Naval analyst and historian Dr Alexander Clarke says the cruise missile strike didn’t go to the usual Russian playscript.
At first it was a familiar game of cat-and mouse. The Russian submarine tried — but not too hard — to keep invisible. The US and NATO subhunters tried — but not too hard — to keep it in their sights.
Neither side wants to reveal all the tricks they have up their sleeve.
Then Krasnodar launched its cruise missiles at targets in Syria.
“The Russians have usually ‘cheated’ in exercises with prearranged midpoint missile guidance updates from a ground unit, a surface ship, or a helicopter. This time it didn’t happen, which means she must have received far more accurate data. With all the world watching, the Russians must have been very sure that the everything would work.” Dr Clarke says.
“More importantly, Krasnodar didn’t surface to communicate or to fire, which again has become fairly common practice over the last ten or fifteen years.”
Put simply, Krasnodar was operating on a warlike footing.
The submarine was trying to remain unseen. It was exposing itself — and its missiles — as little as possible to reduce the chances of detection.