Russia has launched a barrage of cruise missiles against Syria. For the first time from submarine.

Kalibr cruise missiles from submarine in the Med and bombs from Tu-22 Backfires have pounded targets in Syria.

On Dec. 8, Russia launched a barrage of new air and missile strikes against ground targets in Syria.

The attack was somehow spoiled by the NOTAM (Notice To Airmen) issued by the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority about the “possible missile movement throught he airspace of Northern Iraq” for 48 hours from 19.00 on Dec. 6, that forced airlines to cancel flights to Erbil, Iraq.

For the first time, a Russian Navy submarine took part in the strikes successfully hitting its designated target from the Mediterranean Sea: the improved Kilo-class Rostov-on-Don submarine launched the Kalibr-PL cruise missile a submarine-variant of the 3M14TE Kalibr-NK with a maximum range of 2,600 km, fired by a strike group consisting of the Dagestan missile ship, the small-sized missile ships Grad Sviyazhsk, Uglich, Veliky Ustyug early in the morning on Oct. 7 from the Caspian Sea.

The Rostov-on-Don (B-237) is a diesel-electric stealth sub, claimed to be one of the world’s quietest, the first example of the third generation submarines of the Varshavyanka class (Project 636) subs.

According to the Russian MoD, the cruise missiles targeted the “two major terrorist positions in the territory of Raqqa.”

Note: the submarine did not launch the missile from an underwater position.

Air strikes were also conducted by RuAF aircraft based at Latakia, and by some Tu-22M Backfire bombers from Mozdok airbase, in Ossetia, that performed 60 combat sorties in the last three days, dropping iron bombs on their targets.

Image credit: Russian Navy


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. I always wondered: is targeting pod footage quality purposely degraded or is it actually like that?

  2. je constate une fois de plus que nos amis Russes font le ménage contre Daech, avec une riposte
    imprèssionnante,il ont une force aérienne sans commune mesure!!!!

  3. A kind reminder to the war hawks encroaching Russia:
    “We must analyze everything happening on the battlefield, how the
    weapons operate. The Kalibrs (sea based cruise missiles) and KH-101
    (airborne cruise missile) have proved to be modern and highly effective,
    and now we know it for sure – precision weapons that can be equipped
    with both conventional and special warheads, which are nuclear,” Putin said.
    “Naturally, this is not necessary when fighting terrorists and, I hope, will never be needed,” the president added.

  4. the real question is how many ‘takes’ did it take before they had footage without one of the missiles blowing up or veering off course into the ocean after launch?

  5. diesel electric submarine are not stealth and easily spotted by nato : only stealth submarines are fuel cell ones, and secondly the nuclear powered western ones.: a submarine that is not stealth is not useful in a real war scenario vs advanced systems, that is why russia have no submarines vs a possible nato confrontation.

Comments are closed.