Despite the easing of international tensions around the situation in Syria, the operational connection of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean (Mediterranean squadron) continues to bear military service in the region. And even slowly increases the composition, although the build-up of forces goes at a slightly different pace - reduced. In general, the squadron gunpowder continues to keep dry.
Almost all the time while the US sauntered weapons around Syria after the advancement of completely contrived accusations of the use of chemical weapons, it seemed that you see some kind of farce. Or, rather, the behavior of a cowardly gopnik, who is afraid to enter into a fight, but cannot lose his dignity "before fraternization", and therefore he plays a scene like "hold me seven, and then six won't keep me, and I will tear them all away."
In the role of "barely holding" were the allies of the United States, who strenuously found ways to refuse to participate in this fun, and their own Congress, and even the enemy in this political situation, that is, Russia. Played its role of holding a cowardly bully from the fight and, probably, bashing and the Mediterranean squadron of the Navy. When the Americans with our help successfully found a loophole from the situation where they had driven themselves, it became clear that there would be no fight. And then a number of ships already planned to be sent to the squadron, allegedly according to a planned rotation, set different tasks. Stressing, however, that if the situation suddenly demands, they will be sent both and others.
In particular, the entry into military service in the Mediterranean to the squadron of the flagship of the Baltic Fleet, the destroyer of the 956 "Persistent" project, was canceled - he immediately found work at home, because the exercises "West-2013" begin at the same time, with which many more Russian exercises related to a single vision and legend. A pair of Black Sea "toothed kids": the rocket boat of the 12411 "Ivanovets" project and the small rocket ship of the 1234 "Shtil" project, which were also planned to be sent to the squadron, also stayed at home. Moreover, the representatives of the Navy referred to the difficulties of the transition of small ships in the autumn stormy weather, although before that the weather did not prevent them. It was probably planned to place them temporarily in Tartus, ensuring there was a constant presence there, which clearly made the port protected from possible attacks from the United States.
Until then, the Pacific flagship, guarded missile cruiser "Varyag" of the 1164 project, also redirected to the shores of Syria, has not yet been sent there. Although the program of his Pacific voyage is seriously reduced, the cruiser will still be sent to the "western Indian Ocean", where it will perform "various tasks." But if necessary, he can be quickly transferred to the shores of Syria and become part of the permanent compound of the Russian Navy. For now he, apparently, will look after the American ships in this region. And if specifically - for the AUG, led by the nuclear aircraft carrier "Harry Truman" in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. On the shock distance of their 16 PKR operational destination "Vulkan", I suppose. Obviously, the General Staff and the Main Headquarters of the Navy decided that at this stage a greater concentration of forces in the Syria region is not required, but it requires “supervision” of our American “probable partners number one”. Together with Varyag there are a tanker and an ocean rescue tug.
However, the "planned rotation" in the Mediterranean region was not canceled for the urgent (during the exacerbation) direction of the Black Sea flagship sent there, the guards missile cruiser "Moscow", and at the moment he is already leading a squadron. The large anti-submarine ship of the 1155 project “Admiral Panteleyev” from the Pacific Fleet transferred first to the squadron, and now has moved to the Red Sea - its task will also be tracking the AUG, led by the aircraft carrier Chester Nimitz. However, it is possible that “Varyag” could then change “Moscow” as the flagship of the grouping. "Moscow" for several months at sea and in need of entering the base for the prevention of machinery and mechanisms and the rest of the crew.
Also, the composition of the Mediterranean squadron now includes two patrol ships (or, as it is now fashionable to call, rocket frigates): the Baltic Fearless and the Black Sea Sharp-witted. If combatant in the Mediterranean squadron became familiar to Fearless, as was his fellow 11540 “Wise” project, then the last “singing frigate” of 61 “Sharp” project will celebrate the 45 anniversary next year. And although the ship was upgraded to a new project 01090, equipped with modern anti-ship missiles "Uranus" and a number of new systems - time takes its toll. Representatives of the Navy have already stated that if there are no extraordinary needs, in the future the “singing frigate” will act only in the Black Sea.
As for the large landing ships (BDKs), they as a part of the group already made up eight ships from all four fleets. A part of the BDK (two to four units) operate according to the shuttle scheme on the Novorossiysk – Tartus route, ensuring the supply of the main part of armaments, military equipment and ammunition to Syria, while the rest carry out military service as part of the squadron. Moreover, both of them, judging by the photographs and other information, are loaded to capacity. Only some carry weapons for the Syrian army, while others carry marines with equipment. Each BDK can carry either 1000 tons of cargo, or 20 tanks, or 50 pieces of equipment (Project 1171 Tapir, for example, Nikolay Filchenkov), or 500 tons of cargo, or 10 tanks, or 20 pieces of equipment (Project 775 and its modifications). In addition to equipment, they carry up to the battalion of marines (340-440 people). Included in the squadron is such an important ship as the SRZK (medium reconnaissance ship) Priazovye. He is SSV-201, a “communications vessel,” as it is more traditional than traditional for camouflage (everyone knows the real purpose of these ships), such ships are called in the Russian Navy. Built, like most of the USSR Navy's scouts, in Poland (then the USSR gave orders for such ships to the Allies, later equipping them) in 1987, this 3800-ton ship has neither powerful weapons nor high speed, but it is full of intelligence equipment. It includes a powerful complex of radio and radio intelligence (RIRTR), radar tools for working at different heights, sonar tools.
Six years ago, the "Priazovye" went through a deep modernization of radio equipment, as a result of which the appearance of the SRZK changed dramatically. In general, these scouts are upgrading almost constantly. In fact, the Priazovye SRZK is the eyes and ears of the squadron, ensuring the timely opening of the intentions and actions of the Americans, Turks, Israelis, conducting reconnaissance on the territory of Syria, including through the gangs radio networks.
Also, activities of the squadron provide about a dozen support vessels: three tankers, tugs and rescue floating workshop PM-138.
An important question that probably interests many: are there submarines in the compound? This question can be answered with certainty: yes, because even smaller groups of the Russian Navy on long hikes are often accompanied by the main striking power of our fleet — submarines. Even if they were quickly upgraded and repaired by our remarkable shipbuilders, or they are under repair for five years.
Although the official location of the submarine somewhere almost never confirmed, including in the composition of the Mediterranean connection. But with a few rare exceptions. One of them was the largest inter-fleet exercises off the coast of Syria at the beginning of the year, again “completely planned” coincided with another exacerbation of Western hysteria around Syria. Then in the squadron gathered nearly three dozen pennants, including two submarines, this was announced. Then, just as a solid demonstration of intentions and strength was carried out, when the marines and airborne troops landed from the BDK on the Syrian coast, covered by Russian and Syrian warships.
The submarines “surfaced” for the second time out of the darkness of secrecy, when a report on the official report on the formation of an operational connection of the Navy in the Mediterranean to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu flashed on the screen a slide with a connection structure, which at that time consisted of four operational groups and 16 pennants, in t. h and submarine.
And the third time - recently, during the current exacerbation, when a message ran through the news agencies, where it was said in passing that the group could be reinforced by another nuclear submarine from the Northern Fleet. But the Americans, according to the information of some Western publications, believe that the Russians have three submarines in the region. One of them is the "assassin of aircraft carriers", a Project 949A submarine with an operational anti-ship missile "Granit", and also a pair of covering multipurpose submarines. True or not - it is difficult to say, as, indeed, about those who flicker in the news data on three American nuclear submarines in the region, including one of the Ohio class, out of the four ships that were converted from strategic missile carriers to carriers of the Tomahawk sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs). It is possible that all this information from both sides is a "leak" of data on contacts of their forces with submarines, but it is possible that it is erroneous or false. Fear has big eyes.
Near the Syrian coast is the Chinese detachment of ships, headed by the landing-helicopter ship-dock (DVKD) type 071. Such a ship carries several helicopters and up to a battalion of marines with equipment. Onboard the DVKD there is a battalion of marines with equipment and several helicopters. For Americans who are aware of the ever closer rapprochement of the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China in the military and military-political plans and the unified position of the Eurasian great powers in Syria, this squad is another “nail in the chair”.
Many people ask themselves the question: what are the real goals of finding a large naval group near Syria? First of all, of course, this is a presence in an important region of the world, a flag demonstration and all that jazz. But this, of course, is not the point. In addition, the ships of our fleet are capable of providing reconnaissance, disclosing the actions and intentions of the opposing group and providing this information to Syrian friends. Not to mention the early warning of missile attacks for SAR air defense (as they did during recent launches in the Mediterranean Sea together with the SPRN radar in Armavir). Well, the target designation of the Syrian coastal SCRC "Rubezh", "Redoubt", the latest "Bastions" (a volley of which modern air defense is not even able to repel an aircraft carrier group), as well as aviation may well be provided. And you can’t show anything back.
It is also important to ensure the smooth operation of the “Syrian express” - regular flights of BDK with weapons. Moreover, we will supply weapons, as the head of state should understand, in any case, even in the case of a military operation. Americans will not be able to prevent us, it will mean war. That is, the Syrians will promptly make up for losses in technology, while the Americans during the long operation shine another Korea or Vietnam.
But the United States has neither intentions nor forces for any operations now, except for a one-time action or low-intensity strikes in a short period of time. They have little concentrated forces there, in the Mediterranean now there are only three destroyers of the type “Arly Burk” (there were five, but two took home) and one landing-helicopter ship-dock “San Antonio”. Moreover, he is not there because of Syria, but because of the fears of the United States that something might happen in Libya that requires the power support of the evacuation of the personnel. There is an aircraft carrier group in the Red Sea - an aircraft carrier, a cruiser and two destroyers, the other is the same - in the Persian Gulf and turned off from the game (even its aircraft do not have the ability to attack Syria: the airspace of Iraq and Jordan is closed to them). That is, the forces of the fleet are quite small, and they are divided. And against the available American forces, our group looks confident enough. Especially taking into account the submarine component and the arrival in the region of a missile cruiser capable of providing both zonal air defense with its C-300F air defense missile system and a shock function.
Americans have to take into account the fact that any missile launched in the direction of the squadron ships, can lead to war. And it will no longer be there who has many ships nearby. The leadership of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has already hinted that “God forbid, a rocket will fall into our ship”, noting that in this case “the consequences for the ecology of the region can be dangerous.” Therefore, any flight paths of the SLCM will have to be built around. In addition, the ships of the squadron clearly defiantly conducted exercises in the period of aggravation of anti-submarine warfare and repelling attacks of cruise missiles.
The presence of a fleet in general, and with a developed amphibious component, is an important deterrent. Americans do not know exactly what actions will be taken by the group in response to various actions. For example, they also understand that the stated task for the squadron to “evacuate Russian citizens in the event of a catastrophic development of events” seems far-fetched. In Syria, there are no signs of the fact that the Syrian army is losing. On the contrary, even the limited strikes of the USA would not change what is already clear to everyone: the terrorist army recruited from all over the world is losing. The question is only when it will happen and how many more people will die and the houses will be destroyed.
And how to evacuate tens of thousands of people? Before the war, 140 lived in Syria with thousands of people with Russian passports: staff of various institutions, wives and children of Syrians, etc. Even if half or two-thirds left - the rest would be enough for a small country like South Ossetia (there were about as many citizens Russia at the time of the beginning of the conflict 2008 year). But the BDK can take only half a thousand people, well, maybe a little more. This is not a Costa Concordia cruise liner. And from it somewhere else you need to unload the troops and equipment. On the BDK can only take the embassy staff. But no one is going to evacuate him. In the USA, everybody understands this and is fully aware that the Russians can make an unexpected move when they try to strike at them - such as the legendary Pristina throw, only bigger. As a result of this move, the Americans would have an unpleasant choice: either to pretend that there was nothing, or to go to the aggravation. And the loss of face for the United States is now extremely dangerous - the economic situation is already bad. Therefore, in Washington, they so seized on a straw about Syria’s refusal of chemical weapons, graciously stretched by Moscow and Damascus.
There is one more factor. In the domestic media, it is often forgotten that at the moment the only country with a non-strategic (tactical) nuclear arsenal at sea is Russia. Not so long ago, the United States disposed of special warheads for the reconverted from nuclear to conventional "Tomahawks." The US Navy does not have other nuclear non-strategic charges. And in Russia, development in this area did not stop, and the production was not curtailed. Of course, a lot of obsolete charges were utilized, but the rest and recently produced will be enough for everyone. All this in the headquarters of the US Navy is taken into account and therefore they treat “these Russians” with caution.
In general, all this concentration of US forces looked frivolous, as if they were confronted not by Syria - a country with a powerful air defense and a strong enough army with combat experience, but some native leader who, by lack of thought and gluttony, ate an American evangelical preacher. There was neither a decent aviation forces to the theater, nor the forces of the fleet. The available stock of cruise missiles on ships in the Mediterranean (if you take into account typical ammunition for ships that left the base not for war, but for trivial patrols, all the more), as well as the number of carriers, is clearly not enough to create massive waves of cruise missiles. Those who wish can find themselves how many forces at one time were opposed to campaigns against the same Iraq, Yugoslavia, and not only for the war, but also for one-off actions, which were quite a few. That is, there was a banal bluff, but with what purposes it was made - this is a question not related to the objectives of this publication.
Therefore, the Americans agreed with the initiative of Moscow with relief - they didn’t smile at trying modern science ATS air defense systems, they present the capabilities of modern air defense systems much better than our home-grown «analysts’ depicting how easily and naturally Americans pogrom anti-aircraft weapons with which never have not met before and which are incomparable in any way with the old stuff with which they had to deal earlier.