Russian Insider By Alex Gorka Posted Tues., July 18, 2017
Russian Bastion and Bal-E coastal missile defense systems went through an exercise on July 13 to check their combat readiness. The training event took place against the background of NATO Sea Breeze-2017 naval drills (July 10-23) being held in the Black Sea.
The comments by experts expressing concern over the vulnerability of the alliance’s surface ships to Russian precision strike systems destined to counter them. USS Carney, USS Hue City and HMS Duncan – the surface assets the US and UK navies are proud of – are among the 30 vessels participating in the Sea Breeze event.
It was rather symbolic that a day after the exercise started the British Telegraph cited the Royal United Services Institute saying that «technological leaps by rivals such as Russia and China have eroded the military dominance once taken for granted by the West».
The paper singles out Chinese and Russian long-range missiles «which threaten large land, maritime and air platforms» that Western militaries have become reliant on.
US, UK and French surface ships have become frequent visitors to the Black Sea since 2014 when Crimea became a part of the Russian Federation. These ships are easy targets for Russian coastal missile defense.
The K-300P Bastion-P (SS-C-5 Stooge) is a Russian mobile coastal defence missile system. The prime mission is to engage surface ships including carrier battle groups, surface action groups, and amphibious ready groups.
It should be noted that the direct distance from Odessa, where NATO ships arrived for the exercise, to the Russian city of Sevastopol is exactly 300 km. The distance from the western edge of the Crimean Peninsula to the southern part of Ukraine is even less.
It means that the northwestern part of the Black Sea – the area where the NATO exercise is held – is well within the reach of the Russian coastal missile defense systems. With the speed of M 2.5 (1 Мах = 331 m/s), the Oniks will get to the target in 362 seconds or 6 minutes to make futile any attempt to react. If a conflict sparks, dozens of such missiles will be used to strike the NATO surface assets.