SS-N-12s and SS-N-19s and SS-N-22s (all Bears) – Oh My! (Originally Posted 9/14/2013)

P-1000 Vulkan (SS-N-12 Sandbox, Upgraded)

Well… I must admit, I don’t know a whole lot about much anymore when it comes to first rate naval warfare…I’m coming up to speed after having a firm foundation grounded in many late nights playing Harpoon! growing up.

We spent countless hours pouring over Soviet Military Power, Jane’s Fighting Ships, and basically used the navies of the world as an elaborate template for arguing over the myriad complexities (even back then) of modern naval warfare.  From convergence zones to ECM, ECCM, ASW, ASuW, AAW, if there was an acronym, there was a rule, and that was something to exploit,  We disagreed often.

But one thing always remained true – an SS-N-12 or an SS-N-19 hitting something – anything – was very, very bad.  Let’s put this into some perspective, folks.

Marshal Ustinov, Norfolk Harbor, 1989

OK.  Yeah, that thing.  those big tubes on the front of Moskva (sixteen of them) carry something like that.  Here’s a picture of Marshal Ustinov, his sister ship (yeah, I think the Russians still call their ships “he”.  guess it’s a brother ship).
Did I mention the best part?  Oh yeah, they move from place to place at Mach 2.5+.  We in the West went a different route, choosing slower and harder to detect cruise missiles with smaller warheads in the Harpoon and Tomahawk – these (and their kin the aptly named SS-N-19 Shipwreck which will be lurking on Oscar-class SSGNs and elsewhere…) these things…well, they make shit happen.  We didn’t have to kill carriers – or if we did, they were to be overwhelmed with Tomahawks and Harpoons and Hornets…made sense. Back then the Soviets had CIWS and all, but nothing like an Aegis phased array.Sixteen of those puppies (the guy tapped on them to show they were empty…something of a hollow gesture…lol). They weigh just over 10,000 pounds, and they carry a 2200 pound high explosive warhead.

Imagine one of those 1000kg warheads, coupled with some unclear ROI and no objectives in an EW-rich and chaotic environment full of folks with nothing to lose like the Middle East.  Forget a carrier – what if someone accidentally lets one lose (or a Harpoon or Exocet or whatever for that matter)  and plinks off an LNG tanker?


15 bottles of beer on the wall, 15 bottles…

Oh.  Yeah.  Why is this new-found obsession with Russian cruise missiles so important?  It’s from RT, so I’m sure Mr. Putin contributed a few adjectives himself…a grain of salt must be taken.

The Russian Navy said in a statement that the Moskva cruiser passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on September 10.

Interfax news agency added that the Moskva cruiser, “commanded by Sergey Tronev, Captain 1st Rank of the Guards… has enough room for maneuver now.”

“The Black Sea flagship entered the Russian Navy’s area of responsibility in the Mediterranean at 11:00 pm Moscow time yesterday,” the agency reported a military source as saying.

The missile-carrying cruiser is expected to join its final destination in eastern Mediterranean on September 15 or 16.

Upon arrival, the command of the Russian Navy unit in the Mediterranean, currently stationed onboard the Admiral Panteleyev anti-submarine ship, will be relocated to the Moskva.

“The armaments and technical equipment of the missile cruiser are in working condition. The crew is ready to perform combat missions,” the source said.

Missile cruiser “Moskva” belonging to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet firing anti-aircraft missiles during joint drills with other fleets. (RIA Novosti/Vitaliy Ankov)

The missile cruiser, initially known to Western naval intelligence as “Slava” (Glory), was launched in 1979 and entered service in 1983. It was later renamed the “Moskva” in 1995. Designed to be carrier-killers, the cruisers of Class 1164 are equipped with 16 anti-ship launchers P-1000 Vulkan, or Volcano (SS-N-12 Sandbox anti-ship missiles, according to NATO classification).

Shit Status:  Sigh…  Whole Story: