Reports have trickled out indicating that the Kremlin has sent two brand new “stealth” submarines to join its Black Sea Fleet Task Force stationed in the Mediterranean Sea.
But these reports fave left some wondering if the subs will be playing a significantly different role from what has been stated officially.
Reporting from the Russian state news outlet RT, the two highly advanced diesel and electric subs, believed to be the quietest such submarines in their class, set sail from their northwest Russian naval port in the Baltic Sea in mid-August to join up with the already stacked force currently operating off the coast of Syria.
It should be noted this is all happening after Russia has also recently evacuated important individuals from a town that borders North Korea.
“Two newest diesel-electric submarines of the Black Sea Fleet — the ‘Kolpino’ and the ‘Velikiy Novgorod’ — have arrived in the Mediterranean from the Baltic Sea,” Capt. Vyacheslav Trukhachev, spokesman for the Black Sea Fleet, stated on Monday, reported RT. (Related: Highly Placed NSA Whistleblower: Russian ‘Hack’ of DNC Server an ‘Outright Lie’)
Iran’s PressTV is reporting, the modernized “stealth” submarines come equipped with “new navigation systems, fully automatized control systems, high-precision missiles and powerful torpedo equipment.”
The “Improved Kilo” class of submarine holds a crew of 50, can travel at speeds up to 20 knots with a cruising range of 400 nautical miles, and was specifically designed to conduct anti-ship and anti-sub operations in mid-depth waters. (Related: Russia Parades its Military Might Through Moscow)
It is said that the subs will be taking part in the Russian Black Sea Fleet‘s fight against the Islamic State group in Syria, this despite the jihadist militants having no ships or subs of their own for anti-ship/anti-sub vessels to combat– though the sub’s cruise missiles could inevitably come into play in the battle against the Islamic terrorists.
This has led many to speculate that the real purpose of the new submarines joining the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean is to act as deterrent to U.S. and other allied ships and subs in the region, potentially cutting off those naval vessels from the troops they support in the Middle East.
Interestingly, the “stealthy” and “near invisible” submarines were tracked along the entirety of their journey from northern Europe, around western Europe and into the Mediterranean Sea by NATO aircraft, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
Also of note is that, reported by Newsweek, which cited a number of Russian media sources, the Mediterranean Sea may not be the final destination for those submarines, but merely a temporary stop on the way to their new home port on the Russian-annexed Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
While it is entirely possible that the new subs will be joining in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria with their advanced cruise missiles, it would be foolhardy to think that they wouldn’t also be utilized for the primary purpose for which they were designed, namely keeping the U.S. Navy and other allies at bay while Russia pursues it’s own goals in the region.
One thing that is for certain though, is that you can safely bet the U.S. Navy will be keeping an exceptionally close and unblinking eye upon these “stealth” submarines as they ply beneath the international waters of the Mediterranean. (Related: Scientists in Russia design military gear straight out of Star Wars — and it looks amazing)
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