MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. The Black Sea Fleet’s patrol ship Vasily Bykov departed the naval base of Sevastopol for its long-distance deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, a source in the Crimean defense circles told TASS on Tuesday.
"The Vasily Bykov will join the Russian Navy’s Mediterranean Squadron," the source specified.
The Caspian Flotilla’s two cruise missile corvettes Uglich and Veliky Ustyug left the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean task force the other day on a rotating basis.
The Vasily Bykov was initially designed as a modular warship capable of carrying a universal shipborne system of eight Kalibr-NK cruise missiles.
The Vasily Bykov is the Project 22160 lead ship laid down at the Zelenodolsk Shipyard in the Volga area in 2014 and made operational in the Russian Navy in 2018 after its construction was completed at the Zaliv Shipyard in Kerch. The patrol ship was designed by the Severnoye Design Bureau (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation).
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet currently operates two Project 22160 ships, the Vasily Bykov and the Dmitry Rogachev.
The Soviet Navy’s 5th Mediterranean Squadron served as a prototype for the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean task force operating at present. The 5th operational Soviet Squadron dealt with the tasks of naval presence in the Mediterranean theater of operations during the Cold War period. Its main rival was the US Navy’s 6th Fleet. The Soviet Squadron was disbanded on December 31, 1992, a year after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
In 2013, Russia started to create a new operational Mediterranean task force. Russia’s new permanent task force is dealing with planned and urgent combat missions arising in the Mediterranean theater of operations, including warding off threats to Russia’s national and military security.