Russian Warship Korolev Passed Through Istanbul With Cargo On Her Deck
5 Sep 2015 17 Comments
On 3 September 2015 two Ropucha class large landing ship of Russian Navy made their southbound passage through Bosphorus.
Their passage would not be remarkable if one of the ships had cargo stored on her forecastle. The landing ship Korolev is assigned to the Baltic Fleet. But since July the ship is going back and forth between the Black Sea and Mediterranean.
The Ropucha class ships have a through tank deck which means a tank can roll on front the end of the ship and roll off at from the aft of the ship. Many Ropucha class warships passed through the Turkish Straits but their cargo was always inside the ship.
The cargo stored on the forecastle of Korolev was a first. The cargo was stored between the gun and the rocket launchers. It was covered by camouflage nets. The cargo seems to be large crates probably from wood and it does not appear to be a kind of vehicle like the trucks and the armored personal carriers on Nikolay Filchenkov.
The destination of these ships are not declared but it is believed to be Syria. The Russian support to Syria has intensified since last and much discussed deployment of Nikolay Filchenkov on 20 August 2015. Since that day, 4 Ropucha class landing ships have been dispatched to the region: Azov and Tsezar Kunikov on 26 August followed by Korolev and Novocharkassk on 3 September.