The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter has been operating in the Black Sea for four days days on patrol.

“Porter is underway on her 8th forward deployed naval forces-Europe patrol, after taking precautions to ensure the health and safety of their crew. With the support of partners and allies, Porter will remain safely at sea, focusing on operational requirements and executing national tasking during the COVID 19 response.”

The US Navy say that upon arrival in the Black Sea, Porter conducted maneuvering operations with the Romanian frigate Regina Maria (F222) in the Black Sea, demonstrating the strength and cooperation of nations across the NATO alliance.

“Porter has routinely operated in the Black Sea over the past few years, demonstrating our continued commitment to security and stability in the region.” said Cmdr. Craig Trent, commanding officer of USS Porter.

“We’re excited to be back in early 2020. The crew and I have been looking forward to strengthening our relationship with our regional maritime partners.”

Porter began its north-bound international strait transit en route to the Black Sea April 13th to conduct maritime security operations and enhance regional maritime stability, combined readiness, and naval capability with our NATO allies and partners in the region.

This is the second time a U.S. Navy ship has visited the Black Sea since the beginning of 2020. The last ship to visit the Black Sea was USS Ross (DDG 77) in January.

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Andy

Do you think any NATO vessel could survive in the Black Sea if Russia started shooting for some reason?

Mark B

Difficult to understand why they would start shooting. If they did then the number of NATO assets would expand exponentially which for the Russians would be counter productive.

Nicholas

The wider question is how long would any ship would last once the shooting starts. Which side would be willing to lose one or more ships without reacting further? A very quick progression to the use of tactical nuclear weapons is likely. Russia has a number of low-yield nuclear weapons, presumably tipped torpedos, depth charges and missiles. The US has begun to do the same. In short the strength of a navy can only work as a deterent, once the shooting starts (assuming a peer war/conflict) it doesn’t matter what your ship is carrying as its likely to get obliterated.

Andy

Then perhaps Russia has the right idea to focus on subs and missiles.

Nicholas
Ulya

I fail to understand the point of those low yield warheads, there is either nuclear war or no nuclear war, not limited or small, unless the US plans to use them against non nuclear nation in which case the political fall out could be interesting

Nicholas

It certainly is crazy, based on some flawed logic that there could be a few exchanges of tactical warheads before everybody heads home for tea and toast.

Mark B

Is it not a legacy of the cold war? Delaying an all out nuclear conflict and giving time for the country who started things off to check their leader into a sanatorium whilst exploring an alternative solution?

Andy

The Russian military playbook both then and now calls for the use of battlefield nukes to destroy NATO in Europe. Their officers unlike ours are told it’s a way to shock and awe the enemy into stepping back from full conventional war.
It’s nuts but that’s why would work or force us to full exchange and TEOTWAWKI

Ulya

You are referring to the American term escalate to deescalate Andy? As far as I’m aware all Russian low yield tactical warheads got put into storage or destroyed so to not come under the 1,550 limit, with new start finishing next year and what seems little interest by the American to extend it who knows what will happen. Russia nuclear policy is very straight forward, either used in response to nuclear attack or if very survival of state is threaten which to me makes sense as we have to very big powers that have bigger population and military west and… Read more »

Andy

Well most reports state Russia has between 1000 and 4000 tactical nukes still in use. Considering what else has gone onto black market in last 30 years that’s Damn scary.
Also getting rid of the no first use policy together with a leader that lets face it isn’t held accountable in any way.
In 2010 nuclear statement by President Dmitri Medvedev said they would be willing to use nukes first in a regional conventional war. It’s reversal of Cold War doctrine when NATO used nukes to balance inferiority in conventional weapons.

Ulya

Russia currently has roughly 1500-1550 warheads in service but goes up to about 6,400 with those in storage, about the same as the US. You can look on line at current Russian nuclear policy, Putin has said it often enough, what Medvedev said 10 years ago has changed as Russian conventional forces have improved and better looked after to balance with the west. Which leader is not being held accountable? Looks to me both sides have plenty of those, but as nothing will change it is moot point

Andy A

Fair point about leaders but I don’t think anyone can compare the amount of disappeared journalists and political activists with anything in a nato member. Also no one in their right mind would think Russia’s conventional forces are equal in numbers and quality to full NATO deployment. Yes Russia has invested a lot in improving its top tier units but a large amount are badly trained and equipped when compared. Also the current policy is same, saying a “threat to Russia” was stated by the head of their strategic nuclear forces 3 years ago to include if NATO reacted to… Read more »

Ulya

Russia is totally out numbered when compared to NATO in population and money, and you are right many units are still waiting for upgraded or new equipment but there is no rush, we do still rely on our nuclear force to balance things out just not as much as during 90s and early 2000, as I say in my first comment, we have 2 big powers west and east. I understand your first use comment now, but I think I explain that before, ‘if very survival of state threatened’, so for example NATO conventional forces attack, if it looks like… Read more »

Andy A

Too true

Ian

During the Cold War, there was a belief in some quarters that it may be possible to limit a nuclear war to tactical warheads and delivery systems in the European theatre- i.e. on the territory of those countries not in possession of their own nukes. How credible that proposition was is a matter for debate.

dan

Hope the crew is ready for the unprofessional Russian pilots buzzy them, ect.