Northern Fleet Military Digest – Issue 3 – 23 – 29 October 2023 (Free access)

Key takeaways from last week’s developments

  • Military personnel and equipment preparations for the winter training period continued to take place in the Northern Fleet;
  • About 3,000 conscripts would be assigned to the Northern Fleet’s formations and units this fall;
  • Northern Fleet’s forces (air and naval component) took part in Russian annual strategic nuclear exercise;
  • Northern Fleet’s coastal defence systems carried out electronic (simulated) missile launches;
  • Northern Fleet’s interceptor/attack aircraft practised interception and air combat with potential enemy intruders violating Russian airspace;
  • Anti-submarine helicopters practised landings on the Northern Fleet’s anti-submarine destroyer;
  • A Guided-missile frigate carried out an air defence exercise while stationed at the Northern Fleet’s main naval base;
  • Russians will likely conduct ballistic missile launches next week as a part of the newest submarine’s sea trials.

Executive summary

The Northern Fleet’s forces (air and naval component) took part in the annual Grom strategic nuclear exercise. This included the activity of the Northern Fleet’s submarine and strategic bomber aircraft. Additionally, the Northern Fleet conducted regular training activity last week to protect the Russian Federation’s strategic interests in the Arctic.

Moreover, the efforts of all Northern Fleet’s components now focus also on preparing military personnel and equipment for the winter training period, which will begin in early December. Simultaneously, soldiers from the autumn conscription undergo basic training until the end of November. According to last week’s press release, about 3,000 conscripts would be assigned to the Northern Fleet’s formations and units.

Ground domain activities

On Monday (23OCT), the Northern Fleet’s K-300P Bastion-P (NATO reporting name ‘SS-C-5 Stooge’) coastal defence systems subordinate to the 536th Coastal Missile Brigade (536th CMB) left its permanent deployment area and moved towards combat-training positions presumably in the vicinity of (IVO) Olenya Guba. According to the press release, the deployed battalion/s carried out electronic (simulated) P-800 Oniks missile launches on potential enemy naval task groups at a distance of approximately 280 km. The Russian Ministry of Defence (MOD) did not provide information about the number of military personnel and equipment participating in the activity. Hence, the number of battalions involved is unknown.

Air domain activities

On Monday (23OCT), two MiG-31 interceptor/attack aircraft from the 174th Fighter Aviation Regiment (174th FAR) conducted a training flight aimed at practising air combat at very high altitudes (more than 15,000 meters) at a speed of over 2,100 km/h. According to the press release, the aircraft took off to identify and intercept a potential enemy target violating Russian airspace (simulated by another MiG-31). The air combat ended with the simulated use of MiG’s armament and the destruction of a potential intruder.

On Thursday (26OCT), Ka-27 helicopters from the 830th Anti-Submarine Helicopter Regiment carried out flights aimed at practising landing on the deck of the Northern Fleet’s Udaloy-class (Project 1155) anti-submarine destroyer Vice-Admiral Kulakov anchored in the Kola Bay on the roadstead of the Severomorsk Naval Base. The training took place during the daytime. Five Ka-27 helicopters carried out more than ten landings.


Naval domain activities

On Tuesday (24OCT), the Press Service of the Northern Fleet reported that the Admiral Gorshkov-class (Project 22350) guided-missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov undertook an air defence exercise while stationed in the Severomorsk Naval Base. Admiral Gorshkov practised repelling an air attack of potential enemy aircraft using its 3S973K96 Redut-Poliment anti-aircraft system, including electronic (simulated) 9M96 missile lunches.

Image 1. Russian soldier during the air defence exercise on the Admiral Gorshkov-class (Project 22350) guided-missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov on 24OCT (Source: Russian Ministry of Defence)

Map 1. Barents Sea’s PRIP/NAVWARNs valid next week (30OCT-05NOV) (Source: