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Rediff.com  » News » Russia's war machine in fight against Islamic State

Russia's war machine in fight against Islamic State

Last updated on: December 18, 2015 14:08 IST

Settled several miles off the coast of Syria, the Russian warship Moskva, armed with state-of-the-art missile technology, is a formidable symbol of Russia's naval might in the ongoing fight with the Islamic State.

Russian missile cruiser Moskva is moored in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol. Photograph: Stringer/ Reuters

Fitted with a brawny air defence system, the Moskva is currently located off the Syrian city of Latakia to aid the Russian air force planes crossing the Syrian skies.

The warship was deployed in response to the downing of a Russian bomber by Turkish fighter jets near their border, an incident that resulted in the death of two Russian troops. 

Russian missile cruiser Moskva is moored in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol. Photograph: Stringer/ Reuters

The Moskva has the naval version of the S-400 anti-aircraft weaponry, the latest in the Russian mobile anti-aircraft system. The anti-aircraft system has a relatively short range of 75 km, depending on the missile used and the warship is presently armed with 64 missiles.

Russia's coat of arms, the double headed eagle, is seen on covers of the missile cruiser Moskva in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol. Photograph: Denis Sinyakov/ Reuters

Captain Alexander Shvarts, who is on board the Russian warship, said, "This system can fire up to twelve missiles at any one time. The range is around 70 kilometres."

A man walks beside the Russian Moskva Guided Missile Cruiser docked at a port. Photograph: Desmond Boylan/ Reuters

The Moskva was deployed close to the Syrian coast that borders with Turkey, in the wake of Turkey's shoot down of a Russian Su-24 jet last month, bringing an extra layer of air defence to the Russian intervention in Syria's civil war.

Russia has launched missiles from the sea during its Syrian campaign, although not from the Moskva.

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