How Russia’s Sub-Launched Missiles Threaten NATO’s Wartime Strategy

October 9, 2018

Defense One:

Three years ago, the Russian submarine Rostov-na-Donu wrapped up its sea trials by firing a few test missiles in the Barents Sea. This is not particularly unusual; such tests are sometimes conducted just off the Norwegian coast, close enough to be seen by the NATO ally’s border guards. Nor was it unusual for the newly commissioned attack submarine to head off toward its new homeport, Sevastopol in annexed Crimea, home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

The unusual part came in early December, when the improved Kilo-class submarine began to loiter off Syria — and on Dec. 8, unleashed a volley of Kalibr cruise missiles against what Moscow alleged were ISIS targets ashore.

The cruise missile attack itself counted for little in the Syrian civil war, where both Russia and the U.S.-led coalition have been pounding targets from the air with missiles and bombs for years.

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