‘Proud Move’: Iranian Navy Test-Fires New Nour Cruise Missiles

Iranian Navy boats take part in maneuvers during the Velayat-90 navy exercises in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran (File)


The Iranian Navy has successfully test-fired a series of Nour surface-to-surface cruise missiles during military exercises off the Makran coast in southeastern Iran.

After three days of military maneuvers known as Velayat 94, Iranian naval forces test fired the missiles on Friday. With a range of 93 miles, the Nour missiles proved to be both accurate and powerful.

Commodore Seyyed Mahmoud Mousavi, a spokesman for the Iranian Navy, told reporters that “the Navy’s vessels simultaneously fired surface-to-surface Nour cruise missiles and destroyed pre-determined targets and successfully accomplished this mission.”

Speaking to reporters, Iranian Navy chief, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, added that the “proud move” by the Iranian Navy “strikes fear into the heart” of hostile enemies.

The missiles can be fired from land, as well as from naval vessels.

The four-day annual exercises began on Wednesday in the waters east of the Strait of Hormuz.

“The drills are aimed at showing to the people of the entire world the Islamic Republic of Iran’s competence and authority in establishing security and defending the country’s maritime borders across seas, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, and northern Indian ocean,” Sayyari said.

The drills, Tehran’s largest naval exercise, faced a minor setback on Wednesday when Iran was forced to address the presence of a US warship approaching the operation zone.

“As we anticipated that the Americans may approach the drill zone to learn about our tactics, we warned them once by maritime patrol aircraft and again by the Alborz destroyer,” Sayyari said in an interview with Fars News Agency.

The US vessel left the area, “accordingly.”

The Iranian Navy also conducted drills in the Sea of Oman last November. These exercises included the use of sophisticated submersibles, including the submarines Tareq and Ghadir.


Russia to Deploy More Su-30 Interceptor Jets in Crimea

Sukhoi Su-30SM


A number of new planes will be added to the squadron of Sukhoi Su-30SM multirole interceptors deployed in Crimea, the Black Sea Fleet Commander, Admiral Alexander Vitko, said on Friday.

Prior to Crimea’s 2014 reunification with Russia the Ukrainian authorities opposed all attempts to upgrade the Russian Black Sea Fleet based on the peninsula.

“The Su-30SM fighter jets are doing more than just adding luster to our military parades in Sevastopol, they are actively being used during exercises,” Admiral Vitko told RIA Novosti news agency.

He added that this year more planes would be added to the squadron of Su-30s currently deployed on the peninsula.

Admiral Vitko said that in the past year the Fleet’s pilots had flown hundreds of sorties clocking 5,000 hours in the air which he described as the best such performance in a decade.

“Our pilots have flown over 200 antisubmarine missions, launched hundreds of unguided missiles and performed numerous bombing missions. Our helicopters have flown over a hundred sorties taking off from and landing on ships,” he added.

The Su-30SM is a multirole fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions.

The Su-30SM can conduct electronic counter-countermeasures and early warning tasks. The aircraft also acts as a command-and-control platform within a fleet of combat aircraft performing joint missions.


Bastion: Russia Develops Silo-Based Anti-Ship Missile System for Export

Bastion coastal defense missile system


The silo-based export version of the Bastion anti-ship missile system will meet the demands of countries which need to protect a limited area of their coastlines.

A Russian military-industrial corporation has developed a silo-based Bastion anti-ship missile system specifically for exports, the general director of the state-owned Mashinostroeniya Corporation said Friday.“The project has been completed. Moreover, this was done mainly not even for the Russian Army because our expanse [of the country] allow us to solve tasks differently using a mobile complex, but [made] for countries that have a small territory and need to protect a limited area of their coastlines,” Alexander Leonov told journalists.

He said the new system was “silo-based on the basis of the Bastion.” The system is capable of providing security along coastlines of more than 600 kilometers (just over 370 miles).


Russian-Egyptian Eased Navy Access Protocol Enters Into Force

The Russian missile cruiser Moskva patrols in the Mediterranean Sea

Russia’s protocol with Egypt on simplifying navy ships access to mutual waters has come into force, according to the text of the document published by Russia’s official legal information database on Wednesday.

The protocol was signed on November 24, 2015, during Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu’s visit to Cairo.The protocol authorizes the Russian and Egyptian navies and crew members, as well as establishes the procedures, access to each others’ ports.

The authorized sides are required to exchange mutually important information and are prohibited from carrying weapons of mass destruction, nuclear fuel, chemical weapons, radioactive materials or narcotics on board.

The five-year intergovernmental protocol can be renewed for additional five years until one of the sides notifies the other of intending to exit out of the agreement.


Russian Actions in Syria Cause Daesh to ‘Lose Foothold for First Time’

Everyday life of the Russian air group at the Hmeymim airfield in Syria


Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin stated that the military campaign conducted by Russia against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria has contributed to their losing standing in the country.

  The military campaign conducted by Russia against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria has contributed to their losing standing in the country, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin stated on Tuesday.

“So as to assist the Syrian government, the Russian side continues to provide military assistance in combating ISIL [Daesh] and other terrorist groups,” Churkin told a UN Security Council debate on the Middle East. “For the first time they stopped, they have lost their footholds.”

The UN Security Council holds a debate on the Middle East every month. On December 18, 2015, it unanimously adopted Resolution 2254 at a ministerial-level meeting, which set the sequence of events necessary to solve the Syrian conflict.

UK Permanent Representative to the UN Matthew Rycroft accused Russia during the debate on Tuesday that Moscow is responsible for causing significant number civilian deaths in Syria.

“[T]here have been repeated and well-evidenced reports that Russian and Syrian regime bombing raids have resulted in extensive civilian losses,” Rycroft claimed.

Churkin, however, retorted that “information regarding the numerous civilian casualties as a result of airstrikes in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, our UK and US colleagues have ignored, traditionally.”

“Russia continues to provide military assistance in the campaign against ISIL and other terrorist groups at the request of Syrian authorities. For the first time they have begun to lose captured positions,” Churkin told the UN Security Council.

The envoy noted Russia’s humanitarian activities in the Arab republic, including aid deliveries to Deir ez-Zor, where Daesh militants cut off passage to over 100,000 civilians.

Churkin roundly rejected “various allegations in connection with Russian actions in Syria.”

“It is especially strange when they are spread by members of the Western coalition, which in contrast to the Russian Aerospace Forces, acts completely without transparency and inefficiently,” he stressed.

Churkin further pointed to the “traditional disregard” of numerous civilian casualties caused by US and UK airstrikes in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.

Earlier on Tuesday, the UN envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura sent out invitations for the inter-Syrian talks under Resolution 2254, with the intention of beginning the proximity talks on Friday.

The Islamic State, also known as Daesh, is a designated terrorist group that is outlawed in the United States, Russia and numerous other countries. The group has captured since 2014 huge sways of territory in Iraq and Syria, where it proclaimed a caliphate under Sharia law.


Russia supplied arms to Iraqi Kurds through official Baghdad — Lavrov




Russia took into account the fact that both the government army and the Kurdish militias were fighting against the Islamic State terrorists when supplying arms to Iraq

MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. The supplies of Russian arms to the Iraqi Kurds were made through official Baghdad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at an annual news conference. According to him, practically as soon as the terrorist threat emerged, when supplying arms to Iraq, Russia took into account the fact that both the government army and the Kurdish militias were fighting against the Islamic State terrorists . “We took into account the Kurds’ needs in the supplies of our arms to Iraq, but these supplies were made through the central government, through Baghdad,” the minister said. “We fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.”  UN Syria envoy should decide on Kurds participation in talks The foreign minister also dwelled on the role of Syrian Kurds in the settlement of the Syrian conflict. The minister noted that the decision on the Kurds participation in the inter-Syrian talks should be taken by United Nations Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura and Russia will not veto it. “It will be the most serious mistake not to invite Kurds (for inter-Syrian talks), but we will not impose any veto,” Lavrov said. “This is the right of Staffan de Mistura,” he said. The UN Syria envoy should be aware of his responsibility and should not shelter himself behind Russia and the United States, Lavrov added.

Kazakhstan will supply weapons and military equipment to Jordan


Military drills in Jordan (archive)


ASTANA, January 26. /TASS/. Kazakhstan will supply military equipment and weapons to Jordan, the country’s Defense Ministry press service said on Tuesday Commenting on the results of the Kazakhstani defense minister’s visit to Jordan, the press service said: “The important result of the visit was signing the agreement between the governments of Kazakhstan and Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan on military and military-technical cooperation.” “The signed agreements will boost cooperation between the armed forces and defense industries of the two countries,” the defense ministry added. In particular, “an agreement was reached on purchasing Kazakhstani Arlan armored vehicles” assembled at the local plant of the Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering company that opened in Astana last year. The armored vehicle designed for remote firing and observation in all weather and lighting conditions, is capable of withstanding 50 kg of explosives in TNT equivalent from the side or 8kg and 14kg correspondingly under the vehicle and under wheels.  “Negotiations were also held on supplying other defense products – optical night vision and aiming devices, NSVS machine guns of 12.7mm caliber and weapon stations, three coordinated radars, communications systems and others,” the defense ministry said. “Despite the large distance between the two countries, great opportunities exist for development in economic and military-political cooperation,” the press service noted. Jordan also agreed to take part in the 4th International Exhibition of Weapons Systems and Military Equipment KADEX-2016 that will be held in the Kazakhstani capital on June 2-5.

Russian-Indian military drills scenarioto be discussed in Vladivostok in February

VLADIVOSTOK, January 26. /TASS/. Officials of Russia’s Eastern Military District and the Indian Armed Forces are expected to coordinate the scenario and schedule of the Indra’2016 war games during consultations in Vladivostok in February, the press service of the Eastern Military District said. “The first round of consultations on planning the joint Russian-Indian military exercise Indra’2016 will be held in the Eastern Military District in February,” the report said. “Representatives of the district and the Indian Air Armed Forces will coordinate the scenario, the schedule and area of the event.” “Also, they will consider the details of border control and customs formalities for the Indian participants in the exercise,” it said. Indra’s2016 will be held at a testing range of the Eastern Military District. Dmitry Smirnov, the chief of the Eastern Military District’s department for international military cooperation said in December the naval part of the war games will be held in the Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan while the maneuvers of the ground forces would take place on the Sergeyevsky range in the Primorsky territory.

Russian Experts to Inspect German Military Facility

German soldier holds a Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle


The head of Russia’s Nuclear Risk Reduction Center said that Russian experts will inspect a military facility in Germany as part of the Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures.

Russian experts will inspect a military facility in Germany as part of the Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (CSBM), the head of Russia’s Nuclear Risk Reduction Center said Tuesday.

“The Russian group of inspectors is planning a visit to assess the military facility of the German armed forces in a one-day evaluation visit on January 26,” Sergei Ryzhkov said.

The CSBM is part of a series of agreements signed by members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) on the exchange of information on military forces, budgets and defense forces.

“During the evaluation visit the inspectors will visit the military facility in Germany at its normal peacetime location, the briefing will provide information on the relative command personnel, as well as the major weapon and equipment systems,” Ryzhkov added.

Inspection visits are carried out to verify information about military forces and plans for deployment of major weapons systems and military equipment.


Russian Navy Destroyer Holds Air Defense Drills in the Mediterranean Sea

Large antisubmarine ship Vice-Admiral Kulakov


Russian anti-submarine destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov has held military drills in the Mediterranean.

The crew of the Russian Navy’s Vice Admiral Kulakov, an Udaloy-class destroyer, has held air defense exercises in the Mediterranean, the Russian Defense Ministry’s Northern Fleet spokesman Vadim Serga said Tuesday.”Large anti-submarine destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov, carrying out tasks as part of Russia’s permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean, held an air defense drill involving the crews of Kinzhal surface-to-air missile systems, the AK-100 universal caliber automatic cannon and the AK-630 small-caliber anti-aircraft artillery,” Serga said.