Foreign Warship On Bosphorus 2015 (Part 43)

Kevin Brent:

A lot happening now. Russian jets began tactical strikes in Syria today, and hit everyone EXCEPT ISIS. And, that is not a coincidence nor should it be a surprise to anyone who understands what the real purpose of ISIS’ creation was; i.e. create a logistical land bridge from Iran, to Assad controlled territory in Syria. Russia is hitting the biggest true threats to Assad, and ISIS was never one of them.

Originally posted on :

NikolaiFilchenko 4 Russian Alligator class large landing ship Nikolay Filchenkov making her south bound passage through Istanbul, again with much cargo on her deck. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

saratov-3 Russian Alligator class large landing ship Saratov making her south bound passage through Istanbul, again with much cargo on her deck. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

Moskva-2 The flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Moskva going to the Mediterranean to take part in a naval exercise. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

Ladnyy Russian Krivak class frigate Ladny going to the Mediterranean to take part in a naval exercise. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

R109-2 Russian Tarantul class corvette R-109, passing thorugh Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

AlexanderOtrakovski Russian large landing ship Alexander Otrakovski returning from her Mediterranean deployment. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

Last week we have saw a drastic increase in Russian warships movements through Turkish Straits.

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China Reportedly Constructing Aircraft Carrier

Suspected Chinese aircraft carrier construction. Courtesy –

According to Jane’s Defence online, Airbus Defence and Space imagery reveals what may be a the construction of what would be China’s first home-built aircraft carrier.

Estimations from the imagery are that the partially constructed hull is approximately 270 meters in length. Carrier flight decks almost always overlap the length of the hull. So, it is safe to assume that when completed, the ship will have the overall length of an American Nimitz Class aircraft carrier; approximately 330 meters.

It is not yet possible to determine if the ship will have a ski ramp bow like the former Soviet aircraft carrier Riga, currently in Chinese commission as Liaoning, or if it will be fitted with catapults; though the ski ramp is more likely the plan.

China has some history implementing indigenous designs for warships. However, their success has been vastly exaggerated in as much as the technology of weapons and sensors has often proven decades behind every contemporary.

China has also displayed the tendency of not building indigenous designs above frigate size in any appreciable numbers to make China a serious naval power. Despite all the hype by Pentagon narrative spinsters, (echoed by American news networks), not much has changed in recent decades.

That aside, there is also another major handicap China will encounter with its new aircraft carrier, no matter how capable or large the vessel is; a simple lack of experience in naval aviation warfare.

There is, as anyone who keeps up with military technical developments knows, a prevalent narrative that the Chinese military is a juggernaut the ranks of which are filled with military geniuses and that the military industrial complex which equip them is second to none other than the United States and will soon shove America from that perch.

This is absolute nonsense and always has been. China is Communist police state. Just as in the former Soviet Union, innovation and creativity are stifled by state central planning at all levels in every sector, including industry, military planning, training and doctrine; lowest common denominator is the prevailing intellect.

Additionally, the Communist Party cannot survive if individuals rise in power and influence as individuals, particularly intellectuals and that rule of thumb applies to naval engineers, ship designers, military planners and innovative military thinkers just as much as it applies to a university professor with pangs and yearnings for freedom of thought, or a politician seeking to implement a Chinese Perestroika.

Aircraft carriers and naval air warfare were pioneered by Britain, the United States and Imperial Japan. This naval warfare environment is one which took several decades to develop to its present day abilities and doctrinal procedures, even despite accelerated advancement resulting from World War II.

No collection of naval officers in any navy can simply study naval aviation history, read a book, or ‘google it’ to learn the numerous procedures & doctrines and even traditions encompassing everything from flight deck safety, to the basic tenants of carrier battle group warfare.

Development of the ‘Brown Shoe Navy’ took decades of trial, error, tragedy; one step forward and two back to perfect into the modern team of air & naval line expertise which made U.S. Naval Aviation the preeminent dominant naval power projection force it is today.

Part of that journey for the U.S. Navy, entailed brutally learned lessons and the total defeat and destruction of its toughest competitor, the Imperial Japanese Navy, at the cost of several aircraft carriers and many men lost.

China simply does not have any way to implement that kind of enriched naval aviation expertise in short order. Britain, France, India, Australia, Brazil, Argentina and more recently Russia have operated large aircraft carriers. Each had to develop and implement procedures and doctrine suited to their naval & military needs and abilities, not to mention their own unique naval culture.

Each navy is as different as each human being and has its own set of priorities in addition to those set by their respective national security authority. Simply copycatting the U.S. Navy was not a viable solution for current or former contemporaries; nor will it be for any navy vying to operate aircraft carriers.

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Obama annoyed with Putin intervention in Syria

My boys can mess up anybody else's boys!

My boys can mess up anybody else’ boys!

In a speech before the U.N. General Assembly, Pres. Obama expressed his displeasure with Russia’s intervention in the Syrian Civil War. At one point even making a laughable attempt at bragging; ‘I lead the strongest military the world has ever known.’

A statement only a petulant child could appreciate.

However, there is some amount of fire behind the smoke flowing from Pres. Obama’s large ears. His annoyance takes some explaining, as it doesn’t on the surface seem to make much sense.

If you accept the conventional wisdom of Western Snooze Media, it is to be believed that ISIS is the only ‘bad guy‘ in the Syrian Civil War. It is also to be believed that the current leader of one of the most notorious dynasties of butchers in the Middle East, Basher al-Assad is a ‘nice guy’; simply because he speaks French, listens to Shania Twain music and has a ‘hot’ wife who also is a fashion plate.

The connections between Assad and ISIS are simply ignored, as is the blatantly obvious fact that ISIS’ advance into a Northern Iraq just far enough to reach the Iranian border and then halted; because that was their only purpose for invading Iraq; to establish a logistical land link from Iran to Assad’s front lines in Syria.

Mission accomplished, ISIS held fast and did not advance into Southern Iraq or make any attempt to invade Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, or Saudi Arabia. Nor incidentally, did ‘Sunni’ ISIS make any moves to attack ‘Shiite’ Iran. And, this is a key clue, since Shiite Iran backs Alawite(Shiite) Assad.

From then on, the non-ISIS affiliated rebel forces came under attack by both ISIS and Syrian forces loyal to Pres. Assad. Little to no combat engagement have occurred on any appreciable scale between Assad’s forces and ISIS.

However, this ‘triangulation’ strategy did not close the deal on defeating genuine Syrian rebel groups anymore than bringing and bleeding dry the ranks of Hezbollah in support of Assad in Syria.

Assad’s ace in the hole which he ironically is not in control of is Russia’s naval installation in Latakia Province, Syria. It is the last of the former Soviet bases outside the borders of Russia. It is also the last remnant of a Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean.

Pres. Vladimir Putin is hellbent on keep that base at high cost if necessary. This is why, after Assad & Hezbollah along with Iranian forces failed to secure Syria, followed by the failure of ‘all conquering’ ISIS to do so, even when unmolested by any of the aforementioned pro-Assad forces, Pres. Putin finally decided to intervene with Russian troops, tanks and tactical strike aircraft.

The Russian are also building the naval and air installations it holds in Latakia Province, giving Putin more ‘skin in the game’.

It makes however, no sense for Russia to invest blood, toil and treasure in this effort simply to lose it in post-civil war Syrian attack on Israel, in which Israel responded with heavy air strikes and perhaps a ground invasion of Syria as they did in 1973.

It’s therefore plausible to conclude that Moscow has made a deal with Damascus stipulating that Russia will end the Syrian Civil War on Assad’s behalf, in exchange for Assad not participating in or allowing proxy forces to bring on a general war with Israel which threatens Russian installations in Latakia.

For Assad, it is a win in that he will remain in power indefinitely with Russian bases and forces in Syria as an ironclad insurance policy against any adversary including the United States.

Iran’s Mullahs and Hezbollah of course, are on the losing side of any such agreement as their single focus of existence is wiping Israel from the earth. The Assad regime is vital to both as a supply & arms depot for just that purpose.

However, Putin’s influence in pressuring the world community and Pres. Obama in particular to make the deal giving Iran’s Mullahs nuclear weapons, is a feeding hand Tehran cannot afford to bite.

And, this of course brings us to what Pres. Obama is so annoyed with Putin about. The two Middle East leaders Obama first reached out to upon becoming President was Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and President Basher al-Assad of Syria; two allies as close as Britain & America in the Shiite Jihad against Israel and the West. Obama penned personal letters to both men.

In addition to the Iranian Nuke Deal surrender by Obama, he also remained stone silent and refused to support Iran’s attempted Green Revolution, quite in contrast from his hopping right in bed with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

When the initial protests against the Assad regime in Syria broke out, precisely the same policy of stone silence was observed by the Obama White House, and it has continued ever since aside from lip service to world opinion, such as the false Red Line on the use of WMD by the Assad regime.

As well, the alleged intent to train and arm legitimate Syrian rebels, which after hundreds of millions spent over three years, have produced a grand total of five trained rebels because Pres. Obama never had the slightest intention of arming any Syrian rebels capable of overthrowing Assad.

The common thread between Assad, Iran and Pres. Obama is their mutual hatred for Israel. Syria and Hezbollah on Israel’s doorstep. When Obama referred to ISIS as the ‘JV Team’, this is more likely what he was really referring to.

Everything Obama does in Middle East policy, is laser beam focused on the humbling of Israel. Obama needs Hezbollah and their many thousands of rockets as a knife at the throat of Israel. Without Assad, their can be no Hezbollah, without Iran’s support prior to the Syrian Civil War Assad could not have endured.

That support has failed to defeat Assad’s domestic enemies however, and despite however much Obama would like to, intervening with U.S. forces on the side of Assad would trigger a political meltdown in the United States not seen since Watergate.

Pres. Putin saw this opportunity to move in and fill that role, which Iran failed at, and Obama cannot assume under the guise of ‘the cavalry’ riding in to save Assad and his lovely wife Asma from the ISIS horde.

Russian boots are on the ground in Syria an they’re there to stay. Putin has now solidified a Russian military presence in the Levant, and on the Mediterranean Sea.

In addition to ISIS and every other Syrian rebel group, Pres. Obama and Iran will also the biggest losers of the Syrian Civil War.

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Another Southbound Passage Of Nikolay Filchenkov

Kevin Brent:

Looks perhaps to be a TOS-1 short range MLRS vehicle under the nets next to the lorry. Good against troop fortifications, and mechanized troops.

Originally posted on :

Fil_04 The cargo on deck of Nikolay Filchenkov. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

Fil_06 The cargo on deck of Nikolay Filchenkov. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

Fil_08 The cargo on deck of Nikolay Filchenkov. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

IMG_1745Nikolay Filchenkov made her second southbound passage in 20 days. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

IMG_1715Nikolay Filchenkov making her southbound passage. Note that she is heavier at aft. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

On 10 September 2015 the Russian Alligator class large landing ship Nikolay Filchenkov made another south bound passage through Turkish Straits. This is her second passage to the Mediterranean in 20 days. This was a faster turn around than usual.

Like her last passage she had cargo on her deck again. Apart from one 6 meter green shipping container and one small utility boat all cargo on deck was hidden under camouflage nets…

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The Cargo On Russian Landing Ship Saratov

Kevin Brent:

Russia sending ships through Turkey’s Bosphorus with war material in plain view on deck like this, is a testament to how much Putin views America & NATO to be weak as piss. The camouflage netting isn’t to hide it, so much as weather protection while at sea.

Originally posted on :

150 Alligator class landing ship Saratov passing through Istanbul, escorted by Turkish Coast Guard. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

150_9k A composite image of the cargo on board of Saratov. Photos: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

150_7 A starboard view of Saratov. Photo: Zeynep Bozkurt. Used with permission.

150_6 The cargo on the starboard side. Photo: Zeynep Bozkurt. Used with permission.

150_4 Another view of the cargo on board of Saratov. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

150_3 Note the crates under the life rafts. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

The Russian presence in Syria is growing so is the frequency of Russian warships carrying equipment and supplies to the region has increased too.

On 7 September 2015, the Alligator class landing ship Saratov sister of Nikolay Filchenkov made her southbound passage to the Mediterranean.

Like the much discussed passage of Nikolay Filchenkov, the deck of Saratov was loaded with…

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UPDATE: The Cargo On Russian Landing Ship Nikolay Filchenkov

Kevin Brent:

This was the first sighting which caught the eye of Bosphorus Naval News. Here again, equipment is only store on deck like this, when the holds are full and there is no room.

Originally posted on :

P1020717 Russian Alligator class landing ship Nikolay Filchenkov making a south bound passage through Istanbul. Her destination is not known to us. Photo: Shonquis Moreno. Used with permission.

152 The cargo on deck. Photo: Shonquis Moreno. Used with permission.

On 20 August 2015 the Alligator class landing ship Nikolay Filchenkov made one of her passages through Istanbul. The event was not worth of remembering if there was no cargo on deck of the ship.

During their previous passages Russian landing ships never had cargo on their top deck. Thus it is worth to look closer what Nikolay Filchenkov was carrying since we have new photos from Ms. Eser Çelebiler’s blog:




nikolaifilchenkov_plan This is the approximate locations of the cargo on deck.

The help of the new photos we can say that there are 4 KamAZ-4350 6×6 and one GAZ-66 trucks plus 4 BTR type armored personnel carriers.  The other items hidden under the…

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Russian Warship Korolev Passed Through Istanbul With Cargo On Her Deck

Kevin Brent:

Cargo appears to be crates of ammunition. It’s not common to store it on deck, unless the cargo holds are full and there is no room. No doubt this vessel is headed for Syria, in support of the new Russian Air Force deployment there. This is the second observation of something ‘extra’ on a Russian ship headed southbound. Will reblog the other as well.

Originally posted on :

130 Ropucha class large landing ship Korolev making her southbound passage through the Istanbul with extra cargo on her forecastle.

CDY_7481 The cargo on the forecastle of Korolev.

CDY_7496 The cargo on the forecastle from a slightly different angle.

IMG_0043 The cargo on Korolev from the opposite side of the Strait. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

KB-15-09-03-Rumeli-0025 The cargo on deck, seen from the other side of Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

IMG_0026 The cargo on Korolev from the opposite side of the Strait. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission

142 Ropucha class landing ship Novocharkassk passing through Istanbul. All her cargo is inside.

i_015 The position of the cargo on the deck. The original drawing: Coollib.

On 3 September 2015 two Ropucha class large landing ship of Russian Navy made their southbound passage through Bosphorus.

Their passage would not be remarkable if one of the ships had cargo stored on her…

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