Aegean Tensions

It was revealed that on 9 December 2015, two Türk Hava Kuvvetleri (TAF/Turkish Air Force) General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16C multi-role combat aircrafts were placed under radar lock by a Russian Navy destroyer sailing close to the Greek island of Lemnos in the Aegean Sea.

The incident follows the shoot-down of a Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24M ground attack aircraft by a TAF F-16C using a Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile near the Turkish-Syrian border on 24 November 2015.

Reports concerning the Russian naval activity, reported by the Greek Ethnos news outlet, were short on detail, refraining from revealing the identity of the Russian cruiser. Yet it was disclosed that the ship was armed with the Almaz-Antey S-300F surface-to-air missile. It is almost certain that the ship in question was the Moskva, a ‘Slava’ class cruiser which, since the downing of the Su-24M, has been deployed close to the coastal border of Syria and Turkey.

The Moskva is tasked with protecting the Russian Air Force deployment to Khmeimim airbase, near Latakia on the coast of northern Syria. The radar in question used to lock onto the TAF F-16Cs, Armada International believes, was the ship’s 3R41 Volna fire control radar.