A new coastal defense brigade has been formed in the Far East. The compound will cover Sakhalin. Taking into account the missile and artillery troops already available in the region, the Pacific coast of Russia was completely protected from the landing of troops and the approach of ships with cruise missiles.
Closing the defense
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the creation of a new unit at the annual board meeting. However, the direction where the coastal missile brigade will operate was not named. According to Izvestia’s sources in the military department, it will be based on Sakhalin. Now the island is recruiting soldiers for contract service, as well as civilian personnel.
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The formation will include divisions of supersonic cruise missiles “Bastion” and low-altitude “Ball”.
“In Soviet times, a continuous line of defense was created in the Far East, and coastal missile units kept at gunpoint all approaches to the Russian coast,” military historian Dmitry Boltenkov told Izvestia. – But in the 1990s it was destroyed. Several years ago, they began to restore it. Today, missile brigades are already in service in Kamchatka and in Primorye. With the advent of a connection on Sakhalin, the system will be closed. In fact, any aggressor, approaching the Pacific coast of Russia, will be caught in the crossfire.
Coastal missile systems (BRK) hit the ships without a miss, explained the ex-chief of the Main Staff of the Navy, Admiral Valentin Selivanov.
“When I was the chief of staff of the Black Sea Fleet, our DBK fired almost to the Bosphorus, the enemy could pass through the strait and immediately come under fire,” the admiral told Izvestia. – It’s a good thing for defense. The brigade will be mobile, on wheeled vehicles, so it is invulnerable – it will be able to maneuver, disguise itself and change firing positions. And all enemy targets on the approaches to the Kuriles and Sakhalin will be hit with high accuracy. Aircraft and other reconnaissance assets, including space ones, will provide target designation to the brigade.
According to Valentin Selivanov, the brigade’s power will be enough to destroy a grouping of 10–20 enemy ships.
Attention to the shore
In recent years, Russia has been actively strengthening the coastal forces of the fleet, and in particular the coastal missile and artillery troops (BRAV). They are being rearmed from the outdated Redut and Rubezh complexes to the newest Bastion and Ball. In addition, modern divisions are being formed, and missile regiments are being transformed into full-fledged brigades.
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BRAV began to be thoroughly strengthened in 2015. Previously, the brigades had two divisions each – one at the Rubezh complexes and one at the Redoubts. Now their structure has been expanded.
In 2015, began mass deliveries of “Balls” and “Bastions” to the troops. The 72nd separate coastal missile brigade of the Pacific Fleet was the first to receive them. The connection is based in Primorye. Since November 2017, the Bastion battery from its composition has been deployed on the Iturup island, and the Bal ballistic missile battery – on the Kunashir island. These units were rotated on the islands.
As part of the 520-brigade, stationed in Kamchatka, there are also several divisions re-equipped with the latest missile systems. The area of responsibility is the connection of the coast of Kamchatka and Chukotka. The central part of the Pacific coast for a long time remained without serious cover.
Mobile coastal complexes “Bastion” are armed with supersonic anti-ship missiles “Onyx”, capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 600 km. To find the enemy, they are helped by target designation planes and helicopters with radar systems, ships and submarines, with which the DBK are closed into a single information circuit. Coastal complexes can destroy both single ships and floating craft as part of amphibious formations, convoys and aircraft carrier strike groups.
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Also, due to the radar homing head, the Bastion missiles can hit ground targets with particular accuracy. Moreover, the range of the ammunition is even greater than that of the land-based Iskander. The experience of Syria has shown that the “Bastions” work well for stationary and “limited mobile” ground targets – command posts, radar stations, airfields, helipads and artillery batteries.
BRK “Ball” are designed to protect the coast and straits, as well as cover naval bases. They have the ability to fire single missiles and volleys of up to 32 subsonic missiles. After reloading (it takes 30–40 minutes), the complex is ready to fire a second volley. DBK is a mobile system based on the MZKT-7930 chassis. It includes up to two self-propelled command posts, up to four launchers with eight Kh-35 / Kh-35U cruise missiles, as well as transport and reloading vehicles.
The decision to strengthen the land component of the fleet was not accidental. The history of Russia knows examples of the defense of naval bases from land strikes: such battles took place during the Crimean, Russian-Japanese and Great Patriotic Wars.