Russian Submarine Alrosa Passed Through Bosphorus

Russian submarine Alrosa passing through Bosphorus.

It was like a scene from the old cold war comedy “The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming“. You don’t see an active duty Russian submarine passing through your neighborhood everyday. So it was a big day for me.

The Kilo class Russian diesel – electric submarine Alrosa came from the Marmara Sea and passed by the Topkapı Place and entered into the Bosphorus. She is on her way to her homeport Sevastopol.

Alrosa departed the Baltic town of Kronstadt in late August where she was laid up for scheduled overhaul since July 2011.

In November 2011 during training she suffered serious engine problem and had to be towed back to Sevastopol. She was repaired and later took part in NATO’s largest submarine rescue exercise Bold Monarc 2011 off the coast of Spain.

Alrosa (originally Varshavyanka), a Kilo-class Project 877 diesel submarine, entered service in December 1990. It was renamed Alrosa in 2004 after it was “adopted” by Russia’s largest diamond company of the same name. She is the only submarine in active service with the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Russian submarine Alrosa passing through Bosphorus.

Russian submarine Alrosa passing through Bosphorus.

Russian Submarine Alrosa Is Closer To Home

The submarine Alrosa docking in Ceuta. Photo: From

The Kilo class Russian submarine Alrosa, in escort of the tugs Shakhter and SB-921 is nearing her home port.

The task force arrived in 6th September 2012 in Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

Ceuta was visited by 23 Russian warships since 2012 which has become a major point of provisioning.

The task force is currently off the Greek island Milos and approximately 240 nautical miles from the Dardanelles.

 A submarine and two tugs of the Russian Navy will call at Ceuta between Saturday and Monday. Specifically, the first tug arrived on Monday morning and will do the submarine and the second tug. These tugs’ Shakter ‘and salvage tug’ SB-921 ‘and the submarine “-B-871 Alrosa’ than other ships of the Russian fleet returns to dock at the port facilities. 
Tomorrow comes ‘Shakter’, having expected to dock at the Levante dock doing work fueling and provisioning.This ship has a staff composed of two officers, ten petty officers and sailors, as well as 40 civilian crew, they were already in July last year and will again in a few days while completing Ceuta provisioning tasks. 
For Monday is due to arrive submarine ‘Alrosa’ belonging to the Black Sea Fleet, has a staff of 60 crew, consisting of 18 officers, 24 petty officers and sailors, who also conduct spring victualling in Spain, where you take fuel, water and provisions. Also another salvage tug will have the same characteristics as above and also perform provisioning tasks. 
Throughout the months of this year and the units whose arrival is expected this weekend, will be a total of 7 ships have come to port so far this year. In total, since the first ship of the Russian Navy arrived in Ceuta in 2010 and the latter to have come in 2012, just two years ago, are a total of 23, the Russian ships that have chosen the Port of Ceuta for their provisioning tasks. 
The Chamber of Commerce has issued a circular to the shops are open.

Russian Submarine Alrosa, Is Returning Home

It was important news when the sole Russian submarine of the Black Sea Fleet Alrosa participated in the NATO exercise Bold Monarch last year.

However she did not returned to her homeport Sevastopol after the exercise has ended and proceeded  to Kronshtadt for an overhaul. Alrosa suffered a serious engine trouble in 2009. An extensive overhaul was need for the Alrosa (originally Varshavyanka), a Kilo-class Project 877 diesel submarine, entered service in December 1990. She was renamed Alrosa in 2004 after it was “adopted” by Russia’s largest diamond company of the same name.

Black Sea Fleet (BSF) diesel-electric submarine Alrosa commanded by Capt 2 Rank Anton Zaitsev started an interfleet cruise from Kronshtadt to homeport Sevastopol. 

In May-June 2011, the submarine along with BSF rescue ships visited Spanish port Cartagena and took part in the Bold Monarch 2011 joint submarine-salvage exercise for the first time in her record. After that, Alrosa headed for Kronshtadt and was laid up for scheduled overhaul. 

The submarine is being escorted by Baltic Fleet (BF) rescue tug SB-921. However, early in Sept the escort will be taken over by BSF rescue tug Shakhter in Spanish port Ceuta. 

Alrosa is expected to arrive in Sevastopol late Sept 2012. 

Diesel-electric submarine Alrosa was laid down on May 7, 1988 at the Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard. The sub was built under experimental project 877V. 

In Nov 1989, the submarine moved to the Black Sea via inland waterways; Soviet naval ensign was hoisted on the sub then. In Jan 2004, she obtained the name of Alrosa by Russian Navy Commander’s decree. Since 1997, the sub’s crew five times won the Navy Commander’s Prize in torpedo firing. 

The last sentence is very ironic as there is no other Russian submarine in the Black Sea Fleet, thus she has no local competitors.

>Will Russian Submarine Alrosa Participate In Bold Monarch, Or Not?


Proud Manta 11 is not the only majorNATO naval exercise planned for this year in the Mediterranean.

Exercise Bold Monarch 2011, a majorNATO live submarine escape and rescue exercise will be in theMediterranean off the coast of Cartegena, Spain from 1-9 June 2011.Approximately 2000 participants will come from over 10 nations,including 3 partner nations and 1 Mediterranean Dialogue country.

During the exercise, three submarines,one each from the Netherlands, Norway and France, will be bottomed tosimulate sinking. Support personnel and equipment from Canada, FranceGermany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, TheRussian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United Stateswill work together to solve complex rescue and medical problems in avariety of demanding scenarios.

This last information contradics withnews from Russia. The Russian Website Rusnavy claims that RussianBlack Sea Fleet is preparing Kilo Class submarine Alrosa for thisexercise, although definitive decision has not been made yet. If thedecision is positive, the submarine would have to sail off Sevastopolearly in May to reach the Mediterranean Sea via Bosporus andDardanelles.

Considering that Bold Monarch is asearch-and-rescue exercise, several BSF salvage ships and tugs may alsopaticipate.

Will a Russian submarine realy take part in a NATO exercise? We will have to wait. Numbered days passes quickly says one Turkish proverb.

>Russian Submarine Alrosa Back To The Sea


© RIA Novosti. Igor Chuprin

This is an interesting coincidence. Little did I know when I wrote almost one week ago that the operational status of Russian submarine Alrosa was doubtful.

Today the Russian news portal RIA Novosti ran an article about that submarine. It seems that the repairs work is finished and the submarine is back at the sea again for trials.

She had fire broke out in her engine department in November 2009 and she was in dry dock for the repairs ever since.

The Alrosa (originally Varshavyanka), a Kilo-class Project 877 diesel submarine, entered service in December 1990. It was renamed Alrosa in 2004 after it was “adopted” by Russia’s largest diamond company of the same name.

She is the only submarine in active service with the Russian Black Sea Fleet. It is based at a Russian naval base in Sevastopol on Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

>More About Alrosa Incident

>After the incident on board of the submarine B-871 Alrosa, Russia is left without any operational submarine in the Black Sea.

Currently Russian Black Sea Fleet has two submarines. One is the Kilo class (Type 877) Alrosa and the other is Tango class B-380. The later is undergoing a lengthy modernization period and is not available for immediate service.

The extend of the Alrosa’s mishap is not made public yet. Therefore it can only be speculated how long she will remain out of service. But giving the status of the Russian naval shipbuilding industry this can be a long period.

RiaNovosti has an interesting article about the accident.

Russian Submarine Krasnodar Transited Southbound Trough Istanbul

Today improved Kilo class (Proj. 636.3) submarine of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Krasnodar made an unexpected southbound passage through Bosphorus.

The submarine one of the six units built specially for the Black Sea Fleet has been deployed in the region since 7.8.2017. She has 6 533mm torpedo tubes and carries a combination of up to 18 torpedoes, SS-N-27 anti-ship, and Kalibr land attack missiles.

While a southbound passage of a Russian submarine is very rare, it is has happened before. Russian Kilo class (Proj. 877) submarine Alrosa suffered an engine fire in 2009 and had to go to the Baltic for extensive repairs. She did even take part in the NATO exercise Bold Monarch 2011. Yes, it was different times then.

The Montreux Convention regulates the passage of submarines. While the submarines of non-Black Sea nations are forbidden to pass through the Straits, the submarines of the Black Sea riparian States may pass under certain conditions

Article 12.

Black Sea Powers shall have the right to send through the Straits, for the purpose of rejoining their base, submarines constructed or purchased outside the Black Sea, provided that adequate notice of the laying down or purchase of such submarines shall have been given to Turkey. Submarines belonging to the said Powers shall also be entitled to pass through the Straits to be repaired in dockyards outside the Black Sea on condition that detailed information on the matter is given to Turkey. In either case, the said submarines must travel by day and on the surface and must pass through the Straits singly.

The provision in the convention is very clear. If Krasnodar exited the Black Sea for repairs then this passage does not break the rules of the convention. If the submarine, however, joins her 2 sisters all ready stationed in the Med since 2017 and conducts military operations, then this will be a clear breach of the Montreux Convention. We will know better in a few days.

Russian Submarine Stary Oskol Passed Through Bosphorus


Russian submarine Stary Oskol passing through Istanbul.


Russian submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-88 and trailed by Turkish ASW boat P-1207 TCG Tekirdağ during the submarines passage through Istanbul. Frigate TCG Yıldırım was waiting for the submarine at the northern entrance of the Strait.


Stary Oskol is the third improved Kilo class submarine assigned to the Black Sea Fleet.


On 29 June 2016, the improved Kilo submarine of the Black Sea Fleet, Stary Oskol made her inaugural passage through Istanbul Strait.
She is the third of a four Varshavyanka submarines being build for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The first pair of these submarines, Novorossiysk and Rostov-na-Donu are already been commissioned.

With the arrival of this boat, the number of submarines in Russian Black Sea Fleet has increased to four: the Kilo class Alrosa and the impreoved Kilo (Varshavyanka) class Novorossiysk, Rostav-na-Donu and Stary Oskol.

During her passage through Istanbul Strait, the submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-88 and trailed by anti submarine warfare patrol boat TCG Tekirdağ. Turkish frigate TCG Yıldırım was waiting for her at the northern enterance of the Istanbul Strait.

Russian Submarine Rostav-na-Donu Passed Through Bosphorus


Rostav-na-Donu passing by Topkapı Palace.


Rostav-na-Donu passing through Istanbul.


The submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard boat TCSG-90.


A close up view of Rostav-na-Donu.


Rostav-na-Donu, was trailed by Turkish Tuzla class ASW patrol boat TCG Tuzla during her passage through Bosphorus.

Last Sunday, on 13 December 2015, the improved Kilo submarine of the Black Sea Fleet, Rostav-na-Donu made her inaugural passage through Istanbul Strait.

She is the second of a four boat of the six Varshavyanka submarines being build for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The first of these submarines, Novorossiysk has already been commissioned.

Rostav-na-Donu made headlines before her arrival. 4 days prior her passage she has fired undisclosed amount 3M-14 submarine launched cruise missiles to targets in Syria.  With the arrival of this boat, Russian Black Sea Fleet operates three submarines: the Kilo class Alrosa and the impreoved Kilo (Varshavyanka) class Novorossiysk and  Rostav-na-Donu.

During her passage thourg IStanbul Strait, the submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-90 and trailed by anti submarine warfare patrol boat TCG Tuzla.

Russian Submarine Novorossiysk Passed Through Bosphorus


Novorossiysk passing by the Hagia Sophia as she enteres the Bosphorus.


Novorossiysk on Istanbul Strait.


A close-up to her sail.


A bow view of Novorossiysk. On her left is the TCSG-10 from Turkish Coast Guard. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.


A bow view of Novorossiysk. TCG Tekirdağ can be clearly seen following the submarine. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.


The salvage and mooring ship Sayany seen during her northbound passage.

The Kilo class submarine Novorossiysk and her escort the salvage ship Sayany passed through Istanbul yesterday.

Novorossiysk is a newly build submarine and is the first of the 6 submarines Russia wants to deploy to the Black Sea Fleet. Currently only one Kilo class submarine Alrosa is operational in the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Although her design is dated Novorossiysk was laid down in 2010 and launched in 2013. She was commissioned in Russian Navy in August 2014.

Alrosa returned to the Black Sea on 19 September 2011 after a lengthy overhaul. She was damaged by a fire in her engine department.

Novorossiysk had a considerable entourage when she passed through the Bosphorus. TCSG-10, a small Turkish Coast Guard vessel provided her close security while Tuzla class ASW patrol boat TCG Tekirdağ, trailed her. The last ship of the entourage was the Russian salvage and mooring ship Sayany. She belongs to the Russian Pacific Fleet but escorted Novorossiysk on her maiden deployment from Malta.

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