Six decades after the Cuban Missile Crisis, a Russian nuclear-powered submarine has arrived in a Cuban port, where it will take part in joint exercises starting June 12. From Norway to Cuba, the Russian flotilla is armed with Zircon hypersonic missiles under the command of frigate Admiral Gorshkov. It was monitored by NATO’s P-8 ‘Poseidon’ anti-submarine aircraft.

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The arrival at the port of the Cuban capital marks the end of a long convoy that began on May 17. The fleet of ships of the Northern Fleet left the city of Severomorsk and headed for the Atlantic Ocean through the designated areas of the Barents Sea.

The frigate’s main strike weapon is the Kalibr-NK missile system. It is also equipped with the latest Zirkon hypersonic missile, developed and manufactured by Reutov NPO Mashinostroyenia (part of Tactical Missile Armament Corporation).

But, the centerpiece of the flotilla is one of Russia’s most advanced nuclear submarines – the Kazan. Cuba has assured that the submarine does not carry any nuclear weapons and does not pose a regional threat.

But, the timing of the port call under America’s nose comes as the Ukraine-Russia war escalates, with NATO countries increasing their stake in the war. Also, the situation is not helped by Cuba and the US being only 145 km from their closest point.

The Yasin class is a series of nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines designed by the Malakhit Engineering Bureau and built at the Sevmash Shipyard (JSC PO/Joint Stock Company Sevmash), part of USC (United Shipbuilding Corporation). . The Kazan is capable of launching a range of anti-ship and land-attack missiles. It is one of the quietest submarines in the Russian submarine fleet.

In addition to these two vessels, the flotilla consists of a fleet oil tanker, Pishin, and a salvage tug, Nikolay Chikar. The arrival of the fleet in Havana harbor would be announced by one of the Russian warships firing 21 salvos and answered by a battery of artillery from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba.

Hans Christensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, calls it a great opportunity to learn more about and see Russian submarines. “The participation of the Kazan nuclear-powered attack submarine in the Caribbean voyage provides the US Navy with a unique opportunity to monitor and record the new Yasin (Severodvinsk) class sub in the waters off the US East Coast,” he wrote. .

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“For Putin, a flag-waving effort – for NATO, a golden opportunity to track and learn,” he added.

The Barents Observer reported that Admiral Gorshkov, in exercise mode, placed within gun sight an approaching NATO P-8 maritime patrol plane off the coast of Norway.

The Russian Navy released a high-quality video on May 23 showing P-8 aircraft tracking the flotilla. Canada-based OSINT expert Steffan Watkins said: “In the video published on May 23, you can see the P-8 Poseidon, which confirms that the Russian Navy flotilla from Norway to Cuba was intercepted by the multinational NATO. will be tracked by forces, including aircraft and ships of the US Navy, RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force), RCN (Royal Canadian Navy) and others.

A US Navy P-8A Poseidon (No. AE6880) was relieved by another Poseidon (AE67D7) between the Bahamas and Florida. In addition to the anti-submarine aircraft, USS Truxton, CGC Stone and HMCS Val de Quebec Shadow of the Russian Flotilla.

“USS Truxton, HMCS Ville de Québec, and USCGC Stone conduct joint operations in the Atlantic Ocean. This “trilateral” cooperation has ensured safe, open waters since 2015,” US 2ndFleet Written on x On June 7, italicized the shape of his mission.

The US has called the presence of a Russian warship close to home remarkable but alarming. It is seen in line with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat that Moscow will respond to President Joe Biden’s decision to allow Ukraine to use US-supplied weapons to attack inside Russia, elsewhere in the world. “Proportional measures” can be done, Kharkiv, another country in Ukraine. the largest city.

The US expects the fleet to also visit Venezuela and conduct routine military exercises.

During the Cold War, the deployment of Soviet nuclear missile sites on the island led to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Relations between Russia and Cuba have been on the rise since 2022, when Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel met with Putin. The two heads of state also met on May 9 during the annual military parade at Red Square outside the Kremlin.

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Cuba is among the few countries that have not joined the international sanctions regime because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. On the contrary, relations between the two states have improved since February 2022.

The Cuban president had previously criticized the sanctions: “We condemn, we reject the expansion of NATO towards Russia’s borders.”

However, a US intelligence official has told reporters, as before. Reported by According to the Eurasian Times, Russian military activities have intensified globally amid rising tensions between the two sides since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“This is about Russia showing that it still has the ability to project power globally,” the official said.

  • Ritu Sharma has been a journalist for over a decade, writing on defence, foreign affairs and nuclear technology.
  • The author can be contacted at ritu.sharma (at)
  • Follow Eurasian Times on Google News.

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