On August 25, the press office of the Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet announced that Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Essen frigates will join the Navy’s Mediterranean task force.
“The Black Sea Fleet’s frigates Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Essen are making a planned passage from Sevastopol to the Mediterranean Sea. Currently, the warships’ crews are passing through the Black Sea’s Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits … According to the plan, the warships will join the Navy’s permanent blue-water task force already by the end of the day,” the press office said.
Both Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Essen were seen crossing the Bosporus Strait hours ahead of the Black Sea Fleet statement. The two frigates are armed with Kalibr cruise missiles and equipped with Shtil-1 medium-range surface-to-air missile systems.
Russia builds up in preparation for the final chapter of the #Syria war: Armed with Kalibr SS-N-27 missiles, Admiral Grigorovich class frigates #ВМФ #ЧФ Admiral Grigorovich & Admiral Essen transit Bosphorus towards Med back-to-back en route to #Tartus. My pics v @reuterspictures pic.twitter.com/dE65QIYWke
— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) August 25, 2018
A day earlier, Yörük Işık, a photographer and an observer of the Bosporus, reported that Krivak II class frigate Pytlivy and two Tapir class landing ships Orsk and Nikolay Filchenkov transited the strait en route to the coastal Syrian governorate of Tartus.
Final Showdown in #Syria: First time in 2 years, Russian Navy transited Bosphorus with 3 ships at the same time. #BМФ #ЧФ BSF Krivak II Class frigate Pytlivy and #ЧФ BSF Tapir class LSTs Orsk & Nikolay Filchenkov transited Bosphorus towards Mediterranean en route to #Tartus. pic.twitter.com/XKFlTi9B8W
— Yörük Işık (@YorukIsik) August 24, 2018
These ships will support the operations of Russian forces in Syria. Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Essen may even support the upcoming attack of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in northern Syria with cruise missile strikes.