Russia deploys all Black Sea submarines during NATO drills

According to a press release published by The Moscow Times on March 19, 2021, Russia has deployed all six of its Black Sea Fleet submarines as NATO drills kicked off in the area.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 B-871 Alrosa, diesel-electric Kilo-class submarine (Picture source: Twitter)

The commander of the Black Sea Fleet’s submarine flotilla, Captain 1st Rank Anatoly Varochkin, called the deployment “unprecedented.”

The deployment took place as 18 NATO warships with 10 aircraft and 2,400 troops are set to begin Romanian-led multinational exercises dubbed “Sea Shield 21.”

“Sea Shield 21” aims to enhance interoperability and cooperation between the Romanian and other NATO members’ naval forces. From there, NATO’s standing maritime group composed of Spanish, Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian frigates will make port calls in Turkey and the republic of Georgia.

Russia views NATO’s expansion eastward into its old Soviet sphere of influence as a key national security risk. NATO members perceive Russia’s missile deployments in the country’s Baltic exclave between Poland and Lithuania as a threat.

NATO, a U.S.-led alliance created during the Cold War to provide collective security against the Soviet Union, suspended relations with Russia in response to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Russian submarine B-871 Alrosa is a diesel-electric Kilo-class submarine.

The Project 877V Alrosa is the only Kilo-class submarine fitted with a pump-jet system instead of the standard propeller. A pump-jet allows for higher speed before the onset of cavitation and lower acoustic signature.

The Alrosa was laid down in 1988 and commissioned into service in 1990. For a while, it had been the only operational submarine of the Black Sea Fleet. The Alrosa has an underwater displacement of 3,950 tons, a length of 76.2 m, a submerged speed of 17 knots and an endurance of 45 days. The submarine carries six 533-mm torpedo tubes and a crew of 52.

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