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Moskva secretly visits Syrian port, snubs USN

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posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 05:58 AM
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From Debka.com:

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Russian missile cruiser Moskva -
on a NATO exercise - docked at Syrian Latakia port on Feb. 21


February 25, 2006, 8:55 AM (GMT+02:00)

A task force led by the Moskva and the Azov landing ship became the first Russian naval force in a decade to call at a Syrian port.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report: The force sailed out of its home port of Sevastopol on the Black Sea, on Feb. 5, to join a NATO-led anti-terrorist operation in the Mediterranean for a combined three-month drill focusing on combating the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction, illegal weapons trade and migration. The drill is named The Active Endeavors Operation. NATO leaders and US army chiefs were keen enough on Russian participation for NATO secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to promise the gesture of the first visit by an alliance chief aboard the Moskva.

However, neither he nor the Americans taking part in the exercise had any idea that the Russian naval force intended to break away from the exercise long enough to put in at a Syrian port – a call which Syrian president Bashar Assad took as a gesture of support from Moscow. The visit underlined the Kremlin’s plan to play a larger part in the military affairs of the Middle East, largely by making friendly overtures to America’s adversaries. President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to discuss arms sales in Moscow with an invited Hamas delegation was part of this picture.

The Moskva missile cruiser was built in 1982 to hunt down and destroy aircraft carriers. It underwent major repairs which were completed in 2000. It carries a 510-man crew and its main armament is the Bazalt cruise missile, which weighs 6 tons, has a speed of Mach 2.5 and range of 550 km. The 186.5-meter vessel can carry either a nuclear warhead or a 500-kilo conventional one. Its S300f anti air system stretches over the Moskva an aerial umbrella with a 75 kilometer radius. It is also equipped to fight submarines.

On Feb. 15, in the course of the NATO drill, the Moskva captured the British destroyer the Nottingham when it played the part of the enemy. The Russian cruiser also seized the Spanish frigate Navarro.
____________________________________


Debka has excellent intelligence sources, which are usually very accurate in the facts they provide. It seems that the message sent by Russia was that they are going to start flexing a bit of muscle in the Eastern Meditteranean.

Could there ever be a naval battle in the Eastern Meditteranean between Russia and the US naval forces? Could ships such as the Moskva successfully hunt down and sink a US CVN carrier as it was designed to do with its upgraded anti ship missiles? Such an outcome would end the age of the carrier, imo.

It seems like it could pose a challenge to US carriers in the region in any possible future naval engagement in the Middle East centred around the Eastern Meditteranean.

The photo below is of the Moskva docked a few weeks ago in Messina, Italy.




[edit on 27-2-2006 by JamesinOz]




posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 06:22 AM
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At the outbreak of war this ship and its fellow carrier hunters would be on the bottom of the ocean before they even got to fire a shot in anger.

People carry on like a carrier has no protection from these so called super ships, well they have. There called submarines. These type of threats are followed as routine when they get into an area within 600 miles of a surface fleet. Im sure the russians do the same to US and UK fleets. The remaining Navies will be underwater during a war - thats where sea battles will be won or lost.



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 06:42 AM
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Originally posted by MadGreebo
At the outbreak of war this ship and its fellow carrier hunters would be on the bottom of the ocean before they even got to fire a shot in anger.


MadGreebo, good points however with advances in anti ship missile technology if a ship like the Moskva managed to get a few nuclear tipped missiles off before it became a diving wreck surely they could sink a large number of ships in one hit?

Battleships were the central component of many naval fleets before Pearl Harbour. There's plenty more naval experts on this board who could perhaps shed some light on this subject. Also- how would the new RN type 45's fare against ships such as the Moskva?

Further details and some excellent photos of HMS Nottingham doing exercises with the Moskva a few weeks ago can been seen at the following site:

www.jfcnaples.nato.int...


[edit on 27-2-2006 by JamesinOz]



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by MadGreebo
At the outbreak of war this ship and its fellow carrier hunters would be on the bottom of the ocean before they even got to fire a shot in anger.

People carry on like a carrier has no protection from these so called super ships, well they have. There called submarines. These type of threats are followed as routine when they get into an area within 600 miles of a surface fleet. Im sure the russians do the same to US and UK fleets. The remaining Navies will be underwater during a war - thats where sea battles will be won or lost.



well golly gosh


and hopw in 30 billion square miles of ocean around the world are these things tracked? a CBG on the move is an impressive sight - its 30 miles across and strams at 20 knots - and still sats need to see the wake left behind to track it - the ships themselves are tiny in the ocean.

so tracking a ship that slips its moarings is tough - and before you shout` attack sub` these things will have subs detailed to protect them as well.



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 12:46 PM
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The United States Navy is the most heavily-funded and technologically advanced Navy in the world. I doubt Russia has any plans to start "flexing muscle" in any portion of the world, especailly against the U.S. Navy. Their entire military has been in shambles since the fall of the Soviet Union. For an economically weak nation to start something with the most powerful nation on the face of this Earth would be, well, suicide really.



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 02:27 PM
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Hmmmmmm one area that has lagged in advancement since the end of the cold war is anti shipping missile technology. Look we are still fielding the exocet, harpoon, sunburn, and the silkworm as front line stuff 9albiet with alot of upgrades) The oft touted near mythological Bhramos is still a questionmark.

WHile an interesting ship, I doubt that the Russian navy could get enough surface ships out of port to put one CBG at risk let alone 2-3

Soviet strategy for going after CBG in the cold war was a 4 pronged approach: 1) Massive air attack using Bears, Backfires, and Blinders 2) SSGN's like the ill fated Kursk, 3) Fast attack submarines, and 4) perhaps limited surface action from ships like the Kirov etc.

How many of these could they bring to bear today?

I agree many of these posters seem to trivialize the CBG and make it out like its a soft target. Getting past its layered defences is a tough task. Now more than ever since most have 2-4 688 class subs in attendance as well.



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 03:30 PM
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The only way in which you could have some probability of successfully sinking a carrier would be to saturate its defense with supersonic SSM’s, that's really the only area in which the US Navy IMO is lacking in terms of being able to stop such an attack.

But how would one go about doing such a thing? Well, unless you have an overwhelming amount of air or surface assets you're not going to be able to launch your SSM’s because you will be destroyed before you can get in sufficient range. Trying to launch Anti-Ship missile with a few air or surface assets isn't going to work against a CBG which would have 2-3 Burks, at least on Tico, AEW aircraft, and 40+ fighters.

Your next best bet would be a to use submerged assets such as submarine, but again this is tricky unless you have a very quiet subs or unless the carrier is littoral or costal waters. Trying to get a sub past SH-60’s, potentially P-3s, surface ships and of course the CBG’s very own LA’s is not going to be easy.

So when someone tells you its very easy to take out a carrier there are only two possibilities, one, a carrier has to be in shallow littoral waters, or two, they don't know WTF they're talking about.

[edit on 27-2-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 09:15 PM
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Thanks for the pic, James.

Well, the USN is hardly lacking in capabilities against a saturation attack with anti-ship missiles, however, that cruiser does carry 16 extremely lethal anti-ship missiles. Cleverly employed, or in conjunction with other forces, it is not inconcievable that one or more missiles might get through. Assuming no-one is quite willing to start a nuclear war just yet, that's still a 500 pound warhead, and will most likely take the carrier out of flight operations temporarily.

As for "capturing" vessels, I'd assume they were playing the part of weapons smugglers?



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 09:52 PM
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Well, the USN is hardly lacking in capabilities against a saturation attack with anti-ship missiles, however, that cruiser does carry 16 extremely lethal anti-ship missiles.


Actually I think we are, name me one USN SAM that has proven it can stop multiple sea skimming anti-ship missiles? Don’t get me wrong I think the Standard, ESSM and RAM are all nice but I’m not convinced they are capable of defeating multiple supersonic SSM’s. That's why the best bet for the USN would be to launch fighters to destroy any surface or air threat before they launch their missiles

Even if our SAM’s have about an 88% success rate against supersonic SSM’s (which they don't) that would mean that if two of these ship were to launch their missiles about 4 would get through. There goes a good portion of you CBG or perhaps a carrier.

The USN is lacking in two areas, one is anti-missile missiles and the other is long range supersonic SSM’s.



posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 10:21 PM
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I read a US report somewhere that the greatest threat faced by the USN isin the form of supersonic ASCMs.



posted on Feb, 28 2006 @ 08:31 AM
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West Point,
You are correct, but we can fire more than once before a target/enemy missile arrives.

Daedalus,
Also correct, the ASCM is the greatest threat posed to the U.S.Navy.

Of course, I may be lost in semantics as right now it's such a thin line between "cutting edge" and "Barely adaquate". In fact, I think they're probrably the same point.



posted on Feb, 28 2006 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by Travellar
Of course, I may be lost in semantics as right now it's such a thin line between "cutting edge" and "Barely adaquate". In fact, I think they're probrably the same point.


Perhaps there's a fine line betwen cutting edge and bleeding edge?

In recent naval history strategy has had to be suddenly changed due to unanticipated shock naval defeats, such as in the Battle of Jutland, Pearl Harbour and the fall of Singapore in WW2.

In addition, only a couple of Exocet missiles did enormous damage during the Falklands conflict. One can imagine the damage multiple nuclear tipped sea launched cruise missiles might do to a battle group in any future naval conflict.

My feeling is that there have been enormous advances in anti-ship missiles and weapons systems since the Falklands conflict, and that should there be a shock defeat of a Western navy it would result in naval strategy once again having to be radically reassessed. It seems that some people have the unsinkable 'Titanic' mentality, which if applied to naval strategy could result in a catastrophic outcome at some stage in the future.

[edit on 28-2-2006 by JamesinOz]

[edit on 28-2-2006 by JamesinOz]

[edit on 28-2-2006 by JamesinOz]

[edit on 28-2-2006 by JamesinOz]



posted on Feb, 28 2006 @ 03:56 PM
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One can imagine the damage multiple nuclear tipped sea launched cruise missiles might do to a battle group in any future naval conflict.


That's really hypothetical and a stretch, as any use of a nuclear tipped Torpedo or ASCM would result in consequences much worse then if you had not attacked the CBG in the first place.



posted on Feb, 28 2006 @ 05:17 PM
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A good dose of reality wont be liked but is clearly required to dispell some popular myths about the USN. It , like any other navy in history, has weak points that can and will be exploited by a enemy who is interested in winning or even just surviving.

The Immutable Nature of War

War games rigged?

Ex-General: War Game Rigged

Wake-up call.

The carrier myth.

And then for the serious students.

]Is the US Navy Overrated? A Discussion Paper.

Ships sinks, people die screaming and wars are never a good way to test ideas that did not even work in practice sessions.

Stellar



posted on Feb, 28 2006 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

One can imagine the damage multiple nuclear tipped sea launched cruise missiles might do to a battle group in any future naval conflict.


That's really hypothetical and a stretch, as any use of a nuclear tipped Torpedo or ASCM would result in consequences much worse then if you had not attacked the CBG in the first place.



If someone lets the nuclear genie out of the bottle in the Middle-East, then I'd imagine all bets are off. In a best case scenario with an adversary whose back is against the wall, and who chose not to go nuclear, a swarm of conventional anti-ship missiles could probably overcome even the most advanced naval anti-missile systems and might result in the loss of a few key naval assets in any major naval conflict.

Ultimately this could tip the battle in favour of an adversary who possess' numerous modern anti-ship weapons systems, be they land or sea based. Hopefully such a scenario never plays itself out, however history suggests otherwise.



[edit on 28-2-2006 by JamesinOz]

[edit on 28-2-2006 by JamesinOz]



posted on Feb, 28 2006 @ 05:52 PM
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History actually suggests that nations are often quite reluctant to gamble thier navies in less than completely certain battles, unless forced to do so. A navy simply costs too much to build, and takes to long to prepare to be thrown away lightly. (Jutland was a noteable exception, where neither side realised they were fighting the full enemy strength until after the battle had begun)

That said, the Anti-ship cruise missile threat is a type of warfare based less on defeating the enemy than reducing thier capacity to keep fighting under acceptable losses. The Falklands conflict is often cited as a demonstration of the vulnerabilities of modern surfgace combatants, whereas the ships lost were lost in their assigned duties of trying to protect the carrier. One might note the Atlantic conveyer was still lost, but I'd argue that is a better example of the need for dedicated warships with thier own point defences.

The "nuclear genie", although conveinient to think of in terms of "no one would ever dare use nukes", probrably is more accurately thought of in terms of scale and intensity of the war in question. If India and Pakastan were to begin squabbaling over Kashmir again, launch full scale military operations over it, and side A nuked side B's forces on side A's territory, any nuclear exchange would probrably be extremely limited. (less than full retaliation between those two nations) Launching nukes into eachother's capitals is another matter, but still one unlikely to result in anyone else in the world using nuclear weapons.

Now, in the event the US pulls forces out of South Korea and Japan, queing North Korea to try moving south, there's a nuclear genie with potentially nasty results, should North Korea decide to make a couple of Japaneese areas glow as discouragment for US intervention.



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 05:25 AM
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JamesinOz,

>>
A task force led by the Moskva and the Azov landing ship became the first Russian naval force in a decade to call at a Syrian port.
>>

Were they using 'NATO' oil? Or indeed /any/ funds which had been set aside for the NATO exercise?

If so then the proper action should have been to send the spoilt children back to port with the notion that if they won't play by the rules by which said money was agreed to be expended, they can have a quiet time while U.S. forces play in their bathtub.

Of course it's 'just so typically Russkian' that they think /nothing/ of _leaving U.S._ in their bedroom while their wife showers in the bathroom next door. Because they know we don't play this kind of sht game.

We have honor. They have threats of 'what if I were somebody'.

Except that 'somebody' would NEVER threaten sneak attacks. Or engage in 'counter diplomacy' with a nation whose WMD arsenal is what the myth in Iraq only pretended to be.

Not while their 'friends in NATO' were taking time off from a busy war to come say hello and train _together_.

Again, you can take the Tartar out of the Steak but the Russians are still raw meat predators.

>>
The Moskva missile cruiser was built in 1982 to hunt down and destroy aircraft carriers. It underwent major repairs which were completed in 2000. It carries a 510-man crew and its main armament is the Bazalt cruise missile, which weighs 6 tons, has a speed of Mach 2.5 and range of 550 km. The 186.5-meter vessel can carry either a nuclear warhead or a 500-kilo conventional one. Its S300f anti air system stretches over the Moskva an aerial umbrella with a 75 kilometer radius. It is also equipped to fight submarines.
>>

And THEN what? Don't you see the /real/ fallacy here?

If I was a Russian CINC, looking at NATO 'as they were' (real friends with a real mission, against me) I would expect the war to be over in roughly the same time as Desert Storm. Because airpower is worthless when you have a 5:1 advantage in tanks rolling across the open NGP and Fulda and Hopf. And only 100nm to keep them off your damn runways.

Except I would know that between Gryphon and Pershing and Victor 111s, they would raze their own lands AND MINE before they yielded.

As such, for psychological purposes, the _very first_ thing I would do in a shooting war with the U.S. in Europe would be exceed the nuke threshold at sea.

Because it's relatively 'clean' from the perspective of lubbered society. And any one of my heavy nuclear torpedos or nuke tipped AShM would break the back and irradiate any carrier that it was employed against even as Air Burst rollback would also put an end to a lot of electronics, hardened or no trying to stop it.

I would /then/ turn around and say "Be my guest. Every surface asset I have is yours. But the first mushroom to pop up over Continental Europe will be treated as an attack on Russia by the United States demanding a full and immediate retaliatory response by the Soviet Union on the American Homeland."

i.e. the Kennedy Cuba Doctrine, except now WE are the ones 3,500 miles from a logistics hope in hell of reinforcement.

At which point, the U.S. can either /try/ to 'get even' in a way that matters (on land). And accept that battlefield nukes will mean SS-18's coming over the pole.

Or accept the loss of Europe in trade for a 'Jutland Like' pyrhic victory at sea.

And minor threats to 'shall return' aside, I win.

Maybe the Russian surface navy crews accept their fate. Maybe they resent it. Most likely they don't even know. Either way, they don't have the Overhead to keep from being targeted for obliteration ten ways to Sunday.

And BECAUSE they have a bigger agenda (propping up a tottering economy with yet another pillaging in Western Europe).

Maybe it's worth the giant sized risk. God knows they don't call it Russian Roulette for nothin'.

NOW. Fast forward 20 years.

The Russians pull some /stunt/ which they THINK gives them the right to pop a CVSF. We come after the ship that did it. And we WOULD get that ship. No matter what asset actually had to be used to make it happen.

They CAN'T defend it because the same rules apply. A ship in home port invites nuclear retaliation on Russian Soil. And the Russians would _lose everything_ if they tried to fight back.

And NOW, the Russian Navy has a reason and a media driven way to look at their Parliament and say "What the hell for?!" "Why you done this to us?!" "Did we accidentally screw your /pretty sister/?! (Oh wait...)"

And THAT is the ultimate proof of the Russian Rabidness.

That they _still_ have absolutely no care for their own people. That they can STILL envision throwing away the lives of their Armed Forces /for nothing/. While the world watches them repeat a mistake they said they had learned better than to play at when they 'lost' (forfeited) the Cold War.

And thus they are still brutish, stupid, _evil_, barbarian animals they always were. So Ne Kulturniy as to pull down their zipper and show us 'how big they are', in public.

For some boasts and braggarts there is no 'military answer'. You just stare your opponent down and shame him with the hubris of his own will to commit social suicide in light of his being able to do /nothing/ else worthwhile.

Christ, and we send money to these people.


KPl.



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 06:01 AM
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How did we get from a surprise port call to a misile strike on a CVN in just a couple posts?

The Russians aren't going to be attacking the USN anytime soon.
This is a political signal: "we decide our foreign policy, not you" and that's all.

BFD.

As far as DEBKA being "reliable", have you not been paying attention?
DEBKA simply makes stuff up half the time, the other half they're blowing things out of all proportion. A couple years ago they were telling us a joint Iranian-Syrian attack on Israel was "imminent"... yeah, right...



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 09:00 AM
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Originally posted by xmotex
How did we get from a surprise port call to a misile strike on a CVN in just a couple posts?

The Russians aren't going to be attacking the USN anytime soon.
This is a political signal: "we decide our foreign policy, not you" and that's all.

BFD.

As far as DEBKA being "reliable", have you not been paying attention?
DEBKA simply makes stuff up half the time, the other half they're blowing things out of all proportion. A couple years ago they were telling us a joint Iranian-Syrian attack on Israel was "imminent"... yeah, right...


The Moskva vist is imo significant in that it indicates that Russia's navy may be willing to assist its allies in the region in any future escalated Middle- Eastern conflict, and I believe this is very serious.

Obviouisly, Debka has an agenda, however if you disgard the obvious it provides some very interesting militry facts which often turn out to be true and unreported elsewhere.

[edit on 1-3-2006 by JamesinOz]



posted on Mar, 1 2006 @ 12:01 PM
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It's a simple port call, I can't take it too seriously.
These things are quite routine.

The PLAN makes port calls in the US and vice versa.
It's hardly a signal that the US and China are going to get together and say attack Taiwan.

If there's a message, it's that the Russians aren't going to snub their Syrian buddies just because we want them to. And why should they? They are under no obligation to obey the US's every whim...

It also hardly constitutes a military threat - a single Slava CG and a landing ship are not what you'd send if you wanted to take on the USN.



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