Issue 2 – 14 August – 20 August 2023
Key takeaways from last week’s developments
- Ocean Shield 2023 naval exercise began on 02AUG, which saw the deployment of two naval task groups to the Kattegat;
- Russians also practised electronic (simulated) Kalibr (13AUG) and Uran (16AUG) missile launches extremely close to Danish and Swedish territorial waters;
- Simultaneously to the ongoing Ocean Shield 2023 naval exercise, Russians decided to increase their presence in the Mediterranean Sea by the deployment of the recently commissioned Steregushchiy-class corvette*;
- NATO aircraft intercepted four Russian aircraft;
- Ground activities included combined arms live firing exercises and Iskander-M electronic missile launches;
Last week, developments related to the Ocean Shield 2023 naval exercise continued. The task force based on the Stergushchiy-class corvette continued its operations in the Kattegat, where on Wednesday (16AUG), another electronic (simulated) launch of missiles took place. In addition, a task group based on the Parchim-class anti-submarine corvettes cooperating with the Ka-27PL anti-submarine helicopters of the Baltic Fleet naval aviation operated in the southern Baltic Sea. This shows the Russian emphasis on maintaining these capabilities, especially in the context of Sweden and its submarines potentially joining the NATO alliance.
Simultaneously to the ongoing Ocean Shield 2023 naval exercise, Russians are likely to increase their presence in the Mediterranean Sea by deploying the recently commissioned Steregushchiy-class corvette and possibly a Vishnya-class intelligence ship that recently crossed the Great Belt and headed towards the North Sea and then to the Mediterranean Sea.
Last week, we also observed a high training tempo of the ground component of the Baltic Fleet, which confirms their involvement in the Ocean Shield 2023 naval exercise. This applies particularly to units directly subordinate to the Baltic Fleet Command, carrying out activities in the electromagnetic field (such as ensuring communication at the fleet level and conducting electronic warfare).
Ground domain activities
The Press Service of Western Military District informed about several exercises Baltic Fleet’s ground component carried out last week, including units subordinate to the 11th Army Corps (11th AC) and directly to the Baltic Fleet Command. These exercises included:
The Western Military District Press Service informed about several exercises the Baltic Fleet’s air component conducted last week. These activities were carried out in cooperation with the Baltic Fleet’s naval forces and are described in the naval component section.
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence reported that four Russian aircraft were intercepted by NATO aircraft assigned to the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic States between 14AUG-20AUG. The table below lists the interception details.
Naval domain activities
The Press Service of Western Military District informed about several exercises Baltic Fleet’s naval component carried out last week, including units subordinate to Baltiysk Naval Base (BNB) and Leningrad Naval Base (LNB). The table below lists the details.
Last week, we covered the deployment of two Russian task groups to the Kattegat. One of the task groups consisting of Buyan-M-class (Project 21631) guided-missile corvette Grad and Karakurt-class (Project 22800) guided-missile corvettes Sovetsk and Odintsovo returned to the Baltiysk Naval Base. Other developments are described on the maps below.
*Steregushchiy-class (Project 20380) guided-missile corvette Merkury is not officially assigned to the Baltic Fleet. The corvette was to become part of the Black Sea Fleet. However, Merkury temporarily operates as part of the Baltic Fleet due to the Ukraine Conflict, the closure of the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, and the inability to join its target unit.
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