Naval vessels at port in Severomorsk. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Artillery and rocket-shootings here, there, everywhere

Large area of the Barents Sea north of the Kola Peninsula closed off for shipping.
May 15, 2018

Coastal defense and naval vessels are likely to conduct multiple launching of cruise missiles, artillery- and rocket shootings lasting until Friday May 18.

It is the Port Administration for Western Arctic’s Murmansk branch that have issued warnings and closure orders for larger parts of the Barents Sea. Such warnings are always issued up-front to avoid civilian vessels to sail into dangerous situations.

In several separate information notes, the Maritime Port Administration gives coordinates for different areas closed off at different times. Shootings started on May 12th and the last warning last until the end of this week. Areas covered stretches from the outlet of the Kola Bay in the south, to the Fishermen Peninsula in the west and north, northeast from the Kildin Island to 71.30 northern latitude in the Barents Sea.

The warnings and closed-off notices do not specify exactly what weapons are to be fired, but use general terms like «artillery», «rocket- and artillery», «miscellaneous operations» and «missile rockets». That is likely to include both launches and shootings from land-based weaponry as well as weaponry on board naval vessels. None of the warnings indicate launching of submarine-based ballistic missiles (SLBM).

This week, naval vessels from five NATO countries are exercising anti-submarine warfare in the waters off the coast of Nordland, Northern Norway.