Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 30 July 2021
Russia Deploys More Missiles To The Baltic Sea
The coastal defense missile systems Bal and Bastion were developed to ensure Russia’s control of the Gulf of Finland––and so was the purpose of similar complexes installed in Crimea nearby Ukrainian Black Sea ports. Intimidating enemies with missile defense systems is in line with Russia’s long-running strategy to build up the Western Military District, notably its positions in the Baltic Sea.
Not incidentally, it was reported that Russia began to strengthen its missile defense in the Baltic Sea shortly after a naval parade took place in St. Petersburg. The Russian Navy deployed its Bastion and Bal mobile coastal defense missile system to the military facility nearby Kronstadt on Russia’s Kotlin Island. From there, they could reach as far as the Gulf of Finland. In June, the Russian army said its coastal defense systems Bal and Bastion had been dispatched to the Leningrad Oblast while Russian troops began training. Now it is clear to where these systems were deployed. The Russian coastal defense missile system Bastion carries 24 Oniks (Yakhont) supersonic anti-ship missiles. According to Russian manufacturers, it is a high-precision system. Importantly, these complexes are able to destroy both sea and ground targets. The Bal system comprises up to two self-propelled command posts and four launch vehicles with eight Kh-35 or Kh-35U cruise missiles each (a “naval” version of the Kh-55 missiles used by the Russian air forces). Its range reaches up to 260 kilometers. For years now the Russian military has prided itself on Bastion and Bal; both complexes had been installed in Crimea, too. Now they will boost Russia’s war potential in the Baltic Sea. The missile systems had been installed in the Kalinigrad Oblast.
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