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Rostov-on-Don submarine back to Black Sea from Mediterranean after making strikes at IS

December 14, 2015, 18:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On December 8, the submarine fired missiles from a submerged position in the Mediterranean Sea on the facilities of the Islamic State terrorist organization in the Syrian province of Raqqa
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© Defense Ministry's Press and Information Department/TASS

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. The Rostov-on-Don diesel submarine of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) has entered the Black Sea area, successfully passing the straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus, BSF spokesman Vyacheslav Trukhachev said on Monday.

"The submarine crew is expected to arrive at its permanent bases in Novorossiysk soon," he said.

The Navy representative said the submarine is completing an inter-fleet voyage from the Northern to the Black Sea Fleet after accomplishing its mission in the Mediterranean.

On December 8, the submarine fired missiles from a submerged position in the Mediterranean Sea on the facilities of the Islamic State terrorist organization in the Syrian province of Raqqa. The advanced Rostov-on-Don (NATO reporting name: Improved Kilo-class) submarine destroyed two targets in IS’s "capital city", Raqqa, in Syria, with Kalibr cruise missiles last week.

Rostov-on-Don is the second of six serial submarines of Project 636.3, built for the Black Sea Fleet.

On December 9, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told journalists that the launch of 3M-14 (NATO reporting name: SS-N-30) submarine-based cruise missiles by the Rostov-on-Don diesel-electric submarine at targets of the Islamic State terrorist group has proven the effectiveness of the weapon. "For the first time, the Rostov-on-Don submarine submerged in the Mediterranean launched Kalibr submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCM). The latest strike featured the salvo of the missiles by the submerged submarine via its torpedo tubes," he said.

The massive missile and bomb strike against IS’s infrastructure on December 8 involved precision-guided weapons, such as Kalibr SLCM and KAB-500 smart bombs, and destroyed key terrorist targets. "The gun camera records have proven the high effectiveness of the Kalibr [system] once again. All of the targets have been destroyed with top-notch accuracy. As is known, the range of the Kalibr missile is around 2,000 km," the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman stressed.

He said that the missile has a low radar observability and are virtually invisible to any air defense systems owing to their flying nap-of-the-earth. "The accuracy is within several meters despite the long range covered. Given that the warhead weighs 500 kg, the target has no chance to survive," Konashenkov said.

Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told at the enlarged Defense Ministry Board session last week that the Russian Aerospace Force has eliminated over 8,000 targets of the Russia-banned Islamic State terrorist group in Syria since the beginning of the air operation. "In all, combat aircraft has logged around 4,000 sorties, destroying more than 8,000 targets of the terrorists," he said, emphasizing that the Islamic State sustained "considerable losses".

According to Shoigu, the armed forces have conducted "a materiel movement impressive in terms of distance and time. The Military Aviation Command and ships have carried 214,000 tons of hardware of every kind over the past two months."

The results produced in Syria will be tallied up after the board’s session, with defense industry representatives to participate.

The Russian military launched an operation against the Russia-banned Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian air task force comprised more than 50 aircraft, including Sukhoi Su-34 (NATO reporting name: Fullback) and Su-24M (Fencer) tactical bombers, Su-25 (Frogfoot) attack aircraft, Su-30SM (Flanker-H) multirole fighters and Mil Mi-8 (Hip) and Mi-24 (Hind) helicopters. In addition, long-range bombers, Caspian flotilla ships and the advanced Rostov-on-Don submarine have delivered strikes against the terrorists. Russia does not intend to join the ground operation in Syria.

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