiysk to Tartus
Feb 28-Mar 3 Tartus to Sevastopol
Mar 4-Mar 5 Sevastopol to Novorossiysk
Mar 18-Mar 23 Novorossiysk to Tartus
Mar 30-present Tartus to Malta

"Yauza" in Novorossiysk (March 14, 2016)

With the departure of "Yauza" and the disappearance of the commercial transport "Aleksandr Tkachenko" (last noted near Feodosiya on March 13), it appears the "Syrian Express" currently is relying exclusively on Russian Navy landing ships and a few formerly commercial ships to ferry cargo between Russia and Syria.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Russian Navy Activity Summary, February 2016

Landing ship "Ivan Gren" undergoing initial deperm - February 2016

Date Event
Feb 2 Submarine “Vladikavkaz” returned to Polyarnyy after "long-distance" mission
Feb 2 New deep-submergence submarine rescue vehicle "AS-40" temporarily embarked on submarine rescue ship "Alagez"; will transfer to "Igor Belousov" after it transfers to Pacific Fleet
Feb 4 New-construction landing ship “Ivan Gren” commenced initial deperming near Yantar Baltic Shipyard
Feb 6 Frigate "Admiral Essen" began first phase of state acceptance testing
Feb 8 Surprise combat readiness inspection began in Southern Military District (augmented by elements of the Central Military District); inspection ended on Feb 12
Feb 10 Frigate "Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Gorshkov" completed 15-day dock repair period at Shipyard 35 in Murmansk
Feb 11 Frigate "Admiral Grigorovich" returned to Yantar Baltic Shipyard for spruce work before scheduled commissioning ceremony on March 11
Feb 13 Kalibr-armed patrol combatant "Zelenyy Dol" and minesweeper "Kovrovets" departed Sevastopol en route to the   Mediterranean Sea; "Zelenyy Dol" arrived in Tartus, Syria, on Feb 17
Feb 18 Third Project 22160 patrol ship "Pavel Derzhavin" laid down at Gorkiy Zelenodolsk Shipyard
Feb 19 Project 19910 hydrographic survey vessel “Admiral Rogotskiy” laid down at October Revolution Shipyard (Blagoveshchensk)
Feb 21 Intelligence collection ship "Priazovye" noted heading southbound through Turkish Straits
Feb 24 Flight ban and route closures went into effect for "Russian Navy exercises" in the eastern Mediterranean Sea; valid through Feb 29
Feb 24 Oceanographic research vessel "Admiral Vladimirskiy" completed Antarctica survey and began transit to Cape Town, South Africa
Feb 29 Floating workshop "PM-138" joined Russian Navy task group in the Mediterranean Sea; to relieve "PM-56"