Russian Navy movements under the eye of Triton

Today, the US Navy Northrop Grumman MQ-4C “Triton” (reg. 1696659 – c/s BLACKCAT5) is conducting a mission over the central Mediterranean. The drone, launched overnight from NAS Sigonella, has completed two long orbits between Crete and Libya. Maritime tracking sites have not reported any “sensitive” ships in the area, but as with aircraft, some ships, especially military units, may not be visible on these sites.

In recent days, several Russian Navy military units, including the landing ships Ropucha and Ivan Gren, the frigate Steregushchiy, the corvette Buyan-M, the cruiser Varyag, and the oiler Kama, have departed from Tartus. It’s unclear whether they are sailing together or if the corvette is escorting the landing ships (as was the case the last time they transported materials to Libya), while the Varyag and Steregushchiy may be operating independently.

What we do know is that it’s highly likely that one or more of these units is currently in the area where the US Navy drone has been hovering overnight.

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