Military Bulletin 08/2015 – NATO’s Baltic Sea exercise.
Unsurprisingly, Russian warships and aircraft have been following, and approaching, the multinational warships participating in the annual exercise in the Baltic Sea. This is an extremely large NATO exercise, consisting of 49 ships from 17 NATO, and partner countries. The ‘Baltic Operations’ (‘BALTOPS’) 2015 left Gdynia, Poland, on June the 8th.
The Russian interest started with a ship shadowing the fleet as it left port, followed by a flypast by two SU-24, making two passes above the formation of ships.
The SU-24, NATO reporting name Fencer, with shoulder-mounted variable geometry wing, is an all-weather attack aircraft. It has a maximum speed of 1,315kph and a combat radius of around 650km. It is armed with an onboard 23mm cannon and has 8 hardpoints for radio-command and laser guided missiles. It can also carry the Kh-31A anti-ship missile.
As well as the flypasts, two Russian Corvettes came up on the flank of the BALTOPS fleet. NATO command were far from concerned and actually welcomed the Russian interest. Senior commanders felt it was a good thing that the Russians knew they were there. The senior command was quoted as saying it was a good thing that NATO was broadcasting a message of unity and solidarity and a commitment to ensure the safety and security of the Baltic Sea.
Russian Advanced Corvette, Stoikiy (Steadfast).
The Russian SU-24s later made more than a dozen passes of an Arleigh Burke-class, the USS Ross (DDG-71).
Arleigh Burke-class, the USS Ross (DDG-71).
“USS Ross (DDG-71) (2)” by U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Sandberg. – Source. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –
Around 60 aircraft will also participate. A combined landing force of 700 Swedish, Finnish, US, and UK amphibious troops will embark from four amphibious ships off the coast of Sweden to conduct a joint landing operation off the Polish Baltic coast.
The Bear continues to growl…..
Post copyrighted to Harvey Black