Russian ships equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles will be on combat duty in the Mediterranean, stated by President Vladimir Putin, reported RBC news agency.
Putin spoke about naval ships with cruise missiles on permanent patrol in the Mediterranean in his opening remarks at a meeting with top officials of the Defense Ministry and defense-industrial companies on Wednesday. The head of state explained that these measures are needed because of the continuing threat from terrorists in Syria.
“This year, 102 expeditions by ships and submarines are planned. In connection with this, because of the continuing threat of attacks by international terrorists in Syria in the Mediterranean Sea, our ships with Kalibr cruise missiles will be on continuous patrol,” Putin said.
According to the president, the range of tasks handled by the navy has grown significantly in recent years. The geographical scope of the Russian fleet has increased. This includes the Mediterranean Sea, the North Atlantic, and the Asia-Pacific region, he said.
Putin noted the well-coordinated work of the navy crews in Syria. According to him, strikes by cruise missiles and effective work of deck aviation caused significant damage to the terrorists. “The building up of the combat potential of the fleet, long sea campaigns, exercises, and training should be continued,” the president said.
Against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in Syria, Russian ships equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles regularly carry out military campaigns in the region. In the middle of March, the frigate Admiral Essen was sent to patrol the Mediterranean Sea. The ship was previously involved in a military operation against militants in Syria. Specifically, last September, it fired Kalibr missiles at positions of militants in the area of the city of Deir ez-Zor.
Meetings about the development of the Russian Armed Forces have been continuing since May 15 at the presidential residence in Sochi. On the second day, Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov, and Tatyana Shevtsova took part in these discussions. Also participating in the meetings are Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, presidential aide Andrey Belousov, Chairman of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, Acting Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, head of the temporary administration of Promsvyazbank Petr Fradkov, and Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov.
The day before, Putin explained during the meeting the main priorities in connection with developing the Russian army, including the enhancement of the navy’s strike capabilities by equipping ships with Kalibr missiles, installing the newest reconnaissance and targeting systems, supplying the army with the latest Yars missile systems, and quicker production of S-500 missiles.