TechUkrainian defense on alert as Russians deploy potential 16 missile fleet to Black Sea

Ukrainian defense on alert as Russians deploy potential 16 missile fleet to Black Sea

Frigate Admiral Makarov
Frigate Admiral Makarov
Images source: © Wikimedia Commons

12:11 PM EST, December 28, 2023

"The enemy has dispatched three Kalibr missile carriers to the Black Sea," says the message from the Ukrainian defense forces. They warn that the total missile payload being transported amounts to 16 units. The Ukrainians specify that the Russians have deployed an Admiral Makarov frigate and two submarines into the Black Sea, without providing the names of the latter.

It is highly probable that the unidentified ships are units 636.3 Warszawianka, which were recently moved to the port in Novorossiysk. Furthermore, one such unit can hold four Kalibr missiles, so two vessels together can carry eight missiles. Combine this number with the eight missiles onboard the Admiral Makarov frigate, and it totals 16 potential missiles ready for deployment.

We would like to note that the Black Sea Fleet has recently been targeted by Ukrainians as confirmed by the attack on the ship 142 MS Novocherkassk. Hence, the dispatch of Kalibr missile carriers to sea might be perceived as a display of power.

Admiral Makarov frigate in the Black Sea

The Admiral Makarov is among the newest frigates that the Black Sea Fleet fields. This unit was created in the early 21st century, with the laying of its keel back in 2012 and its induction into service by 2017.

The Admiral Makarov frigate, along with the Admiral Essen and Admiral Grigorovich units, constitutes the third rocket frigate of project 11356M, posing a real threat to Ukrainians due to its onboard arsenals. These consist of 3M55 Oniks or Kalibr missile launchers. Additionally, the ship can also assault enemy units using the Shtil-1 launcher (equipped with 24 9M317M missiles), Igla-1 missiles, a caliber 100mm A-190 gun, caliber 30mm AK-630M guns, or RBU-6000 rocket depth charges.

The Kalibr missiles that the Admiral Makarov carries come in several variants (3M14, 3M54), all of which are distinguished by their long range. The most potent 3M14 variant has a missile range exceeding 932 miles, benefiting from inertial navigation and radar guidance, in conjunction with satellite navigation. Also, Kalibr missiles can be equipped with a nuclear warhead.

The displacement of the 11356M type unit surpasses 4,000 tons. Its length is about 410 feet, and the ship's width is just over 49 feet. The Admiral Makarov can achieve a maximum speed of approximately 37 mph.

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