Home » Aviation » Ship-launched Russian Cruise Missile Strike Part of New Aleppo Offensive


Ship-launched Russian Cruise Missile Strike Part of New Aleppo Offensive

Russian Admiral Grigorovich frigate. Sputnik Photo

Russian Admiral Grigorovich frigate. Sputnik Photo

Cruise missiles fired from Russia’s newest frigate were part of the combined Syrian, Russian push into Aleppo, a U.S. defense official confirmed to USNI News on Tuesday.

As part of a combined Russian and Syrian push into territory held by rebels opposed to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, the Russian frigate Admiral Grigorovich launched at least three Kalibir NK missiles from the Eastern Mediterranean for strikes into the region, the official said.

“The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said missiles fired from Russian warships in the Mediterranean struck areas in Aleppo province and on the eastern edge of nearby Idlib,” reported The Associated Press.

The launch of the cruise missiles is a first for the frigate and a relatively new capability for the Russian Navy. The sub-sonic Kalilbirs — SS-N-30As or 3M-14T – made their combat debut last year when Russian warships launched 26 of the missiles on routes more than 900 miles long to strike targets in Syria and Iraq from the Caspian Sea.

A launch of a Russian guided land attack cruise missile on Oct. 7, 2015 from the Caspian Sea. Russian Ministry of Defense Image

A launch of a Russian guided land attack cruise missile on Oct. 7, 2015 from the Caspian Sea. Russian Ministry of Defense Image

The missiles – which Admiral Grigorovich can field eight — are similar in capabilities to the U.S. Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) launched from American guided missile destroyers and submarines.

The cruise missile attacks are combined with renewed airstrikes from land-based Russian and Syrian aircraft operating inside Syria, the official said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the strikes earlier on Tuesday and claimed aircraft from the carrier took part in the strikes.

He said, “jets from the Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, had been involved in action, and missiles had been loosed from a mobile land-based missile system inside Syria,” Reuters reported.

A U.S. defense official told USNI News on Tuesday Sukhoi Su-33s from Admiral Kuznetsov did transfer to a land base but did not confirm if aircraft from the carrier were part of the strikes. On Sunday, one of the four MiG-29Ks assigned to Kuznetsov crashed in attempting to land on the carrier.

The carrier and the frigate are operating in the region along with guided missile cruiser Peter the Great and two anti-submarine warfare destroyers.

  • Joey Joe-Joe Junior Shabadoo

    What a littoral combat ship looks like…… if done right.

    • El_Sid

      The Krivak IV’s are roughly equivalent to the upgraded Aussie Perrys – a 1970s frigate tarted up with VLS. You only have to look at the Aussie project to see how superficially attractive that can be in theory and how difficult in practice, the fact that the Krivak IV’s were years late in delivery suggests that the Russians had some similar issues despite much of the hard work being outsourced to the Indians. And of course they’ve had to sell the last three to India because the engines come from Ukraine and they won’t have indigenous engines ready for another 5 years or so.

      Those delays will also have affected the cost – and that’s before you have to pay the salary and pensions of 200 crew per ship. Who presumably have to put up with 1970s standards of habitability. You’d be looking at >$1bn if built in US shipyards.

    • Ed L

      That is so true. Corvettes were always good in that role.