The Ministry of Defense announced a sharp increase in the military activity of NATO forces near the Russian borders and the danger of a further exacerbation of the situation. This September, American bombers simulated cruise missile strikes against Russia for the first time over the Black Sea, and the alliance’s reconnaissance aircraft overflights near Crimea grew 61% year-on-year. The presence of the bloc’s warships in the region also increased by a third. Experts believe that the first response step of our country to these challenges may be the intensification of long-range aviation patrols.
Black Sea visits
So, so NATO: why did the US Navy destroyer come to the Baltic The ships and aircraft of the Baltic Fleet are watching the maneuvers of the Ross?
Russia deliberately moved inland the main stage of the Caucasus-2020 strategic military exercises, Colonel-General Sergei Rudskoy, head of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, said on September 18. It was a demonstration that the maneuvers were not directed against any state. But there were no retaliatory steps from NATO to normalize the situation.
Now in the Black Sea there are four warships of the North Atlantic Alliance, including the US missile destroyer Franklin Roosevelt, capable of carrying up to 90 cruise missiles. The infographics distributed by the Ministry of Defense noted that the Black Sea Fleet frigate “Admiral Essen” is constantly located between the American ship and the coast. Also ready are the Pytlivy patrol ship and the Ivanovets missile boat.
“Escorting American ships in the Black Sea to prevent possible provocations is a long-standing practice,” military historian Dmitry Boltenkov told Izvestia. – During the Soviet era, NATO regularly probed the Black Sea Fleet’s combat readiness. Therefore, our ships were constantly on duty next to their ships.
Russian Su-27 fighter and American strategic bomber Boeing B-52H Stratofortress in the sky over the Black Sea
Photo: RIA Novosti / Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
General’s rehearsal: the United States has practiced strikes on Russian territory
On February 12, 1988, the patrol ships “Selfless” and “SKR-6” had to oust the American cruiser and destroyer from the Soviet territorial waters, the expert recalled. This is one of the potential options for a possible escalation that the Russian military is warning about.
American strategic bombers B-52H on August 28, September 4 and 14 worked out over the Black and Azov Seas to reach the launch lines for cruise missiles at targets in the Southern Military District. At the same time, they approached the Russian border at a distance of up to 11 km.
To intercept and escort NATO reconnaissance and strike aircraft, 27 Russian aircraft had to be deployed in a week and anti-aircraft missile systems had to be alerted.
The actions of the Americans have recently been openly demonstrative, but from a military point of view, they do not look like a big threat, sources familiar with the situation told Izvestia. The Russian Aerospace Forces have all the necessary means to counter actions of any scale, including cruise missile strikes. But according to the interlocutors of the publication, the persistence and even aggressiveness of the actions of the American military, of course, are alarming.
Earlier, on September 17, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the military-political situation is heating up not only in the Black Sea region, but also in the Eastern strategic direction, as well as in the Arctic.
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The bombers of the US Air Force Global Strikes Command flew to the shores of the Crimea. The day before, General Timothy Ray, who heads it, reported on the increase in the combat readiness of his aircraft. Today, the United States can deploy 30 of its 76 B-52Hs and nearly all of its 19 B-2 stealth. Approximately one in three of 63 supersonic B-1s can perform missions. The latter were so worn out when used in Iraq and Afghanistan that at times only six vehicles could take off.
“Such a percentage of combat readiness can hardly be considered a success,” says military expert Vladislav Shurygin. – Yes, and it was achieved by pulling all strategic aviation back to the United States, where it is easier to maintain. Now the US Air Force sends only small groups of “strategists” abroad on the principle of rotation. It was such a detachment of six B-52Hs that flew to the UK at the end of August and is now making raids either to the Crimea, then to the Arctic, or to the Baltic Sea, in order to keep the Russian air defense in suspense.
US supersonic strategic bomber B-1
Photo: commons.wikimedia.org/US Air Force / Staff Sgt. Aaron allmon
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According to the expert, our country can respond with demonstration flights to patrol its long-range aviation. This has already been done several times in previous cases of exacerbation of the situation.
According to the Pentagon, the US Air Force is preparing a plan for a deep modernization of the B-52H, the youngest of which was produced in 1962. It is planned that the engines on the plane will be replaced with modern ones, a new radar and communication equipment will be installed, and the range of weapons will be expanded. With constant upgrades, some of these machines are expected to last until the 2050s and possibly celebrate their centenary.
The US Air Force Global Strikes Command has said it plans to equip its B-1s with external hardpoints for the AGM-183A ARRW hypersonic missiles under development. Now they can only be carried by B-52 bombers. With new ammunition, the strike potential of strategic aircraft will grow significantly.
Ice sheet: how the power of the Northern Fleet of Russia is increased The main task of the Federation Council is to control and contain NATO forces all the way to the Baltic
The activity of the US Air Force and allies has simultaneously increased in the Arctic as well. The same B-52s that flew to Crimea visited northern latitudes this week. Supersonic B-1s regularly appear off the country’s east coast.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on September 17 spoke about the progress in strengthening the military infrastructure in the Arctic. Among the most important projects is the construction of two northern airfields. One of them, Nagurskaya, located on the island of Alexandra Land of the Franz Josef Land archipelago, after reconstruction this year was declared year-round. A permanent runway was built on it from concrete slabs. Work continues, the runway will be lengthened by another kilometer. This will make it possible to land on it, if necessary, not only for fighters, but also for heavy bombers. Work continues on Kotelny Island in the Novosibirsk Islands archipelago.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu
Photo: Izvestia / Pavel Bednyakov
In Yakutia, the creation of modular military camps has been completed to accommodate anti-aircraft gunners of the 3rd Air Defense Division, created last year, and radar posts that will monitor the airspace.
And the Northern Fleet this year will receive 179 units of weapons and equipment. Among them are the Knyaz Vladimir nuclear-powered missile submarine with ballistic missiles and the Project 22350 frigate Admiral of the Fleet Kasatonov, the Akademik Pashin sea tanker and the Nikolay Skosyrev hydrographic vessel. For the basing of the latest missile submarine cruisers of the Borey-A project, they are reconstructing their berths.