Russian Naval Pilots Carry Out Complex Search and Destroy Exercises, Hunting for Enemy Subs

To make a non-stop 10,000-km-long flight, and to hunt for an enemy submarine which lurked at great depths in an unfamiliar area: this task was completed by the naval aviation pilots in the Mediterranean Sea. They worked under the cover of fighter airplanes. Such combat maneuvers were carried out for the first time.

Veronika Bogma reports on this.


The crew of the Tu-142 is getting ready to soar into the sky in order to find a target deep beneath the water. The planes arrived from permanent airfields which are thousands of miles away.

"I don't feel much exhaustion. A lot depends on the ship's commander, on the crew's composition, and on the crew's spirit throughout the flight".

Instead of ammunition, the plane is loaded with radio location devices and sonobuoys, which are smart buoys stuffed with electronics that are able to scan the water. ​​They will be dropped into the water to gather information.

The planes have to fly to the Mediterranean Sea, where the ships of the permanent Russian naval group are already waiting; together they will search for mock enemy submarines. An undertaking in a previously unfamiliar area: apart from ships, it also involves planes. Su-30SM fighter airplanes provide air cover. As the buoys get dropped, the pilots create a field within which submarines can't hide. The crew identify and classify them, and determine the target's parameters: rate, speed, and depth.

Upon his return late at night, the aircraft commander sums up briefly: "The flight was successful, my crew gave it 100%".

A rare opportunity to visit the cockpit once engines stopped. This is one of the most comfortable flight decks by the standards of long-range aviation. The pilots say that they handled the 12-hour-long flight easily. What gives energy is the realization that the mission has been accomplished. Working in the southeast of the Mediterranean Sea has its peculiarities:

"The southern seas are typically deep, so it's easier for submarines to maneuver and hide from search forces. Of course, this makes you have to think on your feet so as to prevent them from doing this. This can be a bit challenging, but at the same time, it really gets you going, it makes you work better, smarter, and with more self-confidence".

As exercises ended, the airplanes returned to their permanent duty stations.

Veronika Bogma, Eduard Ilyin, Vladimir Shmakov, Denis Denisov and Yury Zavyazkin, Vesti.