The newest small missile ship (MRK) “Green Dol” of the Buyan-M project was tested in the harsh conditions of the Barents and White Seas. To participate in the maneuvers of the Northern Fleet, the MRK made a transition from the Baltic Sea to the Arctic along inland waterways. There he successfully fired off with cruise missiles. According to experts, the past exercises are extremely important for the security of Russia. Now you can, if necessary, strengthen the northern direction with small ships with ammunition “Caliber” and “Zircon”. This is especially true in the context of the possible deployment of NATO missile defense forces in the Norwegian area. By the way, simultaneously with the exercises of the Russian fleet, a group of warships of the alliance conducted their maneuvers 200 km from the Kola Peninsula.
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Over the polar surf
The tests of the Zeleny Dol MRK in the Northern Fleet were recognized as successful, Izvestia sources in the military department said. Before that, it was not known whether the Buyans, with their small size, would be able to operate in the weather and hydrographic conditions of the Arctic zone. But the ship did it. As the interlocutors of the edition noted, all the tasks were completed.
In the exercise area “Zeleny Dol”, which is part of the Baltic Fleet, came by inland waterways – through the Neva, Lake Ladoga and the White Sea-Baltic Canal to the White Sea. While in the Northern Fleet, RTOs made calls to Severodvinsk and Severomorsk. In total, the crew covered over 3.3 thousand nautical miles.
In the White Sea, the ship conducted a combat launch of the Kalibr cruise missile, hitting a coastal target at the Chizha training range. In the near future, RTOs will return to the Baltic naval base by the same route.
Until recently, the Russian fleet has not practiced the transfer of ships from one direction to another along internal routes, military historian Dmitry Boltenkov told Izvestia.
“These maneuvers give the Navy great opportunities to concentrate forces in one direction or another in the event of a threat,” the expert said. – For a trained crew, there is nothing difficult in this, the infrastructure is debugged. If necessary, small ships can be sent to the Northern Fleet not only from the Baltic waters, but also from the Caspian Sea.
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MRK “Zeleny Dol” project 21631 “Buyan-M” has a displacement of 850 tons and is designed to destroy sea targets in the coastal zone. It carries eight launchers for cruise missiles of the “Caliber” type or anti-ship “Onyx”, as well as artillery weapons. In addition, these small ships are equipped with impressive reconnaissance equipment and, if necessary, can be included in the so-called reconnaissance-strike and reconnaissance-fire contours.
As previously reported by Izvestia, together with the Zeleny Dolom tests at the Northern Fleet, the Odintsovo MRK of project 22800 Karakurt was also tested. According to sources, during the maneuvers, he performed firing practice. The Karakurts are small-sized ships (displacement 800 tons) with an impressive arsenal: they carry Caliber cruise missiles, a 76.2-mm AK-176MA gun mount, and, if necessary, can be equipped with Onyx anti-ship missiles … IRAs of project 22800 are built using low-signature technology and are equipped with modern combat control, detection, target designation and communication systems.
On the other hand
Simultaneously with the exercises of the Russian fleet, a group of NATO warships conducted their own maneuvers 200 km from the Kola Peninsula. British and Norwegian frigates were escorted by the American destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71). It is equipped with SM-3 anti-ballistic missiles designed to destroy ballistic ammunition.
This year, the United States has noticeably increased the activity of its fleet and aviation in the Arctic. In May of this year, a nuclear submarine, three missile destroyers of the Sixth Fleet and a British frigate conducted exercises for the first time in 30 years in the Barents Sea, not far from the Russian coast. In a press release distributed after the maneuvers, the command of the US Navy noted the importance of support from Norway in conducting operations in the area.
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The head of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Sergei Rudskoy, said that the NATO naval group was practicing strikes against targets on the territory of our country and intercepting Russian ballistic missiles.
Tests of RTOs showed that, if necessary, the grouping of the Northern Fleet can be quickly reinforced with cruise missile carriers. This may be necessary when deploying NATO missile defense in Norway or the adjacent water area, believes Dmitry Kornev, editor of the Militaryrussia portal.
“They can deploy ships with the Aegis missile defense system in that area. In theory, this system is capable of hitting even Russian intercontinental missiles, the routes of which pass over and near Norway, – the expert explained to Izvestia. – To break through this defense and may need RTOs with cruise missiles. The ship-based Caliber complex can fire two types of ammunition – anti-ship and against ground targets. Both are needed to break through the missile defense system: some hit the ships – carriers of the Aegis systems, and others – the ground information and support infrastructure.
In October 2019, the Norwegian government announced that it was abandoning plans to acquire radars and interceptor missiles to deploy a ground-based NATO missile defense component on its territory. Nor are they going to host foreign missile defense bases. However, the country provides its ports for basing foreign ships that are part of the missile defense system.
In the port of Tromsø, an infrastructure upgrade is being completed to receive American warships with an Aegis missile defense system and cruise missiles. It was reported that they will now be able to use this base more frequently for action in the region. In August, the destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG-80) and the multipurpose nuclear submarine USS Seawolf have already visited there.