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Russian Black Sea Fleet may be able to fire missiles at targets in Persian Gulf — admiral

March 31, 9:02 UTC+3 SEVASTOPOL
Admiral Igor Kasatonov believes that the Black Sea Fleet has serious prospects so long as the advantage is given to the underwater component
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Russia's Black Sea Fleet Rostov-on-Don submarine on return  from a mission in eastern Mediterranean where it launched Kalibr cruise missiles at targets in Syria

Russia's Black Sea Fleet Rostov-on-Don submarine on return from a mission in eastern Mediterranean where it launched Kalibr cruise missiles at targets in Syria

© APTN via AP

SEVASTOPOL, March 31 /TASS/. The Russian Armed Forces General Staff is calculating how many ships the Russian Black Sea Fleet needs to be able to fulfill the assigned tasks, Admiral Igor Kasatonov, the General Staff’s adviser, told TASS on Wednesday.

"There cannot be too many ships. Of course, we will never return to the Soviet figures of 850 ship pendants but the fleet needs new ships anyway. We need a combat fleet and an auxiliary fleet. The General Staff is making calculations proceeding from the assigned tasks and the pace of making new ships," Kasatonov said.

A source at the Black Sea fleet’s headquarters told TASS that the tasks to be assigned to the Black Sea Fleet would depend on potential threats and the theatre of military hostilities.

Kasatonov believes that the latest events in Crimea and Syria have shown that Russia needs the Black Sea Fleet. "If missiles are fired at Syria from the Caspian Sea then the Black Sea Fleet may fire at targets in the Persian Gulf and even farther. The fleet has serious prospects so long as the advantage is given to the underwater component," the admiral added.

Two escort vessels, including the Serpukhov and the Zelyonyi Dol equipped with Kalibr missiles and two submarines - the Novorossiisk and the Rostov-on-Don, came into service with the Black Sea Fleet in 2015.

Earlier, Russian Black Sea Commander Alexander Vitko said that the fleet would get another two escort ships and two submarines in 2016.

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