Update: Russia deploys air and naval assets to shadow HMS Queen Elizabeth CSG

by Thomas Bullock

Russia has been bolstering its naval and aviation presence in the Mediterranean theatre of operations since mid-June, with the Russian Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) TV Zvezda announcing on 25 June that these reinforcements will be used to “to monitor the actions of the [HMS Queen Elizabeth ] aircraft carrier group”. On 26 June Russian naval and aviation assets began shadowing and exercising in close proximity to the HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group (CSG).

The Russian MoD published this photo on 25 June of a Tu-22M3 bomber with tail number Red 50 carrying a Kh-22 anti-ship missile taking off from Humaymim airbase in Syria. (Russian MoD)

The Russian MoD published this photo on 25 June of a Tu-22M3 bomber with tail number Red 50 carrying a Kh-22 anti-ship missile taking off from Humaymim airbase in Syria. (Russian MoD)

Multiple images posted on social media show the 30th Surface Ship Division's Slava-class cruiser Moskva and Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate Admiral Essen transiting the Bosphorus strait heading south towards the Mediterranean Sea on 18 June.

Satellite imagery confirmed the presence of three Tu-22M3 bombers at Humaymim in Latakia, Syria, on 24 June. Footage and imagery published by the Russian MoD and TV Zvezda since 25 June have raised questions about which Tu-22M3s have deployed. The original media published on 25 June appears to show Tu-22M3s Red 15, Red 28, and Red 50: all three aircraft previously deployed to Humaymim in May. Footage published by TV Zvezda on 28 June shows a fourth Tu-22M3, Red 48, also present in Humaymim.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/update-russia-deploys-air-and-naval-assets-to-shadow-hms-queen-elizabeth-csg

Russia has been bolstering its naval and aviation presence in the Mediterranean theatre of operation...

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