Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Black Sea / Azov Sea Ad Hoc Update (2)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Most interesting developments on this front:

  1. Amb Volker again suggests US may supply lethal capabilities to enhance Ukrainian naval capabilities;
  2. Denmark may supply three surplus Standard Flex 300 patrol vessels, these can be re-configured for AGM-84 Harpoon and RIM-7 Sea Sparrow;
  3. Ukraine deploys new Gyurza M class armoured gunboats P177 Kremenchuk and P178 Lubny  to Berdyansk on the Azov coast, these are designed for riverine and shallow coastal waters;
  4. First of the Centaur class fast military assault craft is launched – this is a riverine and shallow coastal waters assault and fire support platform that can carry up to 32 marines;
  5. Ukraine’s sole remaining Matka class hydrofoil fast missile boat P153 Pryluky is now in the Mykolaiv shipyard being retrofitted with a more powerful gas turbine engine and the new Neptun Harpoon-lookalike ASCM, replacing the legacy STYX ASCM;
  6. Dr Stephen Blank argues the case for the US to supply advanced ASCMs to Ukraine, such as the Harpoon Block II or NASM;

More Lethal Weaponry Possible For Ukraine, U.S. Envoy Tells RFE/RL

In an interview with RFE/RL, Kurt Volker blamed Russia for the deadlock over a UN peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine. But he also acknowledged that not much has been accomplished on the ground. KYIV – The United States is considering sending more lethal weaponry to Kyiv to build up its naval and air defenses, Washington’s special envoy for Ukraine said, as concerns mount that Russia may be stepping up operations in coastal waters. In an interview with RFE/RL on September 13, Kurt Volker blamed Russia for fueling the conflict. He also said that Washington and Moscow still have serious differences over a possible United Nations peacekeeping force that could be deployed to help bring an end to the fighting in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Volker said he thought that Russian President Vladimir Putin was unwilling to negotiate much of anything related to the conflict at least until after Ukraine’s presidential elections next March, or with “[Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko still in power.”

UAWire – Volker: US ready to help Ukraine with weapons due to situation in Azov Sea

US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker told Deutsche Welle in an interview that Washington is concerned by the …

Denmark considers selling Ukraine three minesweepers worth the total of 12 million Euros – 112.international

The Danish government plans to sell Ukraine three minesweepers. The press office of Ukraine’s defense ministry reported this on Friday morning. ‘Most likely, the report mentions a kind of minesweepers, based on the modernized project of Standard Flex 300 vessels, the Standard Flex 300 MCM. Fourteen ships of this particular kind were produced – Havkatten (P552), Laxen (P553), Makrelen (P554) and Støren(P555), and they all were decommissioned from the Danish Royal Navy in 2010-2012’, the message says. The ships were built in the 1980s-1990s; they were supposed to replace the obsolete boats in the Danish Navy. Earlier, Lithuania and Portugal purchased similar vessels from Denmark.

Denmark approved the sale of three corvettes to Ukraine

Denmark approved the possibility of selling three munitions ships to Ukraine, the total value of which is 102 million euros. This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal with reference to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which disclosed this information in the annual book on export arms sales. Probably it is a question of diving ships of the project Standard Flex 300 MCM. Four units were built – Havkatten (P552), Laxen (P553), Makrelen (P554) and Støren (P555). They were withdrawn from the Royal Danish Navy in 2010-2012. A series of multi-purpose boats Standard Flex 300, built from 1985 to 1996, to replace three types of ships at once: 6 Søløve torpedo boats, 6 Sund Sunds and 8 Daphne patrol boats. This became possible thanks to the modular StanFlex system.

Flyvefisken-class patrol vessel – Wikipedia

Ukraine to send nearly 300 special forces troops to Azov, Black Seas – Chief border guard | UNIAN

Head of the Ukrainian Border Guard Service Petro Tsyhykal has said about 270 members of the special forces will be sent to serve in the units deployed at the Azov and Black Seas. The State Border Guard Service is now building up the force.

Ukraine bolsters military presence along Azov Sea coast | UNIAN

Ukrainian Ground Forces Commander Serhiy Popko has said Ukraine has bolstered its military presence along the coast of the Sea of Azov due to aggressive actions of the Russian Federation. The measures taken are designed to ensure the control of the situation in the region, to support Ukrainian ships and enhance the defense of the coast.

UAWire – Ukraine decides to strengthen naval presence in the Sea of Azov

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) decided to strengthen the naval presence in the Sea of Azov, reported the press …

Ukraine’s Armed Forces increased presence near the Sea of Azov, in the view of the Russian aggression in the area – Ukraine increases military presence in Azov region – 112.international

The Ukrainian military boosted the number of its units in the Azov region. Serhiy Popko, the Commander of Ukraine’s Ground Forces posted this on Facebook. ‘In return to the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation in the Sea of Azov, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine decided to reinforce the group of the Armed Forces, including the Ground Forces, in the Azov region’, Popko wrote. He added that the Ukrainian side takes steps to provide full control over the situation in the region, to support the Navy vessels, and to duly protect the coastline. ‘We provide permanent presence and control of the area with the units of army brigades and territorial defense units, the missile troops and artillery, and the army aviation’, Popko wrote.

Two armored boats of the Navy were launched on Azov

Two artillery armored carriers of the Navy discharged into the waters of the Berdyansk Seaport on September 10 and 11, with the aim of strengthening the naval presence on the Azov Sea.This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal.The first small armored artillery launches of the project 58155, the code “IBAEK” P177 “Kremenchuk” and P178 “Lubny” arrived to accomplish the tasks.Next, the boat is waiting for the installation of dismantled trucks and equipment.

Two artillery boats were launched in Berdyansk – Український мілітарний портал

In order to strengthen the military presence of the Armed Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the waters of the Azov Sea, and conducting intelligence, demonstration of the flag, the Berdyansk Sea Commercial Port was launched on September 10, the first Small Armored Artillery Battalion (IAAC) of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Sea of ​​Azov P178 ” Lubny “(project 58155 cipher” Gyurza-M “), which was thrown here on Saturday.

Ukraine deploys modern armoured artillery boats to Azov Sea to counter Russian aggression – Defence Blog

Ukraine has started deploying modern armoured artillery boats at the Azov region to counter Russian aggression in the south of Ukraine, the organization of coastal defense and protection of the Azov Sea coast. A Ukrainian popular military website, the Ukrainian Military Portal, has confirmed the deployment of first small armoured artillery boat of Gurza-M-class in the Azov region on 8 September. According to the website, it is expected that three small armoured artillery boats will be deployed to the Azov Sea, which today will be the most powerful units in this region. Ukraine’s Navy is in a state of heightened alert in the Sea of Azov, a body of water shared by the Eastern European nation and Russia. “The security service said: ‘Watch closely, the Russians are preparing countermeasures. They are planning seizures and hijackings of Ukrainian ships,’” a Ukrainian shipowner told Radio Free Europe in a video published on Wednesday. While such an incident has yet to occur, Ukraine ’s military has noticed an increasing number of Russian ships building up in the sea since late May. According to Secretary of the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov, Russia’s buildup of the military presence is combined with “a brutal violation of international maritime law in the Azov Sea, which manifests itself, in particular, in the illegal construction of the Kerch Bridge and the growing number of incidents involving the detention of Russian military domestic and foreign vessels”. “We see Russia’s efforts to actually unleash a military-economic blockade of the Azov coast of Ukraine”, – he said.

UAWire – Ukraine starts deploying artillery boats to the Azov Sea

Ukraine has begun deploying artillery boats to the Azov Sea, reports Ukrainian Military Portal, citing sources in the General Staff and Naval Forces Command. On September 8, a truck carrying a small armored artillery boat belonging to the Ukrainian Navy was spotted in Berdyansk. Earlier, it was reported that the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine decided to deploy a naval detachment in the Azov Sea and plans to build a full naval base on the Azov coast by the end of 2018. “The NSDC of Ukraine approved a set of measures aimed at protecting national interests in the southern regions and waters of the Azov and Black Seas, in particular, strengthening the naval presence in the Sea of Azov, creating a naval armored group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as developing an appropriate infrastructure, units of coastal defense with the latest high-precision missile weapons, etc.,” the press service of the NSDC said.

The first armored patrol boats of the Navy arrived on the Sea of ​​Azov

Naval Forces began to implement the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to strengthen the naval presence at Azov. Recall that for this purpose in the Azov Sea, it is planned to create a naval-naval grouping of the Armed Forces Navy, to create a naval base in Berdyansk and to provide troops that guard the coastline, a new high-precision missile weapon.Long did not wait, and today in the network there was a photo of a car platform with a boat, which in the morning was moving along the streets of Berdyansk. Behind the outline, the boat is similar to the small armored artillery boat project 58155, the code “MBAC” (Gyurza-M).

Gyurza-M class artillery boats – Wikipedia

Ukraine launches first Centaur fast military assault craft – Defence Blog

Ukraine launched on 14 September the first local designed fast military assault craft on order for the Ukrainian Navy. The first Centaur fast military assault craft was launched at the PJSC Kuznya on Rybalsky shipyard in Kyiv. The new Ukrainian-made vessel can function as a fast assault and coastal defense boat, a patrol boat or as special operations support vessel. The new assault craft is developed by the State Research and Design Shipbuilding Center ( design bureau specializing in shipbuilding and located in Mykolaiv) and designed for fast and secret delivery of marines or special forces, fire-support of land flank under engagement in littoral and inland waters (estuaries, rivers and water-storage basins) at the range from safe port up to 100 miles. According to theDefense Express, the Centaur can accommodate a full platoon-size unit, which is 32 Marines furnished with a full complement of small arms. Centaur is armed with an integrated machine-gun and grenade launcher module. To suppress enemy resistance during Marine landing operations the boat would be additionally equipped with a Multiple Launch Rocket (MLR) weapon. This mobile MLR system could be assembled from COTS components chambered for the air-launched S-8 unguided rocket, which is also suitable for launch from helicopters like Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-24 and Ka-29. There is also a system allowing fire to be conducted in single, two round or three round burst modes.

The “Centaur” landing assault boat is launched

There were first photos of landing planes of the type “Centaur”, which are preparing for the launch of the Kiev shipyard “Smith on Rybalsky.”

“Priluki” missile boat will receive a new engine and “Neptun” ASCM

The P153 “Pryluky” missile boat, which arrived for repair to the Nikolaev Shipyard, may receive a new engine from the Zorya – Mashproekt and the launching NPK “Neptun”.This is reported by the Ukrainian Military Portal.The “Pryluky” missile boat was repaired by the State Enterprise “Nikolaev Shipbuilding Plant” (previously the “61 Komunar Shipbuilding Plant”) in 2015-16, but no work was completed. More detailed information on what repairs were performed were written by Ukrainian Military Pages. The rocket launcher “R-262” of the 206MR project was launched on November 30, 1979, and entered into force on 12.12.1980. In 1996 he entered the Navy, on 10.01.1996 he was named “Priluki” and b / n U153According to the representative of the shipbuilding administration of the Command of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, this time a full revision will be made of the state of the body, weapons systems and engines M-504.

The missile boat “Priluki” will continue repairs in Nikolaev – Український мілітарний портал

Mykolaiv shipyard arrived missile boat R153 “Priluki” to continue repairs that took place at the enterprise during 2015-2016, informs Nikolayev city of shipsThen, due to the unprofessional nature of the plant’s management at that time, the planned work was not completed. In May 2015, the boat was “tested”, but the factory did not return. According to the repair information for 2015, the following works should be carried out: repair of the body and krill device (a submarine cutter), repair of fuel, oil and fresh water tanks, repair of the propeller and stern complex, repair of the main engine systems.Brief technical characteristics of the 206MP missile boat: Displacement (full): 257 tons

Nikolaev Shipbuilding Plant will repair missile and landing boats of the Navy

The management of the Mykolaiv Shipyard and the Navy have agreed to extend the repair of the landing craft “Svatovye”, and the missile boat Priluki will arrive tomorrow.Recall that the previous leadership of the plant disrupted the repair of ships of the Navy, in particular, the repair of the dock “Svatovye”, which is located on the territory of the plant. To date, Ukroboronprom has restored the work of the MES, the plant began to extinguish debts to the workers and to enter a stable regime, including through orders from the Naval Forces.By the end of the year, according to Valery Kalashnikov, Director General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it is planned to repair the landing boat of the 1176 Svatovo Project, the 206Mr Priluki project missile boat and the Yury Olefirenko project mid-range landing ship 773.During this year repair of small armored artillery boats has already been performed.

Matka-class missile boat – Wikipedia

Forget Javelins. What Ukraine Needs to Get Putin’s Attention – To Inform is to Influence

I consider Dr. Blank a friend.  I cannot totally agree with this article, however.  Yes, we need a political understanding in the United States on how to collectively assist and support Ukraine. Yes, “weapons are not enough”.  But they are necessary. We need to use all the elements of national power.  That all starts at…

Forget Javelins. What Ukraine Needs to Get Putin’s Attention

US Ambassador Kurt Volker recently told The Guardian that the United States was prepared to offer Ukraine new weapons to defend itself. There is no doubt that Ukraine needs these weapons; in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, Moscow is waging a simultaneous military and economic war against Kyiv. It has blockaded the Sea of Azov to Ukrainian ships, demands the right to inspect “foreign” vessels, and has extended a maritime exclusion zone all the way to Odesa, Ukraine. Moscow possesses the ability to launch an amphibious operation on Ukraine’s coast to isolate Mariupol and the southern Ukrainian coast all the way to Odesa from Ukraine. It did this by steadily reinforcing its ground, air, and naval forces in and around Crimea. What would an attack look like? An amphibious operation could easily entail ship-based massed fire strikes upon land-based targets. Another possibility is the use of Russia’s airborne forces alone or in conjunction with an amphibious operation or a naval operation based on fire strikes from ship to shore. The fact that Moscow’s entire airborne force is participating in the Vostok-2018 operation in the Far East may suggest that Moscow is preparing to use those forces in a future “desant,” which is an airborne landing, usually as the first phase of a combined arms attack, on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.

Forget Javelins. What Ukraine Needs to Get Putin’s Attention – 112.international

Forget Javelins. What Ukraine Needs to Get Putin’s Attention

Should the U.S. Arm Ukraine with Anti-Ship Missiles?

By Mykola Bielieskov When it comes to U.S. military-technical assistance for Ukraine in the context of Russian aggression, sharing the Javelin anti-tank guided missile with the Ukrainian Ground Forces is what is typically mentioned. And at the beginning of March 2018 the U.S. State Department gave its approval for the provision of this kind of weaponry to Kyiv. There is nothing surprising in this, since the land forces of Ukraine bear the main burden of confronting and deterring further Russian aggression. However, today it is necessary to start talking about the needs of the other branches of the Armed Forces of Ukraine given the challenges facing them.

Ukraine needs something more than Javelins to stop Putin – media | UNIAN

U.S. envoy for Ukraine negotiations Kurt Volker recently told The Guardian that the United States was prepared to offer Ukraine new weapons to defend itself. There is no doubt that Ukraine needs these weapons; in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, Moscow is waging a simultaneous military and economic war against Kyiv. It has blockaded the Sea of Azov to Ukrainian ships, demands the right to inspect “foreign” vessels, and has extended a maritime exclusion zone all the way to Odesa, Ukraine. Moscow possesses the ability to launch an amphibious operation on Ukraine’s coast to isolate Mariupol and the southern Ukrainian coast all the way to Odesa from Ukraine. It did this by steadily reinforcing its ground, air, and naval forces in and around Crimea, Stephen Blank wrote for the Atlantic Council. An amphibious operation could easily entail ship-based massed fire strikes upon land-based targets. Another possibility is the use of Russia’s airborne forces alone or in conjunction with an amphibious operation or a naval operation based on fire strikes from ship to shore. The fact that Moscow’s entire airborne force is participating in the Vostok-2018 operation in the Far East may suggest that Moscow is preparing to use those forces in a future “desant,” which is an airborne landing, usually as the first phase of a combined arms attack, on Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.

UAWire – Ukraine and Romania conduct their first joint naval exercises

Ukraine and Romania have conducted the first joint naval exercises on the Danube River between Izmail and the Romanian port of Brăila, reported 

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