Russian Cruiser Moskva Will Cover Air Groups in Syria With Fort Air Defense

Moskva missile cruiser in the Mediterranean


Russian cruiser Moskva which has a maritime analogue of S-300 systems in Latakia is able to destroy any potentially dangerous target in the air, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu said.

“The Moskva guided missile cruiser outfitted with S-300F Fort anti-air systems took position off the coast of Latakia. Its early warning systems and air defense array will provide adequate cover for the Russian Aerospace Forces elements in Syria,” the source said.

It was reported earlier that Russian fighter jets would accompany all of Moscow’s missions against Islamic State targets in Syria. Prior to Tuesday’s attack, Russian bombers were conducting their missions without air cover.

Turkish warplanes shot down a Russian Su-24M bomber aircraft that Turkey said had violated its airspace. Both pilots ejected, and one was fatally shot while parachuting to the ground, the Russian Defense Ministry later confirmed.

Moscow has insisted its aircraft was not in Turkish airspace and posed no threat. The Russian Defense Ministry has suspended military contact with Turkey over the plane downing, which President Vladimir Putin called “a stab in the back.”


Russian Warships Could Provide Combat Cover for French Aircraft Carrier

Flight deck crew work on Rafale fighter jets aboard the French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle before its departure from the naval base of Toulon, France, November 18, 2015


Russia’s warships deployed to the Mediterranean are rumored to be tasked with providing combat cover for the French aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, heading to Syria as part of expanded anti-ISIL efforts, reports in Russian media suggest.

The deployment of the nuclear-powered flagship of the French Navy comes days after ISIL militants conducted multiple terrorist attacks in Paris, leaving 129 people dead and hundreds wounded. France has since pledged to boost its counterterrorism operation in Syria.

nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle before its departure from the naval base of Toulon, France, November 18, 2015

Earlier, ISIL claimed responsibility for the crash of a Russian passenger jet over Sinai. The terrorist act in Egypt claimed the lives of all 224 on board.

“The Russian Navy ships in the Mediterranean Sea will be primarily tasked with ensuring combat sustainability, meaning [they will provide] all types of defense – air, antisubmarine, counter sabotage, etc.,” a source in the Russian Navy told RIA Novosti.

Russian ships could assist the French naval group in rescue operations, he added. They could also inspect vessels suspected of transporting cargoes for ISIL.This information has not been officially confirmed or denied.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces in the Mediterranean to “establish direct contact with the French and work with them as allies.” The General Staff and the Defense Ministry will work out a plan for joint activities at sea and in the air.

Missile Cruiser Moskva
Missile Cruiser “Moskva”

In a telephone conversation, Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande agreed to ensure military and intelligence cooperation between Russia and France. The two leaders also agreed to meet during Hollande’s visit to Moscow on November 26.The joint center aimed at coordinating efforts of Russian and French ships should be set up on the Moskva missile cruiser stationed in the Mediterranean Sea since Moscow is playing a major part in counterterrorism efforts in Syria, Сapt. 1st Rank (Ret.) Mikhail Nenashev told RIA Novosti.

French and Russian warships “will primarily exert psychological pressure on terrorists,” he noted.


Russian missile cruiser returns to Crimea from Mediterranean, Atlantic voyages

The Moskva Missile Cruiser

The Moskva Missile Cruiser

MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. The Moskva Missile Cruiser, which is the lead ship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, has returned to the home base in Sevastopol after a long voyage in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, Fleet spokesman Vyacheslav Trukhachyov said on Tuesday.

During its voyage, the Moskva took part in military exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and called at ports of Angola and Equatorial Guinea, he said.

“Early in June, the Moskva cruiser took part jointly with warships of the Black Sea and Baltic Sea Fleets in the Friendship Bridge 2015 drills, the first Russian-Egyptian naval exercises. Later, warships and vessels of the Navy’s permanent grouping in the Mediterranean Sea formed a group of combat ships of the Black Sea Fleet led by the Moskva, the frigate Pytlivy, the salvage tug Shakhtyor and the tanker Ivan Bubnov, which performed missions in the Atlantic,” the spokesman said.

The naval squadron held several exercises to practise anti-submarine, anti-ship and air defense of a group of warships.

Kamov Ka-27PS (NATO reporting name: Helix-D) multi-purpose helicopters performed flights from the cruiser Moskva during the military drills, which also practised fuelling of combat ships from a tanker on the move, the escort and protection of civilian vessels against pirates and terrorists.

Also, the crew of the cruiser Moskva conducted missile firing from its main missile system against targets imitating a surface ship, and also against air targets from its Fort air defense missile complex and shipborne artillery guns, the spokesman said.

The cruiser Moskva also took part in the drills of the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean grouping in the eastern portion of the Mediterranean Sea several days ago, the spokesman said.