Unconfirmed news reports claim the Russian Navy is deploying land-based ‘Bastion’ anti-ship missile systems as a response to the recent U.S. move entering two naval vessels to the Black Sea. The two American Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG-103) crossed the Bosphorus Strait Friday, headed into the Black Sea, as tensions simmer over Ukraine’s Crimea region. The Russians also moved two naval combatants from the Mediterranean Task Force back to the Black Sea Fleet. Tension is mounting in the Crimea Peninsula with the preparations for a referendum on independence from Ukraine later this week.
As of today, the Truxtun remain the only US warship in the Black Sea following the southbound passage of FF(G)-50 USS Taylor through the Bosphorus. The Taylor, a Perry class frigate was deployed to the Black Sea before the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games started. USS Taylor and the flag ship of the US 6th Fleet USS Mount Whitney were sent to the Black Sea to help with the evacuation of US athletes and spectators in case of an terror attack to the Games. However, when visiting the Black Sea port of Samsun, Turkey, the frigate damaged her propelled and had to be towed away to Souda, Crete for repairs.
The US Navy said in a statement on Thursday that the ship was bound for the Black Sea to conduct military exercises with Bulgarian and Romanian naval forces. According to the Montreux Convention, warships of countries which do not border the Black Sea can only stay in the waters for 21 days.
The Bastion anti-ship missile system was deployed last night (8-9 March) to Sevastopol from the Russian town of Anapa, Krasnodar, about 250 miles to the East. Follow bystanders recorded the movement of Bastion anti-ship launcher complex on the streets Crimea. The K-300P Bastion-P employs P-800 Yakhont (SS-N-26) anti-ship cruise missile hypersonic anti-ship missiles carried on mobile transporter-erector-launchers (TEL) is a Russian. The missiles are used as mobile coastal defence systems, having an effective range of 300 km.