Sentinels of Peace: Crimeans Resting Easy With Bal and Bastion Missiles on Duty

© Sputnik / Vitaly Ankov / Go to the photo bankA missile launch from a new Bastion coastal defense missile system which entered service in the Pacific Fleet coastal units in 2016
A missile launch from a new Bastion coastal defense missile system which entered service in the Pacific Fleet coastal units in 2016 - Sputnik International
Two-and-a-half years after Crimea rejoined Russia in 2014, there is an impressive military contingent currently deployed there capable of fighting back any outside military threat to the Black Sea peninsula, Rossiiskaya Gazeta wrote.

Crimea has recently seen its defenses dramatically ramped up with the arrival of the state-of-the-art Bal and Bastion mobile coastal defense batteries, the Novorossiisk and Rostov-on-Don nuclear submarines, S-300, S-400, BukM2 and Pantsir-S1 air defense systems.


The Bal mobile anti-ship missile system is designed to control territorial waters and protect naval bases and other coastal facilities and infrastructure.

The Bal system was adopted by the Russian Armed Forces in 2008.

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It consists of two self-propelled command and communication control centers, up to four self-propelled launchers, Kh-35/Kh-35E and Kh-35U/Kh-35UE missiles in transporter-launcher containers and four transport-erector units designed to prepare a secondary launch less than three seconds  after the initial one.

The effective range of a Kh-35 missile is 120 kilometers and 260 kilometers for the Kh-35U.


The Bastion is a mobile surface-to-ship missile system (NATO reporting name – SSC-5 Stooge). Development began during the 1990s and the first three systems entered active service on the Black Sea coast in 2010.

The weapon is designed to destroy various surface ships, convoys and landing craft, aircraft carrier battle groups, single ships and surface targets under intense fire and electronic countermeasures.

The Bastion launcher carries a pair of P-800 Onix/Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles with an effective range of 300 km with hi-low flight trajectory and 120 km with low-low flight trajectory.

A battery of Bastions consists of 4 mobile launchers, 1-2 command and control vehicles, 1 support vehicle and 4 transloaders. Launcher vehicles can be located up to 25 km away from the command and control vehicles.

The whole Bastion battery is controlled from the main naval headquarters. Launcher vehicles can also operate autonomously.

The Crimean peninsula seceded from Ukraine and reunified with Russia after more than 96 percent of local voters supported the move in a referendum in March 2014.

Kiev, as well as the European Union, the United States and their allies, did not recognize the move and consider the peninsula to be occupied territory. They imposed a number of individual and economic sanctions against Russia, forcing Russia to retaliate with a ban on various imports from Europe.

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