According to the blog “Russian Navy – News and Analysis” in the last week three russian Navy improved Kilo class SSK (“Krasnodar”, “Volkhov” and “Petropavlovks-Kamhatsky”) entered Mediterranean sea.
The three submarines are added to the 2 already present, bringing the total number of Russian units in the Mediterranean to 5.
Compatibly with the entry into the Mediterranean in recent days and with their final destination (the Syrian port of Tartus) it is highly probable that the Russian tug SB742 is escorting one or more of them. Currently the ship is south of Crete sailing east.
Yesterday we tracked a first surveillance mission made by an ATR P-72 MPA of the Turkish Navy and today the same aircraft (reg. TCB-752 – callsign MARTI81) carried out a similar mission.
It should be noted, however, that today when the aircraft arrived in the vicinity of the Russian ship, it turned off the ADS-B transponder and turned it back on only later.
We would not be surprised if in the next few hours we will also track other missions of this type carried out by other NATO assets.
UPDATE 11/09/21 – 10:40 CEST
A USN Boeing P-8A departed NAS Sigonella is orbiting near the Russian tug SB742 sailing south of Cyprus