Russia tests Il-80VKP submarine communication system

Scramble – Russia’s ‘Doomsday’ plane, the Ilyushin Il-80VKP (Il-86VzPU), NATO code Maxdome, is the airborne command post of the Russian President in the event of a nuclear attack, also called the Flying Kremlin. Recently, the Il-80VKP has been tested with an updated system which maintains regular communication with submerged nuclear submarines. For such a task, the aircraft has been updated with a new ultra-long wave communication complex which can set up a connection with an extended submersible communication antenna towed by the submarine.

(Thanks to Alain)

Russia’s Militarization of the Kuril Islands

CSIS – Overshadowed by the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s recent and rapid militarization of a group of islands claimed by Japan has flown largely under the radar. Taken by Russia at the end of World War Two, Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan, and the Habomai islands of the Kuril Island chain, which Japan claims as its “Northern Territories,” have  complicated relations between the two states for decades.

Relative Dominance: Russian Naval Power in the Black Sea

War On the Rocks – Russia’s naval strategy in the Black Sea cannot be divorced from its wider military objectives. A major defeat of Russia’s forces on Ukrainian territory is likely to force the Kremlin into its Black Sea bastion, from where it can seek to use its relative naval strength to maintain a military status quo, lock in a frozen conflict or buy enough time to rearm for future attacks on Ukraine. Russia still feels as though it has some degree of strategic depth in the Black Sea.

Russian Navy Kilo Class Submarines Retreating From Crimea

Naval News – The changing tide of the Ukraine War appear to have led the Russian Navy to ‘regroup’ its forces in the Black Sea. Early during the invasion they loitered boldly close to Odessa. Now the Black Sea Fleet barely sails out of sight of Crimea for fear of Harpoon missiles. Its submarines too have recently shifted their base further from the shadow of Ukrainian attack.

Russian Navy Base At Sevastopol Defended By Inflatable S-400 Missiles

Covert Shores – Russia’s main naval base in the Black Sea, Sevastopol, is guarded by the latest S-400 air-defense system. The real S-400 missiles have recently been moved from their permanent launch site however. Russian TV has shown inflatable replacements at the site. These are decoys, a common and well-publicised Russian tactic.

(Thanks to Alain)