According to the New York Times report, a recent Russian shipment to Syria included an advanced form of the Yakhont, a 6.7m-long (22ft) missile with a range of 290km (180 miles) and carrying either a high-explosive or armour-piercing warhead.UPDATE: NYTimes reports(along the line of Steeljaw's question in the comments below) that these are new and improved Yakhonts:
Russia has previously provided a version of the missiles, called Yakhonts, to Syria. But those delivered recently are outfitted with an advanced radar that makes them more effective, according to American officials who are familiar with classified intelligence reports and would only discuss the shipment on the basis of anonymity.Yep, it is a order fulfillment from some time ago - one warned of here in 2010:
Four decades later, the P800 Yakhont is far superior than the Styx missiles that failed to protect the Syrian Navy in 1973. Much like the Russian-Indian Brahmos, the earlier Moskit and Supersonic Alpha, Yakhont has the capability to strike its target at supersonic speed, flyingMore on the Yakhont here. 180 mile/300 km maximum range spells some danger to near shore forces, but probably not so much to ships operations in "bluer" water.
at very low level, leaving the defender much shorter time to react.
Arrow points to Tartus
AEGIS systems, used on U.S. Navy and many NATO vessels, the European PAAMS, used by the Royal Navy, French and Italian navies and Israel’s new Barak 8 ship air defense system are designed to match such treats. So does Israel’s ‘Magic Wand’ system, employing the Stunner missile interceptor, capable to counter these potent missiles effectively if employed in surface/surface or ship/surface role.
|Box is around Port of Tartus|
The BBC also notes:
Another US newspaper, the Wall Street Journal (see here), reports that Moscow has deployed at least a dozen warships to patrol waters near the Russian naval base in the Syrian city of Tartus.
|Bora Class Guided Missile Corvette Samum|
More on that base here.
Our friend Cem Devrim Yaylalı (a/k/a Saturn5) has been keeping track of Russian warship traffic through the Turkish Straits, including a new visitor to those waters which appears to have returned home.