This Wednesday’s Ukrainian attack against a strategic shipyard in the territory of the Crimea annexed is a serious blow to the Russian Navy, since it damaged a amphibious landing ship and a submarine that had been used to launch missile attacks against Ukraine.
The submarine is the first hit by kyiv forces in this waranother fact that underlines the seriousness of the attack for the Kremlin.
According to information cited by Russian and Ukrainian media, the ships hit were the Ropucha-class landing ship “Minsk” and the submarine Kilo class “Rostov-on-Don”.
Both were being repaired in the shipyards of Sevastopolwhich serves as the main basis of the Black Sea Fleet From Russia. A submarine and a ship whose characteristics coincide with the “Minsk” and the “Rostov-on-Don” could be seen in the shipyard in satellite images taken on September 8 and confirmed by intelligence analysis from open sources.
The bombing appeared to be one of the largest in recent weeks. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that 10 cruise missiles had been fired, 7 of which were shot down. Three “maritime drones” also participated in the attack, which were destroyed.
According to the Ukrainian government advisor, Anton Gerashenkothe ships suffered “serious damage”.
For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense assured that the ships would be completely repaired and returned to naval service.
Landing ship “Minsk”
He “Minsk” It was one of six landing ships that in February 2022, days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, departed from their Baltic and Northern Fleet bases and crossed the Dardanelles Strait to conduct exercises in the Black Sea.
It’s about a Ropucha-class ship, designed for the Soviet Navy for beach landings. They have bow and stern doors for loading and unloading vehicles, and 630 square meters of deck to accommodate them along the hull. Up to 25 armored personnel carriers can be embarked. In total, they can carry a load of 450 tons.
These ships can also be used in missile attacks against ground and air targets.since it has a rocket launcher and Strela 2 surface-to-air missile system, as well as 2 AK-725 double cannons (in the Ropucha I version), 76 mm AK-176 (Ropucha II) and 2 AK-630 six-machine gun cannons (Ropucha II).
Before being used in the attacks against Ukraine, they were used to disembark troops in the Georgian port of Poti during the South Ossetia war 2008 and for cargo deliveries during the Russian military intervention in defense of the Bashar al Assad regime in Syria.
One of these ships, the Olenegorsky Gornyakwas seriously damaged in August of this year after being hit by a Ukrainian maritime drone at the Novorossiysk naval base on the Black Sea.
In total, 28 ships of this type entered service between 1975 and 1991. The last three were of the improved variant called Ropucha II, with improved defensive weaponry and accommodation for a greater number of troops. The “Minsk” destroyed on Wednesday was part of the configuration Ropucha I.
The Ukrainian Navy also had a Ropucha-class ship, the Kostiantyn Olshansky. But the ship was allegedly seized by Russian troops after the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in March 2014.
In the attack on the shipyard, the ship was also seriously damaged. “Rostov-on-Don”, a Kilo Class submarine. It would be the first time that one of the deadly Russian submarines has been hit by Ukraine in this war.
He “Rostov-on-Donalso known by code B-237, is a diesel-electric submarine of the improved class. It was built in the shipyards of St. Petersburglaunched on June 26, 2014 and commissioned on December 30, 2014.
The submarine is part of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, but had been deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in early 2020. Returned to the Black Sea in February 2022, passing through the Bosphorus on February 13, eleven days before the start of the invasion of Ukraine. She was one of four upgraded Kilo-class submarines deployed there starting in February 2022.
This type of submarine can launch cruise missiles from their torpedo tubes for long-range attacks.
They usually carry an arsenal of up to 18 torpedoes or 24 naval minesbut they can also load a maximum of four Kalibr cruise missiles. Black Sea submarines have used this technique to attack Ukraine during the war.
On December 8, 2015 on “Rostov-on-Don hit two targets near the ISIS capital, Raqqa, through the missile attack. Was the first time a Kilo Class fired cruise missiles at an enemy.
In September 2022, following the Ukrainian attacks on Crimea in early 2022, the British Ministry of Defense stated that the Kilo class submarines had been moved from Sevastopol to the port of Novorossiysk in Krasnodar Krai.
The “Rostov-on-Don” was still in Sevastopol for repairs, something that was confirmed by satellite images captured in 2023.
The Kilo class submarines were originally designed in the 1970s and built in the Soviet Union for the Soviet Navy. The first version of the Kilo submarines entered operational service in 1980 and were built until the mid-1990s.
Production was switched to the more advanced variant in the mid-1990s, also known as class Improved kilo in the West.