A concentration of at least five Russian Navy warships, plus two auxiliaries, has formed in the North Sea. And if the Ukraine invasion teaches us anything, it’s that the auxillaries are just as worth watching as the pointy ships.
3 of the warships are Kalibr cruise missile capable.
While there may be many explanations for this, it will likely get NATO attention.
The most likely explanation at this stage is an unannounced exercise.
Unusually the group includes a frigate from the Black Sea Fleet, which is prevented from returning to its base in Crimea due to the war. Turkey has closed the Bosporus to warships.
Russian Navy vessels identified in area:
- Black Sea Fleet Pr.11356 Admiral Grigorovich class frigate, Admiral Grigorovich (494)
- Baltic Fleet Pr.20380 Steregushchiy class corvette, Sbrazitelnyy (531)
- Baltic Fleet Pr.20380 Steregushchiy class corvette, Stoikiy (545)
- Baltic Fleet Pr.22800 Karakurt class corvette, Sovetsk (577)
- Baltic Fleet Pr.22800 Karakurt class corvette, Odintsovo (584)
- Baltic Fleet Pr.563 Goryn class tug, Yakov Grebelsky (MB-119)
- Northern Fleet Pr.REF-675 Kaliningrad Neft class oiler, Kama
According to the Norwegian armed forces, the UDALOY Class destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov is also in the area. [HI Sutton]