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Sinking of Surveillance Ship Highlights Increase in Russian Navy Operations

A Russian Kilo submarine passes the parade stand during the Russia Navy Day celebration in Vladivostok. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated to clarify the deployment of Russian Navy Kilo-class attack submarineRostov-na-Donu.

The sinking of the Russian signals intelligence ship Liman after a collision with a Togo-flagged freighter bound for Jordan puts the spotlight back on a Russian Navy that is increasingly active in the maritime domain in and around Europe and a Black Sea region that continues to be tense in the wake of the 2014 Ukraine crisis when Russia annexed Crimea.

Liman sank roughly 20 miles northwest of the Bosporus Strait, and all of its crewmembers were brought to safety aboard a Turkish rescue vessel. Liman had recently returned from the Mediterranean, where it supported Russian operations in and around Syria, and in 2016 the ship had been sighted operating near NATO exercises in the Black Sea. In many ways, Liman’s various missions point to how Russia is using its sea power to extend its influence and keep NATO on edge in southern Europe.

Russia’s intervention in the Syrian civil war on behalf of the Bashar al-Assad regime may be best known for its use of Russian ground forces and air power, but it is an effort very much supported from the sea. Much of the supplies required by the Russian force in Syria are carried across the sea from the Russian Black Sea fleet’s port in Sevastopol in Crimea.

The shipments are so frequent that Turks living along the Bosporus have dubbed the Russian ship movements the “Syria Express” and pictures, taken by Turkish locals, of the Russian transits through the Bosporus frequently show up in social media. But Russia’s Black Sea fleet has been used for more than just ferrying supplies to Russia’s naval base Tartus in Syria.

Russian surveillance ship Liman. Russian Navy Photo

The improved Kilo class submarine Rostov-na-Donu headed into the Mediterranean in late November of 2015, and launched Kalibr cruise missiles against targets ashore in Syria on Dec. 7 the same year. Upon completing its mission the Kilo submarine entered the Black Sea and permanently joined the fleet there. The missile shots from the Kilo sub surprised many in the West, and was seen as yet another example of Russia’s growing naval capabilities. 
The improved Kilo class submarine Rostov-na-Donu headed into the Mediterranean from the Black Sea in late November of 2015, and launched Kalibr cruise missiles against targets ashore in Syria on Dec. 7 the same year. The missile shots from the Kilo sub surprised many in the West, and was seen as yet another example of Russia’s growing naval capabilities.

And as the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov from the Northern Fleet entered the eastern Mediterranean in late 2016 to support operations in Syria it was joined by additional escort ships from the Black Sea fleet.

There is strategic thought behind the increasing Russian naval activity in the Mediterranean. Along with assured access to the North Atlantic the revised Russian maritime doctrine, which was released in 2015, placed a special emphasis on a Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean as the sea there provides proximity to regions of interest to Russia. Russia has also sought to improve its access to maritime basing in the broader region.

The annexation of Crimea was to some degree driven by assuring control over the naval installation in Sevastopol, a basing area that before was on a leasing basis from the Ukrainian government. And that arrangement would have been threatened if Ukraine ever made real its ambitions to join NATO and the European Union. The Russian intervention in Syria has also allowed Moscow to improve and expand the infrastructure at the naval support facility in Tartus. Russia’s reach into the Mediterranean has been further extended by an agreement between Moscow and Cyprus from early 2015 that gives Russian warships access to the island’s ports for refueling and minor maintenance work.

Additional resources from the Russian state have underpinned the increasing activity of the Black Sea Fleet. Along with the Northern Fleet based on the Kola peninsula, the Black Sea fleet has been one of the big winners from Russia’s defense modernization program, while the Baltic Sea fleet has received comparatively little attention. The Black Sea fleet is expected to add a number of frigates to its rolls in the coming years, and has already received six improved Kilo-class submarines; all of which are capable of employing cruise missiles.

A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft makes a very low altitude pass by USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) April 12, 2016. US Navy Photo

The Black Sea itself is also a zone of friction between an increasingly assertive Russia and a United States and NATO seeking to reassure its exposed allies Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. NATO has stepped up its naval exercise program in the region, while there are talks about deeper naval cooperation between the NATO allies in the region. The increased US naval presence in the Black Sea has proven especially irritating to Russia, which has responded with close and sometimes dangerous fly-bys of U.S. warships, including USS Donald Cook. This summer will see another round of considerable NATO exercises in the Black Sea region, including at sea.

The Liman incident appears to be an innocent accident, and it is not likely to lead to further tensions in a region already on the edge. However, it is all too easy to imagine a more serious incident between the Russian navy and a NATO ship in the Black Sea or the Mediterranean. Such an incident or a misunderstanding could quickly escalate into a crisis between Russia and the U.S. and its NATO allies. The Liman accident should serve as a reminder that the maritime domains around Europe are once again contested, and busy with a Russian navy with remarkable ambitions.

  • Marcd30319

    Perhaps in the case of the Liman, this is not the example of increased naval activity that the Russians want highlighted.

  • ProudChatRat

    Russia’s navy is a collection of Soviet era rust buckets and their vaunted carrier carries 7 attack jets and can only travel with tug boats to move it around. It is a piece of junk.
    The only ships it can build are tiny frigates. Russia’s naval capabilities are a joke. Russian Naval technology is 25 years behind the USA and does not have the capability or finances to catch up.

    • Horn

      There are so many things wrong about this statement. Even though the majority of their ships are of older designs, they are slowly modernizing and replacing their fleet. They are not close to being able to take NATO’s navy assets on directly, but they are a force that should not be underestimated. Most Russian naval technology isn’t as reliable or capable as Western technology, but it’s definitely not “25 years behind the USA.”

      • KCWang

        OK, OK. How about 23 1/2 years behind the USA? And we will not underestimate those “rust buckets”, we promise.

        • Robert Pickett

          Their subs are the bulk of their naval threat, and not a all underhanded against the US. And the facts do support this.

      • mrsatyre

        Yeah, most of them really are 25 years behind or more. Russia has brilliant designers and engineers, but they still suffer from a horribly corrupt, frequently bankrupted, and antiquated bureaucracy which does not allow for either the purchasing of quality replacement parts, or the logistics to get existing repairs fielded in timely manners. As a result, the Russian Navy, like so much of its Army Air Forces, looks fantastic straight out of the factory, but after a mere handful of years, are running on bare essentials, and oftentimes not even that, as evidenced by the frequency of complete breakdowns their sole carrier has (heck, it even travels with its own fleet of tug boats!).

      • publius_maximus_III

        Yes, just like all their space debris when we launch a satellite, something to be avoided.

      • ProudChatRat

        I really hit a sore spot with you Russian trolls.
        The USA is arming our ships with LASER CANNONS and other technology that Russia doesn’t have and doesn’t have the ability to produce Ivan. Russia will always be behind the USA in technology. Russia doesn’t have the money or the mind power to compete.
        Dasvidanya schmoe.

        • Horn

          Since I don’t speak Russian I don’t know what that means. Even Google Translate doesn’t know what that means. And the USN isn’t arming our ships with “laser cannons” (incorrect use of the term; this isn’t Star Wars) but an experimental “Laser Weapon System” is installed on the USS Ponce. Raytheon is working on a 150kW laser system to be tested next year, but it reportedly requires more power than most destroyers can dedicate to it. The USN is researching into lithium-ion battery “magazines” so that they can retrofit this onto existing warships. Still, the laser weapon must be proven first. More importantly, a laser can’t protect you from a torpedo. The main threat from Russia’s navy comes from its submarine fleet. It still has a sizable fleet of nucs which is perhaps the only part of the navy that wasn’t seriously neglected. With the weakening of our ASW capabilities and the retirement of the FFG-7s, it only makes Russian subs more dangerous. Hence, why I said, don’t underestimate them.

          • Secundius

            That’s what it might be “Officially” called an “Laser Weapon System”, but I suspect the CREW’s of the “Ponce” are calling it a Laser Cannon, Laser Gun, Laser Projector, Dahlgren LaWS or simply “Laws”…

          • ProudChatRat

            horn / Ivan
            I don’t underestimate them.
            The US lazer canon has already been proven viable that is why ships are being armed with them Ivan just as the F35 is viable and is being deployed to the various military organizations as opposed to the Russian Sukhoi / Hai the so called invincible jet fighter that Russia conned India to invest 5 Billion Dollars in and then India pulled out with the knowledge that the plane doesn’t work and Russia can’t afford to continue with.
            The F35 can detect a missile launch from 850 miles away and has 360 degree visibility plus many other advanced weapons capabilities that Russia doesn’t have the brain power to understand or develope and the F35’s are nuclear capable . The F35 is being deployed throughout the military now.
            Russian subs ARE NOT INVISIBLE. AND CAN BE TAKEN OUT AT ANY TIME.
            The FEDERAL NEWS AGENCY writers are writing your scripts for you simply because you are to stupid to do it yourself.
            Russia is entirely over stretched now. Russia can’t afford the wars that it is involved in now. Russian citizens can’t afford the food prices that have doubled and tripled since 2014 and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
            Russia doesn’t have the money to replace the 23 antique jets that were taken out with Tomahawk missiles last April either. After the Ukrainians are properly armed with modern weapons Russia will be driven out of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. That will be fun to watch.
            Dasvidanya Khuilo.

          • Horn

            Please, name ONE ship besides the USS Ponce that has a “lazer cannon” (really?) on it. They only built one LaWS because it was a prototype. The next laser weapon system to be tested is being developed by Raytheon. It should be tested some time next year.

            Nobody said anything about the F-35 or PAK FA. Nobody said that Russian subs were invisible.

            Russian subs cannot be taken out at any time, though. During peacetime, we only have a minimum of 10 subs deployed at any time, around the world. That’s a ton of water to cover. Add another 20 submarines that can be deployed on short notice. That’s still a ton of sea to cover.

            Thinking that Ukraine can drive the Russians out of Crimea is absurd. Ukraine hardly has a modern air force or navy. Now that Russia has illegitimately annexed Crimea, they’ve already declared that they would defend the peninsula, possibly even with nuclear weapons. Luckily, it should never come to that because Russia has learned its lessons from their brief war with Georgia. I hate to say it, but Ukraine doesn’t stand a chance against Russia’s air force; that’s why Crimea will stay Russian for the time being.

            Once again, Google Translate doesn’t understand the gibberish you keep typing at the end of your posts.

          • ProudChatRat

            Once Ukraine is armed with modern weapons Russia will be defeated.
            Russia has an army of 800,000 personnel , 90% are poorly trained reserves. Russia is strained to its limits in Ukraine and Syria not including the Russian occupation troops in Moldova and Georgia.
            Russia is not a military world power Boris.
            Dasvidanya khuilo

          • Old Coasty

            Das vidania also slangized as dasvidanya is Russian for good bye and schmoe is English slang for stupid person. Try BING it found this out first try.

    • NavySubNuke

      On the surface side of the house I agree with you to a large extent — but that is because they have been using all of the shipyard capacity and funding on their submarines. Those are not joke and the new construction boats, as well as those that have been properly maintained (which is not all by any means but enough), are definitely not rust buckets.
      Oh and their anti-ship missiles are better than ours are currently. Though hopefully LRASM will even out that balance once it enters widespread service over the next 5 years.

      • Duane

        The NSM is already better than the Kaliber ASCM – much more intelligent and autonomous, and able to avoid incoming counterfire, unlike any other ASCM in the world.

        LRASM will provide longer range (350 nm vs. 110 nm) and a larger warhead (1,000 pound vs. 286 pound – though warhead size is much less important than the precision and intelligence of the missile’s seeker) as compared to the NSM, and the ability to distinguish between targets to select the highest value target in a warship formation.

        • NavySubNuke

          If you ignore range, speed, and the quantity of missiles carried per ship them than sure NSM is “better” – but you sure are ignoring a lot of things to get there. As an interim to get us to LRASM NSM isn’t terrible – it is certainly better than Harpoon and carries a better anti-ship punch than SM6.
          Agree on LRASM though – that should go a long way towards actually evening the balance in an area we have otherwise fallen so badly behind.

          • Duane

            Speed of ASM missiles is not nearly as important as the quality, precision, and intelligence of its seeker and the ability – totally missing in any other ASM in the world, including the Russians’ Kaliber – to detect and avoid counterfire. In those areas the NSM is vastly superior to any other ASCM.

            Our close in anti-ASCMs (SEARAM) are themselves supersonic, and the Kaliber only goes supersonic in terminal mode, the last few miles traveled – otherwise, it is subsonic and as easy to shoot down as any other subsonic sea skimming ASCM as found any other ASCM in any fleet.

          • NavySubNuke

            And if it were only superior in speed that would mean something — but as I said already it is superior in range, speed, and quantity of missile carried per ship. And unlike NSM and LRASM it can also be carried by the current capital ships of the Russian Navy – their submarines.

          • Duane

            As I wrote, speed means nothing, and long range is preferable to short range, but none of the long range missiles like the Kalibr have been proven able to hit a moving target at long range – quite likely the range claims are nothing but typical Russian vapor ware.

            The missile itself has no effect on the quantity carried aboard ship, that is a function of the ship design, not the missile design – you are conflating and confusing the missile with the ship. We are discussing the missile.

            As to what can be carried on submarines, the Virginia class and its new VPM can be configured to carry virtually any missile we want to equip it with, from medium range ICBM down to TLAMs and ASCMs. The NSM and LRASM are already adapted to the VLS on our DDGs and CGs, which vastly outnumber Russian SSNs, plus the LRASM can and already is carried on aircraft (Super Hornets) … ditto with the air launched version of the NSM called the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) which is designed for carriage internally on our F-35s, adding thousands more platforms with which to threaten Russian ships. Other platforms from which our ASMs are launched include our fleets of F-16s, B1Bs, and B-52s.

          • NavySubNuke

            Well hopefully we will never find out the true ability of a kalibr or for that matter any ASCM against a moving USN vessel.
            The trouble here really is that I am talking about today and you you keep talking about the future as if it is already here. The first VPM equipped Virginia isn’t even under construction yet and won’t deploy until the mid-2020s right. (Side note: they can be equipped to carry anything we want them to – not just missiles – so long as it is less than 87 inches in diameter and less then 34 feet or so in length including missiles, UUVs, SOF equipment, and any other thing we think of.) Also, to date not a single NSM or LRASM has been deployed on a US Navy warship or plane. The Navy hopes to deploy an NSM later this year – but that isn’t certain. LRASM’s IOC was recently pushed back to 2019 on both the B-1 and F-18.
            I’m in full agreement that the future looks great – we are finally catching up after over a decade of sleeping at the wheel on this – but I’m talking about right now not 5 – 10 years from now.

          • Duane

            The Virginia VPMs are intended to add capability, some of which will be lost when the SSGNs are retired in the next 12-15 years.

            The Navy issued an RFP last month for an evaluation and eventual large buy of ASMs for the LCS fleet. Respondents will include Raytheon-Kongsberg with their NSM, and Boeing with their Harpoon, and possibly other candidates. The RFP is not written to favor any particular candidate, only that it be developed and ready to deploy, as both the NSM and Harpoon are able now, both having already been successfully test fired on the LCS using four cell angled deck launchers. The production installation of the launchers will involve two each for a total of 8 cells per hull.

            Yes, these new missiles are indeed “moving targets”, and even these missiles won’t be the final word, as new missiles with new capabilities are expected to continue to be pumped out by the defense contractors over the next decade, with ever greater autonomous operations and networking to allow them to be incorporated into NIFCCA.

            But the NSM and Harpoon are both “today” weps, and the LRASM is only a year or two out from deployment, having already been successfully fired on Super Hornets, and able to be fired now out of any VLS. The LCS deck launcher for the LRASM is about two years out.

          • NavySubNuke

            Harpoon is a yesterday weapon at best. THough that is an opinion.
            On the facts side – you have a number of misconceptions:
            NSM isn’t even fully integrated on the ship it is supposed to deploy on first — it only gets nav inputs from the ship and isn’t part of the fire control yet.
            LRASM has been dropped from a superhornet – not fired and won’t IOC until 2019.
            LRASM deck launcher won’t be ready until at least the mid 2020s according to Lockheed Martins own statements.
            If you want to imagine tomorrows weapons today that is fine but at least get the basics correct!

          • Duane

            YOu obviously don’t understand the NSM – it is a semi-autonomous, fire and forget weapon with its own fire control and ISR systems … it does need anything but an initial target area and it takes it from there. It launches and quickly takes over its own search for the enemy, has the ability to accept 2-way digital inputs from aircraft (manned and unmanned), other ships, even land based sensors, for in-route updates on the target location, then as it approaches the target location it is totally on its own.

          • NavySubNuke

            Actually Duane I understand it a lot more than you do — which is why I actually know the dates and capabilities associated with it while you just make up nonsense and half truths. Nice try though.
            “Naval Sea Systems Command spokeswoman Christianne Witten told USNI News that “the Navy plans to procure and install the NSM system on USS Freedom (LCS-1) prior to her next deployment. Due to constrained timelines, the system will not be fully integrated to the ships combat system and will only receive navigational data from the ship. The objective of this installation is to complete Foreign Comparative Testing and demonstrate an Over the Horizon (OTH) capability and deploy for an extended period of time on LCS.”
            Source: https:// news. usni. org /2016/05/04/navy-to-demo-harpoon-missile-on-lcs-at-rimpac-nsm-on-uss-freedom-by-next-deployment
            Note: I had to add extra spaces to get the source link to post — just remove the extra spaces when you copy and paste it to your browser and it should work.

          • Duane

            The NSM does not NEED ship-based targeting data, as it is a semi-autonomous fire and forget missile, with its own highly sophisticated on-board sensors and targeting computers, and is also equipped with 2-way data link comms to allow mid-course data from virtually any source of data we have – including drones, satellites, E-2Cs, AWACs, and our thousands of fighters.

            See – you know very little about the NSM. Try doing a little research.

          • NavySubNuke

            Well Duane the people in charge of the program clearly think it is important or they wouldn’t have commented on it. Had you ever had actual experience with weapons systems you might understand why – just trust those of us who have that it does matter — there is a lot more help you can give even the smartest weapon than just Navigation positioning.
            As to who should be doing research:
            Duane statement: “LRASM is only a year or two out from deployment, having already been successfully fired on Super Hornets”
            Actual status as of April 2017: “A Long Range Anti-Ship Missile was successfully released earlier this month from a U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, a Lockheed Martin statement said.
            The weapon, called the LRASM, is a collaborative effort between Lockheed, the Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced Project Research Agency, or DARPA.
            The test involved a “jettison release” of the first LRASM from the Super Hornet, used to validate the aerodynamic separation models of the missile , Lockheed developers said. The test event was designed to pave the way for flight clearance to conduct captive carry integration testing scheduled for mid-year at the Navy Air Weapons Station, China Lake, California.” aka — not fired and not even close to being fired for at least a few more months.

            Duane Statement: “The LCS deck launcher for the LRASM is about two years out”
            Actual status as of April 2017: “A deck-mounted firing technology, would enable LRASM to fire from a much wider range of Navy ships, to include the Littoral Combat Ship and its more survivable variant, called a Frigate, Scott Callaway, Surface-Launched LRASM program manager, Lockheed Martin, told Scout Warrior in an interview last year. “We developed a new topside or deck-mounted launcher which can go on multiple platforms or multiple ships such as an LCS or Frigates,” Callaway said. The adaptation of the surface-launcher weapon, which could be operational by the mid-2020s , would use the same missile that fires from a Mk 41 Vertical Launch System…”

            But you go ahead and keep making up nonsense —

          • Duane

            Since you stated “us” – please tell us how many firings of the NSM have YOU performed, Mr. NavySubNuke.

            I rather bet the answer to that simple question is almost certainly “zero”.

            Instead I take the word of Navy commanders who actually HAVE fired NSMs, and can vouch for its capabilities, which most assuredly, includes semi-autonomous operation. Which means, the ship that fires it merely needs to know when to fire at a threatening target, give the initial bearing, range, and target speed, and then the missile takes over from there to find the target, including the ability to accept targeting data directly from longer range sensors than any surface search radar can ever provide (due to curvature of the earth), and discriminate between multiple targets, and then seek out the precise point on the target for an effective kill shot, and also sense and avoid counterfire by radical maneuvering.

          • NavySubNuke

            Duane: “The NSM does not NEED ship-based targeting data

            Also Duane: “the ship that fires it merely needs to know when to fire at a threatening target, give the initial bearing, range, and target speed, and then the missile takes over from there to find the target”
            Well Duane — which is it?

          • Duane

            Yes, and more than likely that info will not come from the ship’s own sensors, which are limited in range on a surface target by the curvature of the earth, will most likely come from airborne or space based sensors.

            All surface scan radars based on surface ships are limited by physics and the earth’s geometry when it comes to sensing surface based targets.

            Which means the LCS is every bit as capable of providing INITIAL targeting data to a NSM as any other surface warship in the world. Which is to say, not very much (i.e., a few tens of miles). The NSM itself has a range far beyond that, at 110 nm. When the LRASM is operational on the LCS, it will have far longer range.

            That is why it is silly to try and proclaim the LCS any less competent at defending itself than any other surface warship, when all such surface warships are fully dependant on remote sensing by airborne platforms – from E-2Cs to AWACs to satellites to drones to any of potentially hundreds or thousands of manned aircraft.

            Surface ships by their very natural limitations are in fact wholly dependent upon long range airborne or spaceborne ISR and in many cases actual defensive weapons. That is why NIFCCA is such a critical infrastructure for the Navy, and that is also why control of the air is and remains the most important element of any national defense capability.

          • NavySubNuke

            Wow that is a whole lot of typing just to avoid saying you were wrong.
            You should try admitting to it when it has been proven to you that you are wrong – people respect you more when you are willing to acknowledge you made a mistake then when you spew out 5 paragraphs of unrelated information to try (and fail) to cover it up.

          • Duane

            I admitted no such thing, nor needed admit any error. The NSM will obviously get its initial targeting data relayed to the missile by the ship’s fire control system. And I also stated that for typical long range fires, that data almost certainly not be sourced by the ship’s sensors but by off-ship airborne or satellite borne sensors.

            You just don’t want to admit that neither the NSM nor the LCS needs an AEGIS sensing and targeting system, as you continually try to argue, in order for the LCS to defend itself or to attack surface warships of virtually any size. All AEGIS CGs and DDGs rely every bit as much on off-ship sensors to sense distant surface ships, and to detect distant ASCM launches, as does the LCS. The only thing the AEGIS ships can do that an an LCS can’t do is provide long range area air defense, both sensing and anti-ASCMs and anti-ASBMs. Which has never been the mission or responsibility of the LCS, or of any prior US frigates not equipped with AEGIS.

          • NavySubNuke

            You attempts to once again redirect the conversation to avoid admitting when you are obviously wrong are really just pathetic — but luckily for me they are entertainingly pathetic.

            I’ve pointed out 3 errors in this thread alone:

            1. The NSM does actually require data from the firing ship — so the fact that NAVSEA is deploying it without the ability to get that information from the ship actually matters contrary to your assertions that it doesn’t. If you actually knew anything about how a ships fire control system interacts with the weapons that are integrated into it you could have avoided this embarrassment.

            2. That LRASM hasn’t been fired from a super hornet yet – contrary to your claim that it has.

            3. That LRASM won’t be ready to launch from a deck launcher until the mid-2020s vice the two years you claim.

            And if you are going to try to bring up other conversations in this one at least have the decency of summarizing them accurately rather than lying. I never said or implied that “the LCS needs an AEGIS sensing and targeting system” — in fact in other threads I have directly argued that it didn’t. I merely pointed out that claiming a DDG and LCS have equal anti-missile defenses (and this is a direct quote) “is at best a half truth since you completely ignore the anti-missile capabilities of an Aegis equipped ship armed with SM-2s to SM-6s to take out ASCMs —- as shown by the Navy’s recent anti-ship missile engagements off the coast of Yemen.”
            Nice try though – I look forward to your next pathetic attempt to distract from your obvious errors — Mondays are the day of the week I most look forward to entertainment like this after all.

      • ProudChatRat

        Another St. Petersburg Russian troll and Russian anti ship missles are crap.

        • NavySubNuke

          Interesting of you to identify yourself that way – how is the weather in St Petersburg these days?
          Are you paid per hour or per post?

          • Horn

            At first I couldn’t tell if he was being serious or just trolling. Once you look at his past posts, you begin to notice that all he does is insult others.

        • Horn

          Interesting. Your first posts on a defense news website and all I’ve seen you throw out are insults. If anyone shows that they have any military knowledge they must be “Russian trolls?” Please go back to Breitbart News. Some of us would actually like to have civilized discussions here.

          • ProudChatRat

            You are lying through your Russian teeth Ivan.
            The only ” discussions” that you are having is with your St. Petersburg Russian troll buddies trying to convince people that Russia is a real world military power. It isn’t.
            You work at 55 Savushkina Street in north central St. Petersburg for Internet Research, a 4 story stone building along with your sister group Federal News Agency. You jerks work in teams of 3 all having at least 6 different IDs in small rooms lined with black computers on an upper floor.
            You get paid $1.50 an hour for a 12 hour day. 2 days on and 2 days off. If you come in late you are fined $8.00 for the day but you do get a daily free lunch.
            Your boss is MIKHAIL BURCHIK. his boss is EVGENY PRIGOZHIN A CROOKED BILLIONAIRE BUTT BUDDY OF VLADIMIR PUTIN.
            Your “discussions” are just a circle jerk trying to convince people that Russia is a military power. It isn’t
            Dasvidanya Sossee Hui

    • moretrouble

      Their cruise missiles apparently work just fine.

      • mrsatyre

        We actually have no solid data that they work “just fine”. Like so much of the Russian military, their strategies have never embraced precision strikes. Nearly all of their bombing runs in Syria have used well-documented dumb iron bombs (you can see them plainly in all of their publicity photos), which are used in carpet bombing tactics which result in numerous civilian deaths and enormous collateral damage.

        • karstenbeate

          You have good points there, mrsatyre. And among the Russian “dumb bombs” are also illegal cluster bombs, illegal fire bombs, and illegal chemical bombs.

          Putin first became popular in Russia by carpet bombing Chechen civilians. Putin became more popular by occupying and attacking parts of Ukraine. Putin became even more popular by carpet bombing Syrians. For Russians, mass murdering, attacking and occupying seems to be more important than trying to solve conflicts.

        • moretrouble

          They’re not concerned with civilian deaths and collateral damage. My comment stands.

      • ProudChatRat

        Sure they do but their tiny ships can only carry a dozen of them.

    • Charles Painter

      Depends! The Russian navy is far behind the US and NATO in most cases and maybe 25 years in everything except submarines! Yasen-class submarines (Only 2 in service and 5 being build) are no joke! Sierra-class with a titanium hull, Akula class, and older but still dangerous Oscar II class are also no joke! None of these are 25 years behind anyone!

    • El_Sid

      Russian Naval technology is 25 years behind the USA

      As others have said, it’s a bit more complicated than that. But consider where the USN was 25 years ago – DDG-51 and lots of Ticos were in service, along with ten San Juans, whilst 2xSeawolf were under construction. So yes, sub-launched cruise missiles are certainly within the capability of an adversary 25 years behind the US.

      • ProudChatRat

        Boris
        Russia doesn’t doesn’t have the capability to keep their subs hidden and their subs can only handle a few of them. They can’t mount nuclear warheads on them either.
        Russia’s military is pitiful compared to the USA.
        You can bet you Russian butt that there are US nuclear Submarines armed with nuclear missiles in the Arctic sea, the Baltic sea, the Black sea and the Atlantic sea each with 16 ICBMs with multiple warheads aimed at Western Russia at all times. If you can’t do the math that is at least 102 nukes that can can strike in 15 minutes or less. St. Petersburg will get at least 3 along with Moscow.
        55 Savushkina Where Internet Research is located where you work for MIKHAIL BURCHIK in a 4 story soviet era building will be radioactive ash before BURCHIK can call his boss EVGENY PRIGOZHIN .
        Dasvidanya Sossee Hui.

        • NavySubNuke

          ** Pats Rat on the head ** Oh dear me you really are one of the special ones aren’t you.
          Please explain the difference between an ICBM and SLBM to me sometime. Also, please explain why you need to park a submarine within a hundred miles of the coast when it is carrying “16 ICBMs” – wouldn’t you want them farther away to make it harder for them to be found? Also, how exactly does a US nuclear submarine large enough to carry 16 ICBMs get into the black sea? The only ICBM in service with the US military is the USAF MMIII which is almost 60 feet tall — that is one massive submarine! Which class of submarines actually carries those bad boys by the way? Our current OHIO class isn’t that tall so do they leave the top of the missile sticking out the open tube or does the bottom of the missile stick out?

          • ProudChatRat

            Your FNA writers are doing a poor job for you mudak. :o)

          • ProudChatRat

            Sub Launched and ground launched still makes them Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles.
            Either way western Russia is toast in 10 minutes. Being close makes it faster . We wouldn’t want Russia to suffer long and they won’t either Sossee Hui.

          • NavySubNuke

            Wrong on all counts. Nice try though.

          • ProudChatRat

            Ah. A Russian troll claims victory.
            The facts are that Russia can’t defend itself from Nuclear sub launched nukes and Russia is surrounded by them. The best thing about this fact is that St. Petersburg Russia will be hit before Russia knows it.

          • NavySubNuke

            Interesting to see you hoping for a death like that. How is the weather in St. Petersburg right now anyway troll?

          • ProudChatRat

            With you being a Russian troll your funny, stupid but funny.
            Does your boss MIKHAIL BURCHIK at Internet Research think you are funny. Maybe his boss EVGENY PRIGOZHIN likes paying trolls for being clever Boris.
            Russia IS NOT a world military power.
            Russia’s submarine fleet is a small threat that can be neutralized very easily.
            Internet Research’s sister propaganda unit Federal News Agency at 55 Savushkina St. in St. Petersburg Russia is always writing stories about Russian super weapons that do not exist.
            The facts are that Russia is outclassed and outgunned in every military category by the USA. Russia is all bluff and bulls**t.
            Dasvidanya Sossee Hui :o)

          • NavySubNuke

            Interesting – does your boss know you are putting his name out there like that? I thought you paid-Russian trolls were supposed to be more secretive than that.

          • ProudChatRat

            Burchik is your boss Boris. :o) Just like Putins butt buddy EVGENY PRIGOZHIN is his boss. :o)
            Dasvidanya Khuilo

          • NavySubNuke

            Interesting – does your boss know that not only are you throwing his name out there but you are denying he is your boss?

          • ProudChatRat

            Your denial by deception is called ” Maskirova
            ‘ Boris. Denial,deception and redirection.

            You work at 55 Savushkina St. in north central St. Petersburg Russia for Internet Research a Russian propaganda unit. An ugly 4 story soviet era stone building. Russian trolls work in teams of 3 in small rooms lined with black computers. You sossee hui’s have 6 or more IDs each. You get paid $1.50 an hour for a 12 hour day 2 days on, 2 days off. You have to make 150 posts a day. You are given “talking points” written by the writers at your sister unit called Federal News Agency that plants fake news stories in world press agencies.
            Your boss is MIKHAIL BURCHIK .
            INTERNET RESEARCH & FEDERAL NEWS AGENCY are owned by a company called CONCORD. EVGENY PRIGOZHIN controls it for his favorite sossee hui VLADIMIR PUTIN.
            PRIGOZHIN gets nervous when this information is posted on the internet.
            Thanks for the opportunity Khuilo.
            Dasvidanya Pizda :o)

          • NavySubNuke

            Interesting, if you know your boss is nervous about you posting so much of this online — why do you keep posting it?

        • El_Sid

          Haha, I think you need to train your detection skills – I’m neither Russian or from anywhere near there.

          At least I have the basic military understanding to know that SSBNs will not be going anywhere near the Baltic or the Black Sea. They are horrible places for a submarine to be – shallow with no sea room. The main driver of the move from Polaris to Trident was to allow the launch platforms to be based in the open ocean, where detection was far harder.

          • ProudChatRat

            HaHa
            There is no doubt that you are a St. Petersburg Russian troll Suka.

  • Ursa Minor

    A Russian Surveillance Ship collides with a livestock freighter? Um… I guess they weren’t collecting data on freighters. lol

    • Secundius

      A 2,300-ton Livestock Freighter vs. 1,700 Spy Ship!/? Who Radar was Down (Turned Off) and Who was Sleeping on the Watch…

  • Back in the day, Howard Hughes would have had his hands on the wreck by now.

  • AUh2o

    Really sad that our CIC having no military or diplomatic experience is playing games with the North Koreans. He must be reminded that the real losers with this brinkmanship will be the Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans. Since the north has little in the way of reaching our shores their first target would be the above mentioned folks. I believe that previous administrations played down no matter what the north did.
    Negotiations are the only way with this scenario. Either that or the loss of millions.

    • mrsatyre

      I guess you haven’t heard the very widespread news over the past several years that North Korea is closer than ever before thanks to meaningless “sanctions” in developing an ICBM (inter CONTINENTAL ballistic missile, as you seem to be also unaware of), which, as the name implies could very well reach Hawaii and North America. They successfully launched a missile from a submarine last year, which is a very significant step towards bringing nuclear or chemical warheads to our shores.

      • Marcd30319

        Thank you, sir! Sometimes one must state the obvious to the ill-informed or self-deluded.

      • AUh2o

        So was Russia years ago. We (NATO)managed to hold them down until one of us broke. Same is true of North Korea. Negotiation works wonders.

    • Marcd30319

      What is really sad is the management of this news blog and their front-office enablers continuing to delude themselves that opening up this message board to any anonymous wignut with a Disqus account will somehow stimulate membership growth to the United State Naval Institute.

      This is a fool’s errand, and it is fools who can’t even stay on topic that prove the folly of this self-evident supposition. I have looked at your profile and past postings elsewhere, and all I can say is you better cash that Soros check fast before it bounces.

      I am a paying member of the USNI since 1974, Mr. LaGrone, and you are stifling dissent, the hallmark of the Institute. Shameful!

      • Bill

        Hear, hear!

      • AUh2o

        Thanks. My Sorros checks go directly to ACLU.
        The only group I respond to. Of course they don’t have FAUX talking points.

        • Marcd30319

          Thank you for proving my point.

      • AUh2o

        Sorry, I never had the opportunity to make myself a target. I didn’t get drafted during Viet Nam or any other time. Way too busy building weapons of war, military radios, and military timing devices for the U.S. military. Many of my friends went and most came back. I guess I was part of the U.S. military industrial complex. I put my talents to good use.

  • PRONESE

    “The missile shots from the Kilo sub surprised many in the West, and was seen as yet another example of Russia’s growing naval capabilities.”
    Well, if the U.S. Navy had not put ASW on the back burner, maybe they would not have been surprised.

    • Ed L

      Not me. It was only a matter of time.

  • John B. Morgen

    The sinking of the Russian signals intelligence ship Liman could have been no accident

    • Secundius

      Both Vessels are almost Identical in Size “Youzarsif-H” IMO: 7611547 / MMSI: 67137100 (~75-meters @ ~2,334-tons, + ~8,800 Sheep) and “Liman” (~73.32-meters @ 1,542-tons). Who was Sleeping on the Duty Watch…

      • John B. Morgen

        Both ships have radars, especially, the Russian (AGI) has many electronic senors than the ship that sunk it. Both parties are at fault, but nevertheless the sinking is quite odd to believe with since it would be very unlikely for anyone to seek up on a Russian (AGI).

        • Secundius

          I’m kind of Curious about the Maintenance Logs of and/or on the Russian Intelligence Ship. Poor Maintenance of the Ship’s Hull might have been a Contributing Factor in why the Ship Sank…

          • John B. Morgen

            The Russian (AGI) could had maintenance problems with their radars and other senors, which would explained how the AGI was sunk by a mere freighter……

  • The Plague

    Anybody here know any details on how that spy-ship failed to spy out that freighter in the way?

  • Duane

    The bottom line is the Russians simply cannot afford a navy that is competitive with ours. As of last year their defense spending was 1/10th that of the USA, and the Russians recently admitted to cutting their defense spending this year … and of the Russian defense spending, far less was useful due to the massive “kleptocrat tax” imposed on all government spending by Putin and his rich cronies who all take their share and stash it way in Swiss bank accounts. Putin didn’t get to be the richest man in the world (estimated net worth in excess of $100B USD) on a government salary.

    So even though the Russians seem to be showing up more, it is all show and no real performance, as indicated by this incident, and the massive failures of the Kutesnetsov last fall when it sortied to the Med, and managed to lose several of their limited carrier planes that were unable to land because of failed arresting gear. The Russians are all about the sizzle but they provide no steak. There is a reason why the entire world refers to military fakery as “Potemkin Village” – and that ain’t no village in New Jersey.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Note to State Dept: double U.S. foreign aid to Togo in 2018.

  • Ctrot

    Getting real tired of the censorship of perfectly legitimate comments.

  • disqus_89uuCprLIv

    Liman took her “take” to the bottom with her. It will be interesting to see how quickly the Russian Navy gets salvage in motion.