According to the Royal Joint Institute for Defense Research in London, Russia has begun preparations for regular patrolling of the Gulf of Mexico by missile carriers of its Long-Range Aviation. The West, citing its own data, warned about this through the publication of Marseille News by an expert of the named institute. Justin Bronk, an expert in the Air Force.
“Given the maneuvers of NATO forces near the border with Russia, as well as their actions in the Ukrainian region, Russia has made an unprecedented decision. She intends to send her bombers to patrol the Gulf of Mexico, ”said Mr. Bronk.
In a commentary to Marseille News, it is said that if and when this does become a fact, it will be “a signal to the United States that the Russians are pretty tired of NATO maneuvers and provocations along their borders.”
We can add: at the same time, the world will find itself a second time plunged into a most dangerous military-political situation, similar to the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. When, let me remind you, according to the decision Nikita Khrushchev In response to the appearance of American Jupiter medium-range missiles in Turkey, during the strategic operation Anadyr, the USSR secretly transferred its ground-based atomic weapons to Cuba across the Atlantic. In those days, on both sides of the ocean, the fingers of nuclear missile operators lay right on the trigger buttons for weeks around the clock.
Subsequently, a well-known Soviet political scientist Fyodor Burlatsky recalled those days: “Everything was much calmer with us than with the Americans. After all, we understood that the Americans are civilized people, that they would not go to a nuclear war that could halve their population. The Americans, on the other hand, suspected that we were robbers in a sense. But to me personally McNamara then he said that on the 27th (October 27, 1962, after an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council – “SP”) he thought: will I see the sunrise tomorrow? That is, they were more shocked than we were. And they are more informed. The press was noisy, the population was preparing shelters. “
So, the time comes when it is time for the Americans to collect the manats on the closets and think about forced resettlement underground? For now – at least about temporary relocation, under the concrete vaults of long-dug bunkers? If the events around the escalating confrontation between Russia and NATO continue in the same vein, nothing can be ruled out. However, does this mean that in London the other day, by some miracle, they managed to look into the top-secret directives of our General Staff and were horrified?
I do not think. A simple logical analysis of the practical actions and open statements of the Russian military-political leadership after the crisis of 2014 is indeed capable of anyone, in my opinion, to conclude that the Caribbean Crisis 2.0, alas, is quite likely soon. And the regular appearance of Russian “strategists” in the sky over the “soft underbelly” of the United States is a matter of, perhaps, literally a few months.
Let’s just follow Justin Bronk and try to at least partially restore the chronicle of Moscow’s rise in political temperature over those waters in response to the actions of the US Navy and Air Force over the Black Sea, Ukraine and the Baltic in recent years. And then, of course, we will definitely agree with him. The forecast from London is very real.
November 12, 2014 in Moscow at a meeting of the board of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu made a statement that seemed to have raised the whole of America on its hind legs: “The plans for combat training of long-range aviation units provide for aircraft flights along the borders of the Russian Federation and over the waters of the Arctic Ocean. In the current situation, we are forced to provide a military presence in the western part of the Atlantic and in the eastern part of the Pacific oceans, in the waters of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico “
About a month later, in December, the Washington Times reported: “US intelligence is concerned that Russia is taking steps to implement plans to conduct strategic nuclear bombers over the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, possibly with the help of Cuba and Venezuela.”
According to the newspaper, “representatives of the Russian Federation have already held talks with the governments of both countries on the possibility of using airfields for landing strategic Tu-95MS bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons.” Moreover, at the Mayketia airport near the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, work has begun to lengthen the main runway so that it will be able to receive Russian Tu-95MS bombers.
The huge distances that Russian military pilots have to cover in the course of such missions have not been an insurmountable obstacle for them for a long time.
So, on June 9, 2010, two Tu-160 missile carriers set a record for the range and duration of the flight. On that day, taking off from the airfield in Engels, with two refueling in the air from four Il-78 tankers, they covered almost 20 thousand kilometers in 24 hours and 24 minutes. And then they landed in the same Engels.
In the same year, two crews of our Tu-95MS set their own similar range record. Which from the operational airfield Vorkuta in 42 hours and 17 minutes walked over the northeastern Atlantic, the Arctic Ocean and eventually ended up over another ocean – the Pacific. In total, 28 thousand kilometers are left behind. The American states on the Atlantic coast (say, Florida, Georgia, Virginia and others) are much closer to our Volga region. Even from Engels, even from Vorkuta.
Accordingly, from that time on, Russian Long-Range Aviation began to actively explore approaches to the United States from the Atlantic Ocean. Although to this day it is in the nature of one-time and clearly demonstrative actions of intimidation of the United States.
For example, in December 2018, a pair of Tu-160 flew to Venezuela together with the military transport An-124 and the long-haul Il-62 of the Russian Aerospace Forces. And in March 2020, another pair of the same aircraft performed a planned flight in airspace over the waters of the Barents, Norwegian Seas and the Atlantic Ocean. The duration of this flight was over 15 hours.
I agree: so far each such sortie of our “strategists” still looks more like a feat, which, as you know, is never performed anywhere on a daily basis. It bears little resemblance to the regular patrol flights that Americans allow themselves wherever they please. And every appearance of our missile carriers near the States is clearly being prepared for weeks, if not months. A huge amount of effort, money and fuel is spent on each. How can this be changed?
The only way is to acquire an operational airfield for Russian Long-Range Aviation somewhere in the region of Central or Latin America. By the way, we already had such an opportunity. Moreover, relatively recently, in 2008.
Then the former Chief of Staff of Long-Range Aviation, Major General Anatoly Zhikharev spoke about a very unusual proposal by the then President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez. Namely: Chavez announced his readiness to lease his Archila island to Russia for organizing a base of our strategic aviation on it.
Moreover. A delegation of the Russian military, headed by Zhikharev, even visited this island. And I made sure that the local military airfield, after a little modernization, will indeed be able to receive our heavy missile carriers. “The length of its runway is 3200 meters. It remains to build up 300 meters. Of these, the parking lot is 200 meters, and, in principle, 100 meters of clean land should be turned into concrete, ”the general explained.
But, as they say, then for some reason the base “did not grow together.” And then Chavez himself died. And just a lot of all political water has flowed under the bridge.
However, in the same conversation with journalists, Zhikharev mentioned another state in the same context – Cuba. “With Cuba, it’s possible … In Cuba, there are four or five airfields with a runway length of four thousand meters, which are quite satisfactory for us. There will be the will of the heads of the two states, the will of the political, we are ready to fly there, “added the chief of staff of the” long-range workers “.
And it is this option that seems to be more realistic today. In any case, Moscow’s military-technical cooperation with the Cubans has been developing rapidly in recent years.
As a result: back in 2014, the Kommersant newspaper announced that Havana was ready to return to us what was left of the most important Russian radio interception center in Lourdes, recklessly abandoned by the Kremlin’s will in 2001 on Liberty Island. Located here, just 90 miles from Florida, the reconnaissance equipment delivered to Moscow just a lot of the most important intercepted information.
Why aren’t we in Lourdes yet again? Only the Kremlin knows about the true reasons. But, of course, if it does tell the general public, it will only someday. Let’s say in someone’s brilliant memoirs. However, the very fact of the existence of such negotiations still looks quite encouraging.
In January 2015, the day before the start of the US-Cuban talks on the restoration of diplomatic relations, the Viktor Leonov reconnaissance ship of our Northern Fleet arrived in Havana without warning. In March 2018, the Leonov repeated its call to Cuba and even docked there with a small inter-voyage repair.
In February 2020, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral, flew to Havana on a mysterious six-day visit Nikolay Evmenov… As usual, our defense department spoke about the results of this trip only in the most general terms. But Washington, closely following this, was categorical: the admiral was talking in Havana about the creation of a Russian military base on the island.
In any case, a few months later (in August of the same year) the official representative of the US State Department Morgan Ortagus expressed an official protest on this very occasion. They say that the creation of a Russian naval base in Cuba is a direct violation of the agreements between Moscow and Washington, in force since the end of the Cuban missile crisis. Although in reality, after that crisis, the parties decided to abandon the mutual deployment of only land-based nuclear missiles under the nose of a potential adversary. But not air and sea carriers of such weapons. What the Americans themselves have long and shamelessly used at the western and eastern borders of Russia.
Well, if we manage to agree with the Cubans on the regular dispatch of warships to visit them, then Havana will simply have no way back. After that, in exchange for large-scale and all kinds of assistance from Russia, she will certainly agree to accept our heavy bombers.
Then, indeed, to the dismay of the Americans, regular aerial patrols of their Gulf Coast will become possible. But in the context of the events taking place today in the Black and Baltic Seas, as well as over their waters, this will actually not be our choice, but their choice!
Judging by the publication in Marseille News, Mr. Justin Bronk came to the same conclusion the other day, with whose apocalyptic forecasts about the Cuban Missile Crisis 2.0 we started this conversation.
And at this time
The hypothetical, but very likely use by Russia of new air bases in the western hemisphere would allow close to the US coast to move not only the mentioned missile carriers of the Tu-160 and Tu-95MS types, of which we do not have so many in the combat strength of the Aerospace Forces. But also the supersonic long-range bombers Tu-22M3.
According to the Chinese newspaper Sohu, in this case, their most unpleasant feature for the Americans would be the actual invulnerability of the US fighter aircraft. First of all – on the part of the highly publicized fifth-generation stealth fighters of the F-35 type, whose maximum speed is only Mach 1.6. But the Russian Tu-22M3 is capable of performing a long flight much faster – at a speed of Mach 1.88.