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Russian Military ‘Snap Drills’ Include Bomber and Ballistic Missile Deployments to Crimea, Kaliningrad

Undated photo of two Tupolev+Tu-22M Backfire bombers. Finnish Defense Forces Photo

Undated photo of two Tupolev+Tu-22M Backfire bombers. Finnish Defense Forces Photo

A series of so-called snap drills by Russia’s Northern Fleet and its Western Military District will include deployments of high-end ballistic Iskander mobile ballistic missile systems (NATO Reporting name: SS-26 Stone) to Russia’s exclave in Kaliningrad and Tupolev Tu-M22 Backfire bombers to the exclave and Crimea, according to Tuesday Russian state media reports.

Citing an unmanned military source, the English-language Sputnik international quoted an unnamed source saying the assets would be deployed by assets from the Baltic Fleet.

“Fighter and bomber aviation is to be redeployed to the Kaliningrad Region, and ground troops on the Baltic will be reinforced with Iskander missile complexes in the Western Military District that will be delivered on large landing ships from the Baltic Fleet,” the source said.

Additionally, a separate report said Backfires would also be deployed to the Crimean peninsula, seized in March 2014 by Russia from Ukraine.

“During the snap combat readiness drills by the Armed Forces, strategic Tu-22M3s will be deployed to Crimea,” an unnamed source said.

The Backfires in Crimea will join Iskanders already believed to be in the region.

Iskander mobile ballistic missile systems (NATO Reporting name: SS-26 Stone) during a practice parade in Moscow in 2010. via Wikipedia

Iskander mobile ballistic missile systems (NATO Reporting name: SS-26 Stone) during a practice parade in Moscow in 2010. via Wikipedia

Announced on Monday by Russian Minsiter of Defense Sergei Shoigu, the military wide snap drills put the Northern Fleet and parts of the Western Military District on full alert
“New threats and challenges to military security require further enhancements to combat capabilities, focused particularly our newly formed northern strategic Defence grouping [the Arctic Group of Forces],” Shoigu stated at the National Defence Control Centre in Moscow, according to a Monday report in Jane’s Defence Weekly.

The announcement follows months of no-warning inspections of unit throughout the Russian military enterprise.

“Although probably long-planned, sudden mobilization exercises without notification to neighbors, despite international protests, have become the norm,” according to a Jane’s analysis.

The news of the drill follows statements last month by U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and NATO commander Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove that Russia has transformed Crimea into a power projection platform into the Black Sea.

“What we have seen is that Crimea has been transformed in some fairly significant ways as far as weapon systems in the Crimea,” he said in late February.
“These weapon systems — from air defense systems that reach nearly half of the Black Sea to surface attack systems that reach almost all of the Black Sea area — have made the platform of Crimea a great platform for power projection into this area.”

  • khsadadbinsajed

    great……………………….

  • Richard M

    Acting out Putin’s insecurities.

  • Curtis Conway

    Permanent deployment of Electronic Attack assets (USN EA-18G) are conspicuously missing in all the mentions of forces present in Europe.

    • Secundius

      @ Curtis Conway.

      At the present time, there are no Growler’s deployed near the Black Sea or anywhere else in Europe…

      • Curtis Conway

        That is a mistake. Putting Gowlers in Europe will communicate the message we mean business.

        • Secundius

          @ Curtis Conway.

          Depend on how you look at it. Considering the Growler cand do everything the Super Hornet and than some. Replace the SH with Growlers…

  • Marjus Plaku

    The Iskander is only a problem if equipped with a nuclear warhead. Otherwise no one has won a strategic war by lobbing a few missiles at his enemy. The US could put 10X the amount of munitions and warhead tonnage over Russia with a sustained air campaign than can be delivered by Iskander missiles toward NATO.

    • Curtis Conway

      Your missing the point. The nuclear fuse can be lit by a kiloton weapon set off in the wrong region in a heartbeat. The center of Europe is one of those regions.

      • Secundius

        @ Curtis Conway.

        “When does stupidity, give’s in to insanity.” In 1961 Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev commissioned the construction of Two “Three-Stage” Teller-Ulam designed Thermonuclear Bombs (“L” Bombs) or Lithium Bombs. They were called the Czar Bomba or “The King of Bombs”. The larger of the two had a Designed Yield of ~100-Megatons, and the smaller, ~53.5-Megatons. The Smaller called AN602 or Kuz’kina Mat (Kuzka’s Mother”, was tested at the Mityushikha Bay Nuclear Test Range (Kukhoy Nos Zone C), North of the Artic Circle near the Novaya Zemlya Archipelego. It was dropped by a modified Tupelov Tu-95V “Bear” bomber by Major Andrei Durnovtsev on 30 October 1961. At an altitude of ~34,320-feet and slowly descended to an altitude of ~13,200-feet using a ~1,764-pound parachute. It detonated at 11:32 Moscow Time, creating a Fire Ball ~5-miles in diameter with a Mushroom Cloud rising to an altitude of ~311,520-feet. Resulting Fire Ball could be seen ~621.37-miles away in the Day Time. Guesstimated Yield was ~240-PicoJoules or ~58-Megatons or a Cube of TNT ~1,050-feet/side with no Air Pockets. Seismic Shock Wave registered ~5.25 on the Richter Scale and Energy Yield registered ~8.1 on the Richter Scale.

        The Larger Bomb was put into a Non-Discript Cargo Ship and Parked off of one of Russian’s Eastern Coast Line. To this day it’s still there, whereabouts unknown too all, except Putin. With a 15-Minute Order Time Clock Ticking. DOOMSDAY Insurance…

  • titleman

    Now we see why separatist are in the Ukraine trying to take over part of that country.

  • Question – are the Backfires staying in Crimea and Kaliningrad after these ‘snap drills’ end? If they are how does this affect their ability to launch deep strikes into NATO’s rear in a crisis, including potentially, nuclear strikes?

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