The Russian warships, a frigate named Admiral Essen and submarine named Krasnodar, fired Kalibr cruise missiles on combat vehicles and militants outside the Syrian city of Palmyra, the Defense Ministry said.
The four cruise missiles were fired from the eastern Mediterranean, it noted in a statement. The submarine fired its missiles while submerged.
According to the MoD, “[the ships] targeted an area east of Palmyra, where the militants’ heavy weaponry and manpower were located. The militants moved there from Raqqa. All targets have been destroyed,” it said.
The US, Turkish, and Israeli militaries received appropriate warning in advance of the missile launches through active hotlines, the Defense Ministry added.
On May 25, a large Islamic State convoy, comprising 39 vehicles and 120 militants, was spotted outside Raqqa, a Defense Ministry source told RIA Novosti on Saturday.
“The terrorist convoy of 39 pickup trucks was detected and destroyed by the Air Force on its way to Palmyra,” the source said, adding that the vehicles were equipped with large-caliber machine guns.
The Russian Navy also fired Kalibr cruise missiles on militant positions in Syria last year. The Black Sea Fleet carried out three cruise missile strikes on terrorist targets in Syria back in August, destroying a command post and munitions production site. The missiles, which targeted Al-Nusra Front positions, flew over unpopulated areas, the Russian military said.
In October of 2015, four Russian Navy warships fired a total of 26 missiles from the Caspian Sea at positions Islamic State in Syria. The precision weapons hit all 11 targets after flying some 1,500 kilometers, according to the military. Preparation for the launches involved communications with Iran and Iraq, as the missiles had to pass their through the airspace of those countries to reach Syria.
The Defense Ministry said it had worked with its partners in plotting the flight path to assure that the missiles traveled only over desolate areas and posed no danger to civilians.
The submarines pack a powerful punch, and are intended primarily for anti-shipping and anti-submarine warfare. “Armed with 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air Club missiles, Project 636.3 submarines are mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters. They have an extended combat range and can strike surface, underwater and land targets,” Russia Today previously reported. The torpedoes are launched out of six 533-mm bays, which automatically reload every 15 seconds.
Fifty-two sailors are needed to operate the subs, which displace 3,100 tons and can maintain continuous patrol for 45 days, according to Naval-Technology.
Construction of the lead vessel of the class, the Novorossiysk, began back in August 2010. It was launched in November 2013. In November 2011, Moscow began building the second Varshavyanka-class submarine, dubbed the Rostov-on-Don. That was launched in June of last year.
At the ceremony on Saturday, Admiral Chirkov said that these first twoVarshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarines are currently undergoing deep water trials in the Arctic Sea, but that both would enter into permanent service for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet by the end of the year.
Eventually, all six of the Varshavyanka-class subs will enter service with the Black Sea Fleet. The Black Sea Fleet’s main force is stationed out of Sevastopol, Crimea. However, Russian media outlets have indicated that these six subs’ home base will be the port of Novorossiysk, Russia.