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British intel: Russia’s naval aviation emphasizing patrols for Russian Black Sea Fleet

The British Defense Ministry says Russia’s Naval Aviation has assumed a key role in Russia’s Black Sea Fleet operations as Russia struggles with Ukrainian threats to the Fleet.
British intel: Russia’s naval aviation emphasizing patrols for Russian Black Sea Fleet

With the Russian Black Sea Fleet struggling amid threats on the Russia-Ukraine war’s southern front, Russia’s Naval Aviation has become very important, emphasizing maritime air patrols, the British Defense Ministry says in its 2 October intelligence update.

The ministry tweeted:

  • In recent weeks, the Naval Aviation component of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has assumed a particularly important role in the Fleet’s operations as it struggles to deal with concurrent threats on the southern flank of the Ukraine war.
  • Naval Aviation is emphasising maritime air patrol operations, highly likely with a primary mission of the early identification of uncrewed surface vessels. A key Russian asset in these operations is the Be-12 MAIL amphibious aircraft, designed in the 1950s, flying out of bases in occupied Crimea.
  • Su-24 FENCER and FLANKER variant combat jets conduct maritime strike operations, including at least one recent air strike on the strategically located Zmiinyi (Snake) Island. With more Fleet activities likely relocating to Novorossiysk in the face of threats to Sevastopol, Russia is attempting to use naval air power to project force over the north-western Black Sea.

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