3rd Russian Black Sea fleet ship leaves for Mediterranean to join anti-ISIS op

Guided-missile corvette Mirazh of the Russian Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol. © Vasiliy Batanov
A third Russian warship – the corvette ‘Mirage’ – has left the port of Sevastopol and set sail for the Mediterranean Sea to assist in Russia’s anti-Islamic State operations, the Russian Black Sea Fleet has confirmed.

“The fast-attack guided missile craft (FAC) of the Black Sea, ‘Mirage’, has left Sevastopol and set out on a long Mediterranean journey, after having completed a round of preparations,” the interim head of the information department for the Black Sea fleet, Captain 2nd-rank Nikolay Voskresensky said.

“It is planned that the vessel will go via Black Sea straits and enter the Mediterranean, where it will join the standing naval force of the Russian Fleet in the region,” he added.

The ‘Mirage’ is aimed at protecting sea communications and convoys, and can also fight attack vessels in coastal areas. It is equipped with Malakhit cruise missile launchers and the Osa-M air defense system and artillery.

‘Mirage’ is well-known due to its participation in the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict back in 2008.

This month, ‘Mirage’ went on a two-week trip to the Mediterranean, taking part in the Black Sea drills.

The latest news about ‘Mirage’ comes just a day after the Russian Navy announced that two ships had joined the Russian sea force in Syria: the ‘Serpukhov’ and the ‘Zeleny Dol’.

In September, the Russian Navy said that the aircraft carrier ‘Admiral Kuznetsov’ would be joining up with the country’s naval group operating in the eastern Mediterranean as well, and is to set sail in the middle of October.