The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation’s press office reported that the units of the Pacific Fleet’s Bastion coastal defense missile systems have assumed combat alert on the Island of Matua on the Kuril Islands in the Pacific near Japan. The Pacific Fleet’s missile personnel will be on round-the-clock watch on this remote island in the central part of the Kuril Ridge to control the adjacent waters and straits. The military hardware, personnel and equipment were delivered to the island area by large amphibious assault ships of the Pacific Fleet’s Primorye All-Arms Force Flotilla. The Fleet’s logistics forces have also set up technical posts, deployed military hardware and equipment depots and equipped approaches to launching sites for the purposes of the materiel’s operation and maintenance.
Japan lays claim to the Russian-held southern Kuril islands that Tokyo calls the Northern Territories, a territorial row that dates back to the end of World War Two when Soviet troops seized them from Japan. Though all of the islands lie under Russian administration, Japan claims the four southernmost islands, including two of the three largest ones (Iturup and Kunashir), as part of its territory as well as Shikotan and the Habomai islets, which has led to the ongoing Kuril Islands dispute. The disputed islands are known in Japan as the country’s “Northern Territories”. The Kuril Islands or Kurile Islands is a volcanic archipelago part of Sakhalin Oblast in the Russian Far East. It stretches approximately 1,300 km northeast from Hokkaido in Japan to Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the north Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands and many minor rocks.
The K-300P Bastion-P (NATO reporting name SS-C-5 Stooge) is a Russian mobile coastal defence missile system. The system was developed together with the Belarusian company Tekhnosoyuzproekt. The main role of the Bastion-P is to engage surface ships including carrier battle groups, convoys, and landing craft. A typical battery is composed of 1-2 command and control vehicles based on the Kamaz 43101 6×6 truck, one support vehicle, four launcher vehicles based on the MZKT-7930 8×8 chassis each operated by a 3-man crew and holding two missiles, and four loader vehicles; launcher vehicles can be located up to 25 km (16 mi) away from the C2 vehicles. Upon halting, missiles can be readied for firing within five minutes, and both fired in 2-5 second intervals. The mobile launcher can remain on active standby over a period of 3–5 days, or up to 30 days when accompanied by a combat duty support vehicle.
The missile used by the Bastion-P is the P-800 Oniks, a supersonic anti-ship missile with a 200–250 kg (440–550 lb) warhead. They are fired vertically from the launchers using a solid-fuel rocket booster for initial acceleration, then use a liquid-fuel ramjet for sustained cruising at Mach 2.5. The Oniks/Yakhont’s maximum range varies at 120–300 km (75–186 mi; 65–162 nmi) using a low-low or hi-low flight trajectory respectively. Using GLONASS at the initial flight stage and active radar guidance when approaching a target, the missile can fly to an altitude of 14,000 m (46,000 ft) before descending to sea-skimming altitude of 5 m at the final stage, useful up to sea state 7. On 15 November 2016, Russia announced it had deployed K-300P Bastion-P systems to Syria, where it fired Oniks missiles at land targets as part of the Russian military intervention in Syria, demonstrating a previously undisclosed land attack capability for the coastal defense system.