Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Russian Naval Task Force On The Move in the Med

Fritz Nusser near Basel, Switzerland has posted the following post to the UDXF group that bears watching closely. Thanks to Fritz for sharing your observations with the rest of us.

The cruise of a Russian inter-fleet task force around ACC Admiral Kuznetsov starting early December 2011 in Severomorsk has found much attention. Contrary to all official statements the highly political action included a visit of the Mediterranean port of Tartus (SYR).

Intensive observation of Morse communications of Weather and Sea State reports on the usual channels as well as observations of shipspotters and Navy bulletins provided interesting aspects of the cruise. Maybe the following, provisional summary is of interest although it doesn't answer all questions. More trainings with firing exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean have been announced by the BSF HQ in Sevastopl, maybe together with Turkish Navy?

Please note, that - once again - the involved callsigns RKO81, RAL46 and RAL65 could not be assigned to specific ships of the task force. Furthermore not clear is the identity of RFH77, probably belonging to the BSF, which during the whole time was very active with its HQ in Sevastopol. We'll see, which callsigns will become quiet again after the cruise. And: I've not seen confirmed anywhere rumours about a submarine taking part in this cruise.

4.12.2011 BSF frigate Ladny leaves Sevastopol for the Mediterranean Sea.

7.12.2011 BF frigate Yaroslav Mudry and tanker Lena leave Baltiysk heading for the North Sea. NF ACC Admiral Kuznetsov leaves Severomorsk heading for the Barents Sea,
shaping NF carrier group together with ASW ship Admiral Chabanenko, rescue tug
Nikolai Chiker and tankers Sergei Osipov, Vyazma and Kama.

14.12.2011 The carrier task group seeks shelter in the Moray firth, NE of Great Britain.

16.12.2011 The carrier task force continues the cruise through the Atlantic.

21.12.2011 RN destroyer HMS York returns to Portsmouth after watching exercises of the Russian deck-based SU-33 fighters West of Ireland.

22.12.2011 BSF frigate Ladny pays visit to Ceuta (E). Wx and Sea State reports of RKO81 reports to RMP (Kaliningrad) from 35.7N 4.1W. RAL46 and RAL65 report position to RIT from 35.7N 4.0W.

23.12.2011 ACC Admiral Kuznetsov passes Gibraltar Strait and enters the Mediterranean Sea. Other ships of the task force passed the Strait before. BSF frigate Ladny joines the carrier group. RAL46 and RAL65 report to RIW from 35.8N 1.5W (off ALG).

25.12.2011 The carrier task force is seen off the base of Mers-el-Kebir (ALG).

26.12.2011 Tanker Sergei Osipov visits Valletta (MLT). RKO81 reports to RMP from 35.7N 1.7W (off ALG).

27.12.2011 Frigate Ladny visits Valletta (MLT).

29.12.2011 RAL46 and RAL65 report Wx and Sea State from 37.2N 0.2W (off Cartagena).

31.12.2011 RAL65 with Wx ans Sea State report to RIW from 40.6N 11.1W (off Porto (POR).

1.1.2012 RAL65 with position report to RIW from 39.7N 11.6W (NW off Lissabon).
RKO81 with position report from 36.2N 14.7E (North of Malta).

2.1.2012 RAL65 with position report from 39.7N 11.1W (NW off Lissabon).
RAL65 with position report from 39.8N 11.4W (NW off Lissabon). Frigate Ladny leaves Valletta. Tanker Sergei Osipov leaves Valletta. RKO81 with position report from 36.0N 16.1E (East of Malta).

2.1./3.1.2012 Carrier task force is "in central part of Mediterranean Sea", Air Wing is performing training flights.

4.1.2012 RAL65 to RIW with position report 47.0N 7.1W (Northern Biscaye). RKO81 with position report 34.6N 24.7E (South of Crete). RAL46 with position report 34.6N 26.5E (South of Crete).

5.1.2012 ACC Admiral Kuznetsov, ASW ship Admiral Chabanenko and frigates Yaroslav Mudry and Ladny along with supply vessels anchore South of Crete.

6.1.2012 Members of the Carrier Task Force perform exercices with Greek Naval Forces.

7.1.2012 ASW Ship Admiral Chabanenko, frigate Ladny, tanker Lena are in naval base Tartus (SYR), ACC Admiral Kuznetsov and rescue tug Nikolai Chiker have anchored.

You can get more information by visiting Fritz's website at http://www.astrosol.ch Now: All CIS-Ny Summaries 2011 updated.