Ukraine, Russia strengthens control over the Black Sea using aviation: analysis

According to the assessment of British intelligence, Moscow “in recent weeks the naval aviation component of the Russian fleet has assumed a particularly important role”

Russia is increasingly resorting to fighter jets
of the naval air forces to control the western part of the Black Sea: Much of its fleet’s assets are moving to Novorossiysk, Russia, “in the face of threats against its headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea.” This is the assessment of British intelligence in the report published today on X by the Ministry of Defense in London.

“In recent weeks – we read – the air component of the Russian Black Sea Fleet has taken on a particularly important role in fleet operations” while simultaneously having to “deal with competing threats on the southern flank of the war in Ukraine.” Naval aviation is dedicating more space to maritime air patrol operations, “most likely with the primary mission being the timely identification of unmanned surface vessels.”

The aircraft used

Key tool for these operations – the report continues – is the Be-12 Mail amphibious aircraftdesigned in the 1950s, which launches from bases in occupied Crimea”. Furthermore “Su-24 Fencer and Flanker fighter aircraft conduct maritime attack operations, including the recent attack – at least one – air attack on Serpent Island, which has a strategic location.” “With the likely relocation of more fleet assets to Novorossiysk in the face of threats to Sevastopol, Russia is attempting to use its naval air power to project its strength over the northwestern Black Sea,” he concludes.

Russia worried by attacks on air bases and Russian fleet

In a previous report, the English 007 highlighted as the last Ukrainian attacks on the Russian Black Sea Fleet, in Crimea, and on the Chkalovsky air base worry Moscow. In recent weeks the port of Sevastopol has been increasingly targeted by Kiev and Ukraine has also claimed responsibility for the killing of the fleet commander, Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov.

“It is very likely that the Russian Black Sea Fleet has again been heavily targeted and that the explosions at the Chkalovsky air base, near Moscow, constitute the most strategic concern for Russian leaders,” British intelligence wrote on , adding that “both Russia and Ukraine have suffered unusually intense attacks behind their lines.” But, underlines the Ministry of Defense in London, it is the air base that worries Moscow the most, being “a sensitive place because it hosts specialized military aircraft and transport for Russian leaders”.