Its suspicious, in this Youtube footage, why the camera is so far from the launches. The footage in the above Youtube and this one - (freeze video frame at 6 seconds) seems to show that the submarine is firing the Kalibr-PL cruise missiles while surfaced! If so this is not a true submerged submarine launch achieved by US SSNs or SSGNs or UK SSNs.Putin, on December 8, 2015, has gone to the trouble of launching Kalibr cruise missiles from improved Kilo class submarine Rostov-on-Don for a variety of reasons:
- testing is an addition way to launch cruise missiles under operational conditions. Putin could have launched the Kalibrs by surface ship or ground launched but chose submarine launched because the opportunity presented and because it would be noticed.
- Russia could have used the existing method of fighter-bombers dropping bombs on the targets in Syria. In that sense perhaps the submarine launch is a form of protest against Turkey shooting down a Russian fighter-bomber on November 24, 2015.
- using weapons under operational conditions irons out technical bugs, organisational chain of command and targetting bugs and reveals any technical upgrades/capabilities that may be necessary.
- the submarine launch event would be noticed by the Russian public and military/intelligence establishment who still seek vengeance for the IS organised downing of the Russian airliner (Oct 31, 2015)
- and noticed by the Western military and potential customers for Kalibrs (with a range exceeding the MTCR) or MTCR compliant (not exceeding 300 km range Klub-S 3M-14E - DOD SS-N-30B's).
- Putin wants the Russian military to be respected by the West as a modern, efficient military.
- as the Western military have been surface and submarine launching Tomahawk cruise missiles against Middle East targets since 1991 Russia needs to be seen to have the same right. Russia wants to be seen as a legitimate World Policemen in the same way as the US sees itself.
- It is suspicious why the camera is so far from the launches. The footage in the above Youtube and this one - (freeze video frame at 6 seconds) seems to show that the submarine is firing the missiles while surfaced. If so this is not a true submerged submarine launch. Note that Russian reports - including Putin's organ RT don't mention "submerged" launching.
- It is a propaganda/PR victory as was Russia's earlier highly publicised cruise missile launches by Caspian Sea ships (Oct 7, 2015). Obama does not appear willing to highlight missiles strikes by the US or its Western allies in the Middle East - thus Western propaganda opportunities are lost. Obama's relatively peaceful moderation wins him few friends.
- According to a combined report from the major agencies of the US intelligence community (CIA, NSA and DIA) the coalition is losing in its war against ISIS. It is understood Obama doesn't want to be seen as a Dubya-like warmaker but Obama aims to leave office in February 2017 with his moderate-liberal reputation intact. Obama's scrupulously clean Presidency may be at the expense of losing ground to terrorism. Obama needs to look beyond his reputation and beyond the countdown to his exit. Obama need not go down in history as too much like fellow lame duck Democrat Jimmy Carter.
- For the planners of the future Australian submarine the firing of cruise missiles from a potential enemy SSK stands as a further reason that Australian future subs should be fitted from the beginning with Tomahawk cruise missiles rather than being retrofitted or on a "for but not with" basis. Note that SSKs of other countries in Australia's region (ie. Vietnam, China and India) also have land attack capable cruise missiles fitted (or about to be).