The Bastion: Integrated coastal defence complex


When Crimea joined Russia, the Russian Naval Command needed an integrated coastal defence system on the Black Sea. A key element of the new coastal defence system in this developed as the Bastion: a unique missile complex on the Black Sea, described by analysts as among the best such defence systems worldwide. Discussions are on to bolster this with a network of defensive posts along Russia’s Black Sea coast, to be based on a stationary missile system; the silo-based Bastion-S (“S” for stationary).

Russia pioneered the land-based missile system to protect its coastlines. The first such defensive complex consisted of cruise missiles, then called “flying bombs,” and was in place in the Soviet Union in the late 1950s.

These missiles ranged from between 15 and 95 kms. In 1972, the Crimean base operated a new missile system, the ‘Utes’ (Rock Cliff), using P-35B anti-ship cruise missiles with a range of upto 300 kms, and a modified version of the Progress, with a range of 460 kms. The mobile launching pad with these missiles was the ‘Redut’ (redoubt).

Stationary systems were decommissioned years ago, but a change in the military-political situation has prompted Russia’s military leadership to again revisit this mechanism.

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