“The greatest show of force.” Why did Russian ships come to Cuba? Peskov said that the arrival of Russian warships to Cuba is normal practice 06/13/2024, 16:50

A detachment of the Russian Northern Fleet has completed exercises on the use of high-precision missile weapons in the Atlantic Ocean and arrived in Cuba, where they will pay an official visit from 12 to 17 June. The frigate Admiral Gorshkov, the nuclear submarine Kazan, the tanker Akademik Pashin and the ocean rescue tug Nikolai Chiker docked in Havana.

Admiral Gorshkov, the first of the four-ship convoy, fired a 21-gun salute after entering port in Cuba, to which the Cubans responded with a cannon salvo from an 18th-century colonial fort built by the Spanish to protect the port. .

What kind of ships?

Multipurpose nuclear submarine “Kazan” (project 885M Yasen-M) is equipped with 10 torpedo tubes of 533 mm caliber located at an angle on the side of the submarine. In addition, the ship has eight vertical missile silos, each of which can accommodate 3M55 Oniks, 3M22 Zircon or 3M14 Kalibr-PL cruise missiles. (loading option depends on the assigned combat mission).

The American analogue of the Yasen-M nuclear submarine is the Virginia-class multipurpose submarine. The US Navy currently has 25 such boats in service and they plan to increase this number to 66. There are five Yasen-M nuclear submarines in the Russian Navy.

“Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov” – Russian multi-purpose frigate of project 22350 (ship of 1st rank) with guided missile weapons for the remote sea and ocean zone. The ship is part of the 43rd missile carrier division of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy. This is a relatively small ship in terms of displacement: 4500 tons – standard, 5400 tons – loaded.

“Admiral Gorshkov” is equipped with 16 vertical launch devices designed to launch 3M54 “Calibr-NK” sea-based cruise missiles, 3M55 “Onyx” and 3M22 “Zircon” anti-ship missiles.

An analogue of the Gorshkov can be considered, in part, the promising US Navy frigate of the Constellation type, previously designated FFG(X). Constellation is slightly larger than the Russian frigate, its displacement reaches 6,700 tons. The ship has 32 cells to launch ESSM Block 2 missiles. (Advanced Sea Sparrow Missile), SM-6, SM-2MR Block 3C, RAM (21 cells). These frigates are currently produced for the US Navy. The first of these received the number FFG-62; The first steel cutting took place on August 31, 2022. These frigates are planned to be built at a rate of two hulls per year; The USA plans to build 20 ships in total.

Standard practice?

American television channel CNN Amid growing tensions between the United States and Russia over the situation in Ukraine, the Russian ships’ five-day visit to the Caribbean island was a “show of military might” by the Russian Federation just 90 miles (145 km) from Florida.

“This is the biggest show of force by the Russians in Cuba in recent years,” CNN emphasizes.

At the same time, the American television channel notes that Russia’s move to the region comes at a particularly tense time in relations between Washington and Moscow – a few weeks after American President Joe Biden allowed Ukraine to launch a direct attack on Russian territory using weapons. Provided by the United States.

Commenting on the visit of Russian warships to Cuba, Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov described it as a normal practice and noted that he did not see any reason for concern for the United States.

“Military exercises are a normal practice in various parts of the world; This is also normal practice for states, especially for a major maritime power like the Russian Federation. “It is also a common practice to make such visits,” he said.

Last week, Cuba called ship visits for naval units of friendly countries to Havana as standard practice and wanted to ensure that these visits did not pose a threat to the region.

“The visits of naval units from other countries are a historical practice of the revolutionary government with states that maintain relations of friendship and cooperation,” the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

The country’s Ministry of Armed Forces emphasized that not a single Russian ship was equipped with nuclear weapons.

According to CNN, the US military has deployed ships and planes to monitor Russian military exercises in the Atlantic and Caribbean and has also been monitoring Russian ships that have crossed the Atlantic to Cuba in recent days. Pentagon and State Department officials also emphasized that Russia’s actions were routine and did not pose a threat to the United States, and noted that Cuba hosted Russian ships every year from 2013 to 2020.

Are such teachings necessary?

It is known that a heterogeneous Russian tactical group consisting of four ships, including support ships, was conducting exercises in the Atlantic on the use of high-precision missile weapons.

The question arises: is it necessary to carry out such events when almost all the forces of the country are involved in a special military operation? However, if Russia positions itself as a great power, this means that it has interests in any region of the world and in the world’s oceans, and this can only be achieved if there is a large and combat-ready ocean fleet with all the necessary equipment. types of forces required in combat composition.

At present, such theses can be considered overly ambitious and not entirely consistent with the general military-political situation. Apparently, what kind of aircraft carriers are there when fierce battles for Chasov Yar or Kleshcheevka have been going on for months?

But we need to think about this for decades. For example, Russia plans to “cut” a transport corridor to the Atlantic bypassing Europe via the Sahel, the region from the east coast of Africa to the Atlantic coast. In the four Sahel states (Chad, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso), Russia-friendly regimes have already been established as a result of coups in recent years. So Moscow may have its own route from the European part of the country to South America. In this case, the volume of potential markets can reach several billion people.

However, at this stage, all of this can only be considered a promising goal. The immediate task, which has actually started to be implemented, is the North-South transport corridor.

In both cases, the importance of Naval, long-range and military transport aviation, which will ensure the safe operation of both flows, will increase many times. It will be necessary to ensure the dominance of the domestic fleet both in the Arabian Sea (North-South corridor), in the South Atlantic (corridor through the Sahel) and off the east coast of Africa.

Therefore, it seems quite logical that the detachment of battleships of the Russian Navy in the Atlantic will be exercised against the background of the upcoming implementation of such grandiose missions. We’re starting with two combat units, but historically we’ll easily reach 200 in the foreseeable future.

The author’s opinion may not coincide with the editors’ opinion.

Author biography:

Mikhail Mikhailovich Khodarenok is a military columnist for socialbites.ca, a retired colonel.

Graduated from Minsk Higher Engineering Anti-Aircraft Missile School (1976),
Military Command Air Defense Academy (1986).
Commander of the S-75 anti-aircraft missile division (1980–1983).
Deputy commander of the anti-aircraft missile regiment (1986–1988).
Senior officer of the Main Staff of the Air Defense Forces (1988–1992).
Officer of the General Staff Main Operations Department (1992–2000).
Graduate of the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (1998).
Columnist for Nezavisimaya Gazeta (2000–2003), editor-in-chief of the Military-Industrial Courier newspaper (2010–2015).

What are you thinking?

Nuclear submarine Kazan and the Russian Navy’s Admiral Gorshkov frigate arrived in Cuba after completing their exercises in the Atlantic. They will stay in Havana for five days. American channel CNN evaluated the visit as a “show of military power” by the Russian Federation, which is only 145 km away from Florida, and the Kremlin described it as a normal practice. What Russian ships are doing near the Caribbean islands and why Russia needs to conduct naval exercises at such a distance, in the material of socialbites.ca military observer Mikhail Khodarenok.

Source: Gazeta


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