Tag: Kamov

Russia readies troops for Zapad war games with Belarus

Russia and Belarus are set to stage the Zapad 2017 war games, and the operation’s size is causing concern among Western observers. Moscow’s heavy troop presence has some worrying whether Minsk’s sovereignty is at risk.

Russian troops have been gathering in Belarus since Monday. The Zapad 2017 (West 2017) war games are slated to begin in September, with roughly 12,700 Russian soldiers officially participating, according to Moscow. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Russian officials for providing them with troop information, but said the games will nonetheless be closely monitored.

Read more: What are Russia’s Zapad war games?

War games exceeding 13,000 troops require the presence of external observers, as stipulated by the Vienna Document, a security agreement among the participating states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which includes Russia. Western observers fear Russia will break the agreed limit on troop participation. Opposition voices in Belarus, a Russian ally, worry that Russian troops will remain in the country following the exercises to de facto occupy the country.

Regional concern grows

Russia’s military build up to its West is worrying Belarus’ neighbors – Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states – which were all under Moscow’s control during the Soviet era. Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said there are 100,000 Russian troops that President Vladimir Putin wants to use to “put NATO to the test.”

The Zapad military exercises were previously held in 2013 and 2009

That number may refer to Russia’s total troop presence in the larger region for the exercises, Margarete Klein of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) told DW. The military exercises are taking place both in Russia and Belarus, she said, however a lot of speculation surrounds the operation.

“We just have to wait to see what happens,” Klein said. “It’s difficult to talk in advance about what the numbers may mean.”

Doubting the numbers

Russian military expert Alexander Golz pointed out that the Zapad war games extend beyond Belarus, as the Belarusian military announced they are to stretch from Russia’s Kola Peninsula near Finland to the western exclave of Kaliningrad in the Baltic region. Thus troops are being amassed not just in Belarus, but in Russia as well, he said, adding that Moscow has a history of playing fast and loose with troop numbers.

“Russia had a curious interpretation of the Vienna Document during the conflict in the Donbass,” Golz told DW, explaining that Moscow’s troop deployment to the country’s border with eastern Ukraine was said to be part of a military exercise so that the Kremlin could claim its soldiers’ presence did not exceed the Vienna Document’s limit.

Lukashenko, Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu coordinated for Zapad 2013

Everything above board?

Russia’s Defense Ministry has ordered about 4,000 rail cars, according to media reports, for troop transports to Belarus – more than previous exercises, including 1,000 more than for Zapad 2013, Alexander Alessin, a Belarusian military expert, told DW. Zapad 2017 would remain within the permissible limits, he said, calculating for up to 30 tons of equipment per soldier.

Prospects for Belarusian sovereignty

A post-operation occupation of Belarus is unlikely, Alessin said, because “occupying [Russia’s] only ally would undermine faith in the Kremlin, including with its potential partners.” It would also undermine Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s credibility – at home and abroad, which is in neither side’s interest. Alessin cited Belarus’ denial of Russia’s 2013 request to maintain airbases there.

Lukashenko is unlikely to allow Russian troops to remain in the country following the September maneuvers, Alexander Golz said. For 20 years, Lukashenko has been receiving money from Russia, he said, and therefore has always underscored Belarus’ strategic importance to Russia as an outpost. “As far as Russian military bases in Belarus go,” Golz added, “Lukashenko turned 180 degrees. Interestingly, Putin had to swallow that.”




Baltic Fleet’s air pilots conduct missile firing practice near Kaliningrad

KALININGRAD, August 14. /TASS/. More than 20 planes and helicopters and 500 troops from the Baltic Fleet’s naval aviation base are involved in flight and tactical exercise and missile firing and bombing practices at a proving ground in the Kaliningrad Region, the fleet’s spokesman, Roman Martov, told TASS.

“Participating in the routine exercise are more than 20 crews of Sukhoi-27 and Sukhoi-24 planes and military transport helicopters Mi-24 and Mi-8, as well as deck helicopters Ka-27, and military transport planes Antonov-26,” he said.

The participating forces provide fire support for ground forces, destroy command centers, armored vehicles and manpower of a hypothetical enemy, conduct air reconnaissance and destroy air targets and search for and eliminate submarines of a hypothetical enemy.

In both daytime and at night air crews launch guided and unguided missiles of different class, drop bombs ranging 100 kilograms to 500 kilograms and practice maneuvering in dog fight and approach targets in adverse radio-electronic warfare conditions.

A total of 30 combat training flights are due, Martov said.




Russian Aerospace Force to get over hundred aircraft in 2017

Russian Sukhoi Su-35S Multi-role Heavy Fighter

Russia’s Aerospace Force will get over 70 aircraft and helicopters, as well as more than 40 air defense missile systems until the end of this year, Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Viktor Bondarev told Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper on Friday.

“Over 70 aircraft, more than 40 air defense missile systems and about 70 radar stations will arrive for Aerospace Force units until the end of the year,” he said.

Russia’s Aerospace Force has already received about 50 new aircraft this year: Sukhoi Su-34, Su-35S, Su-30SM, Yak-130 planes, Kamov Ka-52 combat helicopters, Mil Mi-8 AMTSh and Mi-8MTV-5-1 military transport helicopters and also over 20 standby and alert radar stations, the commander said.

Russian Sukhoi Su-34 Multi-role Attack Aircraft

“Besides, the industry is finalizing and delivering satellites, military carrier rockets and radars characterized by the high degree of their readiness for ensuring a closed field of missile attack warning.

Let me note that special attention during the planning of the Aerospace Force’s hardware upgrade was paid to constant alert units and formations where armament and military hardware had considerably used up their potential,” Bondarev said.






Marine drills involving over 2,000 troops take place in Russia’s West

Vladimir Rodionov/TASS

KALININGRAD, August 10. /TASS/. More than 2,000 marine troops participated in tactical drills involving a marine brigade and the 11th Army Corps of the Russian Baltic Fleet, which were held at the Khmelyovka training range in the Kaliningrad region, Fleet Spokesman Roman Martov told TASS.

“The drills were aimed at training the skills of seizing coastal areas and driving the enemy forces out of them,” he said. According to the fleet spokesman, the exercises involved more than 2,000 troops, as well as over 100 pieces of military hardware, including 20 warships, boats and supply vessels, 12 planes and helicopters from the Baltic Fleet’s naval aircraft units.”

The Russian Federation enclave of Kaliningrad

Besides, tanks, the Akatsiya self-propelled howitzers, Grad multiple launch rocket systems and Shilka self-propelled antiaircraft guns, as well as other military hardware, was also used during the marine drills. At the same time, the Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft and Mil Mi-24 attack helicopters performed missile attacks on the simulated enemy’s positions. A Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters delivered a marine assault group to the drills site, while an air assault group arrived in an Antonov An-26 transport aircraft.

Baltic Fleet Su-24M/MRs from the 4th Independent Naval Assault Aviation Regiment – Chernyakhovsk Air Base contribute to the amphibious landings.

“During the exercises, ships carrying marine assault groups trained to suppress the simulated enemy’s coastal strongpoints and honed the tactics of military activities behind enemy’s lines, which particularly involve marine assault groups.

To create an environment close to that of an actual military operation, more than five tonnes of various simulated munitions were used.





Chinese Navy warships arrive in Russian Baltic port for joint drills

AP Photo/Kin Cheung

A group of Chinese Navy warships led by the missile destroyer Hefei has arrived in the port of Baltiysk in Russia’s westernmost Kaliningrad Region for joint Russia-China drills dubbed the Joint Sea-2017, Baltic Fleet spokesman Roman Martov told TASS on Friday.

“The Chinese naval group includes the frigate Yuncheng and the supply vessel Luoma Lake, apart from the destroyer Hefei,” the spokesman said.

The Chinese sailors were received by representatives of the Command of the Russian Navy, the Baltic Fleet, China’s diplomatic corps and a guard of honor in the port of Baltiysk.

Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Russia’s Navy Vice-Admiral Alexander Fedotenkov and Deputy Commander of the Chinese Navy Vice-Admiral Tian Zhong who are in charge of the drills noted that the maneuvers were not aimed against other countries.

The drills will be the first in the history of interaction of the Chinese Navy and the Russian Baltic Fleet and will aim to practice joint operations at sea, on the ground and in the air.

During the active phase of the drills that will be held on July 25-26 in the Baltic Sea, the sailors will practice anti-saboteur, antiaircraft and anti-ship defense. The warships’ crews will deliver fire against various surface and air targets and organize joint operations for rescuing a person falling overboard and providing aid to a ship in distress.

The Baltic Fleet’s corvettes Steregushchiy and Boiky, a rescue tug and shipborne Kamov Ka-27 multipurpose helicopters, Sukhoi Su-24 tactical frontline bombers and Antonov An-26 military and transport planes will represent the Russian Navy in the joint drills.

Source: TASS Russian News Agency.



Baltic Fleet helicopters destroy notional enemy’s submarine with bombs in naval drills

Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

The crews of Kamov Ka-27 PL antisubmarine warfare helicopters from the airbase of the Baltic Fleet’s naval aviation have spotted and destroyed a notional enemy’s submarine with air bombs in naval drills, Fleet spokesman Roman Martov told TASS on Wednesday.

“According to the drills’ scenario, an enemy submarine reconnoitering the fleet’s naval group has been detected in a combat training range in the Baltic Sea.

The crews of the Ka-27 PL antisubmarine warfare helicopters have spotted the submarine and determined its coordinates with the help of radar systems and sonars.

The submarine – a specially imitated underwater target – has been destroyed by air bombs from the air,” the spokesman said.

The helicopter crews also carried cargoes on external suspension and performed planned patrolling of the Baltic Sea coastline, the Fleet spokesman said.

Overall, 10 combat helicopters were involved in the drills.

Original article: TASS Russian News Agency.


Black Sea Fleet frigate joins Russian Navy’s Mediterranean task force

Mikhail Metzel/TASS

The crew of the Black Sea Fleet’s frigate Admiral Essen has restarted accomplishing missions as part of the Russian Navy’s permanent task force in the Mediterranean Sea, Fleet spokesman Vyacheslav Trukhachyov said on Monday.

“After briefly calling at Sevastopol, the crew of the Black Sea Fleet’s frigate Admiral Essen has set off for the Black Sea straits. Already today, the warship will restart accomplishing missions as part of the Russian Navy’s permanent grouping in the Mediterranean Sea,” the spokesman said.

“In compliance with the planned rotation, the Admiral Essen will replace the same-type warship Admiral Grigorovich, which has been performing assignments as part of the grouping since March 2017,” he added.

Russian Navy Project 11356 frigate Admiral Essen.

The frigate Admiral Essen returned to Sevastopol on July 5 after accomplishing combat missions off Syria. Russia’s Defense Ministry earlier said that the frigates Admiral Essen and Admiral Grigorovich and the submarine Krasnodar had destroyed large arms depots of the Islamic State terrorist grouping (outlawed in Russia) with cruise missiles in Syria.

The Admiral Essen is the second Project 11356 blue water frigate after the Admiral Grigorovich. It was transferred to the Black Sea Fleet in June 2016.

The frigates displace about 4,000 tonnes, develop a speed of 30 knots and have a sea endurance of 30 days. Another Project 11356 frigate will be handed over to the Fleet in 2017.

The Admiral Essen is armed with Kalibr-NK cruise missiles, the Shtil-1 self-defense missile system, the A-190 artillery gun, air defense artillery, a rocket launcher and torpedoes and can also carry a deck-based Kamov Ka-27 or Ka-31 helicopter.

Original article: TASS Russian News Agency.




Russia’s Alligator attack helicopter’s land version to get folding blades

Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter. Vitaly Timkiv/TASS.

The land version of the Kamov Ka-52 Alligator (NATO reporting name: Hokum-B) reconnaissance/attack helicopter is expected to get folding blades as part of its upgrade, Russian Helicopters Group, part of Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec, told TASS on Monday.

“As the technique of folding blades has been mastered, a possibility is being considered to use this technology also in the manufacture of the land version of this helicopter’s modification,” the Russian Helicopters press office said.

The helicopter’s modernization has already begun. This innovation will make it possible to keep this helicopter at hangars, which gives the Alligator’s land version a fundamental advantage, the press office said.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov earlier said that Ka-52 Alligator helicopters could be modernized considering the experience of their combat use in Syria.

According to the deputy defense minister, the Ka-52 has proved its worth in combat operations in Syria.

Original post: TASS Russian News Agency.


Ka-52K shipborne helicopter to be tested in 2019

Kamov Ka-52K Shipbourne Attack Helicopter.

The tests for the Ka-52K shipborne helicopter will be completed before the end of 2019 and then the deliveries to the Defense Ministry will start, Russian Helicopters (part of Rostech) told TASS on Thursday.

“The helicopter trials are planned to be completed before the end of 2019. So, the deliveries to the Defense Ministry will start right after the trials,” the company said.
In May, Russian Helicopters reported that the helicopter had successfully completed the first phase of testing. It was tested from late 2016 until early 2017.

Earlier, the company’s Director General Andrey Boginsky said that Russian Helicopters planned to sign a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry to deliver the Ka-52K helicopters in 2019. In his turn, Chief Designer of the Kamov Design Bureau Sergey Mikheev reported that the Ka-52K tests would be carried out during the next three years on board ships of four various types.

Compared to the land-based Ka-52, the Ka-52K has shorter folding wings which have been redesigned to carry heavy weapons and a blade-folding mechanism for stowage in the hold. Minimized dimensions of the KA-52K will allow more helicopters to be placed on board.

The armored helicopter cabin and the ejection system allow pilots to leave the aircraft safely. Besides, the shipborne Ka-52 has maritime rescue equipment to help those in distress.

Original article: TASS Russian News Agency.




Joint Russia-China Navy Drill 2016 – What to Expect in the Baltic [VIDEO]

September 12, 2016 began the 8 day Military Exercises in China’s South China Sea for the Naval Forces and Zhanjiang in southern China’s Guangdong Province for Ground Firing Ranges. This is to boost cooperation and coordination between Russia and China.

Russian shipyard floats out latest corvette armed with cruise missiles

Project 20385 corvette Gremyashchiy Dmitriy Reshetnikov/TASS

TASS Russian News Agency, 1 July 2017

The Severnaya Verf Shipyard in St. Petersburg in northwest Russia has floated out the Project 20385 corvette Gremyashchiy armed with the Kalibr-NK missile complex, a TASS correspondent reports from the scene.
The command to float out the warship was given by United Shipbuilding Corporation Vice-President and Severnaya Verf CEO Igor Ponomaryov.

The corvette will start undergoing trials in August and is expected to be transferred to the Navy before the end of 2018.

The Gremyashchiy is the first Project 20385 corvette built after the upgrade of the corvette basic Project 20380. The Severnaya Verf Shipyard is also building the second warship of this class, the Provorny.

The project has been developed by the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau. Multipurpose corvettes of this type are designed for detecting and destroying enemy submarines and surface ships, providing for amphibious landings and solving various tasks in the near sea zone. The project stipulates a hangar for a Kamov Ka-27 helicopter.

Project 20385 corvettes displace 2,200 tonnes and have an operational range of 3,500 miles and a cruising capacity of 15 days. They are armed with Kalibr-NK cruise missiles, the Redut air defense missile system and the Paket anti-submarine warfare complex.