The Russian Defence Ministry has released a video showing two Buyan class corvettes of the Russian Black Sea Fleet – Zelenyy Dor and Serpukhov – launching Kalibr cruise missiles against Jabhat Al-Nusra positions from the Mediterranean.
The cruise missile strike took place on 19th August 2016.
Buyan class corvettes, together with a larger Gerard class corvette, were also the ships the Russians previously used to carry out cruise missile against Jihadi positions in Syria from the Caspian Sea. There are rumours that more strikes from ships in the Caspian Sea will take place shortly.
Buyan class corvettes are small warships displacing no more than 1,000 tons full load. Their small size means that they are theoretically capable of operating on Russia’s rivers and lakes and carrying out cruise missile strikes from there.
The limiting factor of their small size is that the number of cruise missiles they can each carry is limited to just eight. That means that the total number of cruise missiles launched from the Mediterranean on Friday cannot have numbered more than 16 missiles.
This is not a sufficiently large number of missiles to make a major impact and is dwarfed by the scale of the bombing the Russian Aerospace Forces are carrying out. The purpose of the missile strike from the Mediterranean would therefore have been mainly to test and demonstrate the capability the Russians have achieved in carrying out such strikes.