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The hornet’s nest

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Since the annexation of Crimea, two years had passed, and the grouping of the Russian armed forces on the Peninsula has been significantly upgraded. Specially for the anniversary of the referendum on Crimea’s status (he was 16 March 2014) “Tape.Roux” tried to bring together the data of open sources, to see how increased troops on the territory of the new Federal district.

The Red Banner Black Sea

Crimea is a primarily Navy. In the XVIII century the Russian Crimea even as such was not, and the Russian black sea fleet already existed. Naturally, the return of the Peninsula has strengthened the new Sevastopol as the main base of the black sea fleet. Her recall, almost became Novorossiysk, actively ustraivatsya at the turn of the 2000’s and 2010’s, but he’s on hydrometeorological conditions substantially inferior to Sevastopol.

Just ship the Navy has not updated much. The Navy for two years, received two small missile ship project 21631 (“Serpukhov” and “Green Vale”), as well as the new construction submarine project 636.3 “Novorossiysk” and “Rostov”. Two more submarines (“Stary Oskol” and “Krasnodar”) is currently being tested in the Northern fleet, the total number of such submarines to the black sea fleet will be six.

Just the other day the Navy officially handed over to the head of project 11356 frigate “Admiral Grigorovich”, which is now at the Baltic and will soon go to the place of service in the 30th division of surface ships of the black sea fleet, Sevastopol.

The Ministry of defense ordered six frigates of this type for the BSF, however, manage to build only three (according to plan — all before the end of 2016). The second three were left without Ukrainian gas turbines and, possibly, will be completed in the interests of India: there are six frigates of the Talwar type, on the basis of which was created this project. So the question of capital ships for the Black sea is not yet closed.

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Coastal missile complex “Bastion”
Photo: Sergey Pivovarov / RIA Novosti

The division (or rather, her 11th brigade) had seen better days. In addition to the flagship of the black sea fleet (missile cruiser “Moskva”), there are patrol ships “sharp-witted” and “Inquisitive” and “right”. Large anti-submarine ship “Kerch” was going to upgrade, but after a fire in the engine room in November 2014, the ship decided to withdraw from the fighting structure and to deploy a floating command post in Sevastopol.

In the sky above the plateau

Naval aviation of the black sea fleet for many years was the only component of Russian air power in the Crimea. It’s the 43rd naval attack aviation regiment on the su-24 and su-24MR (until 2014 in the guards, now at the airport in novofedorivka Saki, rearming for new multifunctional fighters su-30CM) and the 318-th mixed aviation regiment in Kutch, which included patrol aircraft Be-12, transport An-26 and Ka-27 and Mi-8.

However, after the annexation of Crimea there has deployed and connections of the air force (“green”, as expressed by naval aviators). These forces are summarized in 27 mixed and organizational divisions consist of three regiments.

Guards at the airport at Simferopol, where “evicted” naval aviation, deployed 37th mixed aviation regiment of two squadrons. The first are front-line bomber su-24M transferred from rearmed with the su-34 559 th bomber aviation regiment, based in Morozovsk, Rostov region. Second, the su-25SM, isolated from 368 th attack aviation regiment (Budennovsk).

38th fighter wing sits on the Belbek — traditional the Crimean air defence interceptors from the Soviet era. As part of the regiment — two squadrons equipped with su-27П, su-27UB, su-27 and su-30M2. The aircraft was going from multiple connections, in particular with re-equipping the su-35S of the 22nd and 23rd regiments in the far East, and from the 3rd aviation regiment (Krymsk).

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Training marine engineering service of the black sea fleet
Photo: Sergey Maligawa / RIA Novosti

Despite recent rule information in army aviation brigade in the Crimea “green” vertibirds are collected in the 39th regiment helicopter, assigned to the same 27th division and deployed on the airfield in Dzhankoy. This is at least three squadrons, including the Ka-52, Mi-35M, Mi-28N, Mi-8AMTSH. There are also several Mi-26. This regiment quite drawn to the aviation brigade in the future that may change.

The defense of the Crimea reinforced by two anti-aircraft missile regiments equipped with S-300ПМ: 12th deployed in Sevastopol (174 ex Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile brigade) and the 18th (former Ukrainian 50th anti-aircraft missile regiment from Feodosiya) in the heart of the Peninsula. Shelves attached to self-defense missile and gun systems “Pantsir-S”.

In the ancient land

Due to the nature of the 1997 agreement, Russia contained only parts and connections relating to the fleet. Therefore, the main component of the ground was and remains the 810 brigade of Marines of the black sea fleet, one of the key actors of events of February 2014. Her dowry 1096-th anti-aircraft missile regiment on the complexes of “OSA-AKM”.

810-th separate brigade complements the 501st battalion in Feodosia, which drove former Ukrainian 1st and the 501st battalions of Marines.

However, land grouping marine corps is no longer limited. In the area of the saddle is based 126th brigade of coastal defense. This former Ukrainian 36th mechanized brigade of coastal defense troops that have received new equipment, including tanks T-72Б3 (old T-80БВ were returned to Ukraine).

Reinforcement presents the 8th artillery regiment, the former 406 th Simferopol art group of the Ukrainian Navy. The regiment is equipped with the towed 152-mm howitzers “Msta-B”, MLRS “Tornado-G” (upgraded to “Hail”) and anti-tank missile complexes “Chrysanthemum-s”.

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Presentation battle flag of the brigade of coastal defense of the black sea fleet
Photo: Alexey Pavlicek / TASS

In Crimea formed and continue to form new connections. So, in Sevastopol created 127 separate brigade intelligence.

In Dzhankoy where I am now helicopters of army aviation, will be recreated the 97 th air assault regiment of the 7th (Novorossiysk) airborne division. This will happen after 2020, while in 2017-2018, there is deployed an air assault battalion. While in Dzhankoy on duty on rotation battalion tactical groups of the airborne forces units from “mainland” Russia. Now there is a “best” from the 98th division, and just recently, they should replace soldiers of the 11th air assault brigade from Ulan-Ude.

On the basis of the transferred units of the 11th coastal missile-artillery brigade (Anapa) 15 formed a separate brigade, the arms of which are anti-ship missile complexes “Bastion” and “Ball”. In addition, the reactivated object “Weaving”: the installation of the missile complex “Utes” (missiles 3М44 “Progress”) near the village Reserve.

In addition, in the Crimea, stationed a number of support units, including engineering parts, hazmat and logistics, as well as the regiment of electronic warfare.

No trespassing

Speaking about the build-up of Russian forces in Crimea, it should be noted that it was characterized by “growth zero”. The agreement on the division of the black sea fleet from 1997 significantly limited the Russian military on the Peninsula. So at this point it would make sense to speak about not implementing the accelerated militarization of the Crimea, and on the formation of a complete inter-service groups of forces, balanced by the opportunities and equipped with the latest technology (which in the 1997 agreement are also excluded — required the consent of Kiev).

The peculiarities of geographical position of the Crimea, in particular polyexlaminate, as well as the dominant position of an “unsinkable aircraft carrier” of the Black sea — the Russian dictate of the selected management form groups. Before us is an attempt to portray a variation on the theme of the Kaliningrad defense region, even one armed to the teeth “the wasp nest” away from “mainland” Russia.

When American generals said that Russia has created in the Crimea and in Kaliningrad so-called zone of blocked access (Anti-access/Area Denial, A2/AD), they mean precisely this: a powerful group of shock and defensive weapons, is able to keep at a distance from the perimeter of the area of the sea, air and land forces of the potential enemy.

The Crimea with its “Bastions” and enhanced defense pretty well meets these requirements, and the geography that make the Peninsula almost an island, makes demands first of all to the antilanding defense of the coast, as well as to protect against airborne troops.

Author Konstantin Bogdanov

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