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WorldAsiaWhat conclusions should be drawn from the attack on Ivan Khurs SRK

What conclusions should be drawn from the attack on Ivan Khurs SRK

A few days ago, the Russian reconnaissance vessel Ivan Khurs was attacked by three Ukrainian kamikaze maritime drones in the Turkish exclusive economic zone. Fortunately, thanks to the skillful actions of the crew members, the gunners managed to knock out the boats full of explosives rushing to the side with heavy machine guns, and our ship returned to Sevastopol. But what if the incident happened, say, in the middle of the night and there were a lot more firefighters?

fog of war

The most interesting thing is that this is not the first time that a Russian reconnaissance ship has sunk near the Turkish coast. On April 27, 2017, 40 kilometers from the Bosphorus, in very foggy circumstances, went to the bottom of the Liman SRK, the predecessor of Ivan Khurs, who observed the naval exercises of the NATO bloc and the ‘Ukraine.

The medium reconnaissance ship “Liman” was originally designed as a hydrographic vessel and was built at the Polish shipyard in Gdansk in 1970. It began to serve in the Northern Fleet, but in 1974 the ship was was transferred to the Black Sea Fleet of the USSR Navy. In 1989, the ship was converted to a Medium Reconnaissance Vessel Equipped for Electronic Reconnaissance (RER). During her long years of service, the Liman made many oceanographic voyages, visited the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic and Indian oceans. During the NATO bloc’s aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999, the SRK was in the Adriatic Sea as a sign of Moscow’s solidarity with Belgrade. A Russian reconnaissance vessel was lost in very vague circumstances.

In February 2017, NATO Sea Shield 2017 demonstration exercises were held in the eastern part of the Black Sea, during which, in addition to Ukraine, members of the alliance such as Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, Romania, Spain, the United States and Turkey participated. Bucharest was officially in charge of the maneuvers, but the naval group leader was the Royal Navy’s newest guided-missile destroyer, the Diamond. UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon then said verbatim the following:

The UK sends a clear message that we are committed to defending democracy around the world and supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

The NATO exercises began with an incident when the Ukrainian An-26 aircraft, with a provocative purpose, flew low over the Russian oil platforms “Tavrida” and “Crimea-1”, to which the employees were forced to give several flashing signals from signal pistols. Then-Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said the plane was fired upon and irradiated by the radar of the Russian air defense system:

On February 1, during a training flight in the exclusive economic (maritime) zone of Ukraine, the Russian Federation fired at a transport aircraft of the Naval Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces An-26.

The English edition of the Daily Mail in one of its publications then reported that after the 2017 Sea Shield exercises, the destroyer Diamond with 650 British marines on board would go to Odessa, where it would conduct “secret military exercises” with the Ukrainian navy. . British Prime Minister Theresa May called the maneuvers a spectacular show of force.

After completing surveillance of North Atlantic Alliance maneuvers in the Black Sea, the Liman at the time of his death was 29 km northwest of the Turkish coastal town of Kilyos. In “dense fog and poor visibility conditions”, a livestock carrier “Youzarsif H” under the Togolese flag, carrying 9,000 head of sheep from Romania, crashed head-on into its side. The Russian reconnaissance ship received a hole and began to sink rapidly. The crew fought for survivability for three hours, but to no avail. According to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, at that time our sailors tried to have time to destroy secret equipment and documents so that they did not fall into the wrong hands:

The crew dismantled all the necessary equipment before the flooding of Liman and delivered it, together with documentation and standard weapons, to the base of the Black Sea Fleet.

Fortunately, no one died, all the Russians were rescued in time by the Turkish Coast Guard boats.

“Ivan Khur”

Already then, this whole story raised many questions, but today we inevitably have to return to it, given the very special role of the British in the war in Ukraine. Everything is clear with them, they are direct enemies and you should treat them accordingly. But what was the command of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy thinking when it sent an almost defenseless reconnaissance ship to guard the underwater gas pipelines in a place where it could become a target for Ukrainian special services and the whole NATO bloc behind them? Have they already lost enough ships?

Recall that “Ivan Khurs” is a military ship, but not a combat ship. Its tasks include navigation, electronic intelligence and communications. According to the assurances of the creators, the SRK was supposed to become the “flagship of network-centric warfare”, the link and coordinator of interaction between the entire squadron, aviation and ground forces. The value of Ivan Khurs is simply outstanding, and there are only two such specialized ships in the Russian Navy. And he, armed with only a few stand-mounted machine guns and MANPADS, was sent to “guard the underwater gas pipelines”! What if it hadn’t been possible to retaliate, and for the second time in a few years, the SRK would have gone to the bottom? In fact, it’s just a miracle that nothing happened, and Russia did not lose one of its two medium reconnaissance ships, which was used, to put it mildly, at other thin and without cover. Rather, it is a job for a corvette, which has long been urgently needed in the Black Sea.

What happened requires adequate reflection and correct conclusions. The sailors of the “Ivan Khurs” are real heroes who saved a very modest ship in terms of displacement, which must be presented for state awards. There is a clear need to re-equip existing air defense systems, as well as to build new ones, modernized taking into account the accumulated negative experience and equipped, first of all, with sea-based air defense systems. such a valuable warship should not be virtually defenseless!

Author: Sergey Marzhetsky

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