The passage of ships of the Pacific Fleet and the Chinese Navy as part of the Sea Interaction exercises through the Sanger Strait separating the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido caused a stir in Japan. A detachment of 10 ships passed through the strait, which, although considered international for shipping, remains strategically important for Tokyo. This event caused a serious commotion in Japanese society: Moscow and Beijing showed for the first time who will play the leading military role in the region. However, during the days of the exercises, combat training went on throughout the Far East. The press tour of the Ministry of Defense to Kamchatka, Sakhalin and the main base of the Pacific Fleet in Vladivostok allowed the NVO correspondent to assess the scale of this work.
On a small concrete site right next to Krasheninnikov Bay in Kamchatka, a powerful rumble of engines is heard. The anti-aircraft missile systems S-400 “Triumph” and the anti-aircraft missile cannon systems “Pantsir-1C” in the guard of the armored personnel carriers BTR-82A are in position. The column stops, the soldiers, jumping out of the trucks, take up positions at the edges of the site.
“Our main task is to protect the submarine forces of the Pacific Fleet,” says the commander of the S-400 Triumph air defense missile system, Major Alexander Burmistrov.
“Triumphs” are relatively recent in Kamchatka. The deployment of the complex began in 2015. Today it is the main means of protecting the airspace in the region. The complex can detect and simultaneously hit up to 12 air targets at a maximum range of up to 400 km. According to Alexander Burmistrov, the deployment time of the launchers is about five minutes. At this moment, he is very vulnerable, so the Pantsir-1C anti-aircraft missile cannon systems protect him from sudden attacks, the officer says.
At this moment, acrid smoke appears over the machines, which makes it difficult to breathe – according to the plan of the exercises, a smoke screen was set up. When it dissipated, the deployment of the S-400 air defense missile systems was completed and the complex was ready to perform a combat mission – repelling an air strike from the alleged enemy. The actual firing of missiles did not happen, the military limited itself to electronic launches, but there is no doubt that if it was a real air attack, the air defense missile system would have repelled it.
The danger of such a scenario is highly probable. Literally on the eve of our arrival in Kamchatka, it became known that the US Air Force had deployed several F-16 fighters to the Shemika Island of the Aleutian ridge, where the Erickson airbase and the US missile defense radar are located. The island is located just 1049 km from Vilyuchinsk – the main base of the country’s nuclear submarine fleet in the Pacific Ocean. The newest Project 955 nuclear submarines of the Bore class are based here. It will take the Americans only half an hour to reach their berths.
In total, more than 200 servicemen and about 10 units of military equipment took part in repelling the air attack. After the end of the event, Major Burmistrov noted that they were successful, all servicemen clearly and harmoniously completed their tasks.
Black-and-gray submarine piers surround the high ground where houses can be seen. The sun’s rays are picturesquely illuminating the blue-lead waters of the bay. It was in this place that the exercises of the Detachment for Combating Underwater Subversive Forces and Means (PDSS) took place.
“The sabotage and reconnaissance groups pose the main threat to the activities of the submarine forces,” said Rear Admiral Arcady Novinsky, chief of staff of the Pacific Fleet’s submarine command. At that moment, he was standing on the deck of the newest nuclear-powered submarine cruiser Vladimir Monomakh. The same one that a few hours ago from an air attack was saved by the crews of the S-400 and “Pant sire”.
As the admiral explained, the saboteurs had to break through to the submariners’ base in a speedboat.
Just a few minutes – and the enemy’s boat is blocked. However, some of the saboteurs, using diving equipment, managed to leave. To neutralize them, the servicemen turned on a special hydro acoustic complex on the Grachonok, with the help of which they were able to determine the approximate location of the enemy and opened fire on him from hand grenade launchers. Those who survived, the PDSS detachment “finished off” already on the shore.
“We conduct such trainings systematically in accordance with the plans. What we have demonstrated is a common event. Nothing supernatural, ”Rear Admiral Arcady Novinsky modestly commented on the result of the event. Although to an unprepared viewer, everything seemed completely different.
Krasheninnikov Bay is a strategic point on the map of Kamchatka. In the near future, four new-generation nuclear-powered missile cruisers will come here. Two nuclear submarines 885 of the Yasin-M project: Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk, and three strategic cruisers 955 of the Bore-M project: Prince Oleg, Generalissimo Suvorov and Emperor Alexander III. For their basing, a modern berthing infrastructure has already been created – a berth front, which makes it possible to provide boats at the berth with electricity, water and oxygen.