BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:00 P.M.) – The Russian Navy utilized its Rostov-on-Don (B-237) to carry out a powerful cruise missile attack against a group of Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) in early December of 2015, the National Interest online publication reported on Saturday.
“Rostov-on-Don, or B-237, is a modernized Kilo-class attack submarine. The second of eight units commissioned as part of a series called “Project 636.6,” Rostov-on-Don boasts across-the-board iterative improvements over the original Soviet Kilo-class line,” the report began.
“These included a slightly more powerful engine and lower noise levels, but the greatest change comes from much more capable armaments. The original Kilo-class Strela-3 missiles were replaced by more versatile 3M-54 and 3M14 Kalibr cruise missiles with a dual anti-ship/land attack function,”
According to National Interest, the Rostov-on-Don joined the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet in 2014; however, following its performance in Syria, the submarine joined with the Fourth Submarine Brigade.
Use in Syria
The Rostov-on-Don was first used in late 2015 when the Russian military entered the Syrian Civil War.
Upon entry in the war, the Rostov-on-Don displaced its prowess during a late night attack on an Islamic State encampment inside the Al-Raqqa Governorate.
“Rostov-on-Don was ordered to fire its Kalibr-PL missiles on several ISIS emplacements. Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu described the attack in a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin: ‘We used Kalibr cruise missiles from the Rostov-on-Don submarine from the Mediterranean Sea… we can say with complete confidence that fairly serious damage was done to weapons stores and a factory for preparing mines and, naturally, oil infrastructure,'” National Interest continued.
“The same ‘serious damage’ could unquestionably have been inflicted by the many Russian bomber aircraft active in the area, but the use of Rostov-on-Don was far from purposeless. First, it was a live-fire exercise to evaluate Project 636.6 submarines’ combat efficacy against land targets. Second, it was an advertisement for Kalibr’s export variant, the 3M14E “Club-S,” to prospective buyers. Finally, this was one of several displays of Russian sea power to deter Turkish maritime intervention into the Syrian Civil War,” they continued.
According to the publication, the success of the Raqqa operation led to the warship being renamed the “shock submarine.”