Kremlin makes Barents Sea ready for Grom nuclear drill
It’s a routine exercise and not necessarily linked to growing tension and recent nuclear saber-rattling.
The Kremlin has not officially announced the drill, but preparations are in full swing, recent Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) announcements show.
When a ballistic missile or two are launched from a submarine in the Barents Sea, you typically don’t want any civilian airliners to cross the skies. The same goes for the areas of impact.
Norwegian independent defense analyst Thord Are Iversen has mapped Russian NOTAM alerts for the period 24-27 October. He notes that well-known launch areas for the Northern Fleet’s ballistic missile submarine north of the Kola Peninsula are marked. So are the areas of missile impact in the Far East.
1/— Thord Are Iversen (@The_Lookout_N) October 21, 2023
Currently issued Barents Sea NOTAMs, partly overlapping timeframes.
Q2734/23: Grom - prob SS-N-23
Q2717/23: Grom - prob ICBM from Plesetsk
Q2659/23 and Q2783/23: Unknown purpose, regularly issued, also during strat exer.
Q2621/23: NORFLT live firing.
Novaya Zemlya see ⬇️ https://t.co/LVUAr8xRVL pic.twitter.com/CehWndVQwK
There are also impact notifications for the Kura Test Range at Cape Kanin in the eastern Barents Sea, likely for a missile launched by submarines with the Pacific fleet that crosses the Arctic skies.
GROM [Russian for Thunder] normally includes a land-based missile launch from Plesetsk in the Arkhangelsk region. In recent years, Russia has also included cruise missiles launched from aircraft and warships in the northwestern part of the country.