The northern Aegean currently has the largest concentration of naval forces in the world, with an American aircraft carrier operating in the area.USS Harry Truman”, modern Russian frigates and a number of escort ships, and the French Charles de Gaulle (Charles de Gaulle currently located south of Crete.
The concentration of naval forces takes place at the height of the military conflict in Ukraine, Truman And de Gaullehow reportedare due to moor in the ports of Souda, Crete and Piraeus on 25 March.
Aircraft carrier USS Harry Truman
Last week, the aircraft carrier Harry Truman sent an F-18 Growler electronic warfare aircraft to the northern Aegean to carry out reconnaissance missions for military operations in Ukraine and the Black Sea, flying in Romanian and Bulgarian NATO airspace. As previously reported, NATO countries share all intelligence information with the General Staff of Ukraine.
A US official confirmed to CNN last week that the USS “USS Harry Trumanhas been in the northern Aegean since March 5, in part to ensure operations can be carried out from there should tensions escalate in the region due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The official did not reveal the exact location of the aircraft carrier, but noted that it does not normally operate in northern Aegean waters. The area is relatively restricted to aircraft carriers due to the large number of small islands and heavy commercial shipping, he said.
He added that “in case of further escalation, the navy may be instructed to increase the number of fighter patrols in the Black Sea.” If Russia tries to cross the Turkish straits and Turkey turns to NATO for support, the aircraft carrier could be used for combat aircraft over the Black Sea and the Dardanelles, the official said.
Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CNV) USS Harry S Truman, 333 meters long, capable of carrying up to 90 aircraft. He is accompanied by a squadron of six warships, a nuclear submarine and the Bainbridge-class destroyer USS Arleigh Burke.
In the same waters is the most modern frigate of the Russian Navy “Admiral Kasatonov, which is likely to carry nuclear-tipped missiles and a Russian submarine as an escort.
According to messagesduring the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the ship was denied access to the Black Sea after Turkey closed straits Bosphorus and Dardanelles for Russian warships. The frigate is part of Russian naval forces in the Mediterranean.
260m French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle sailing south of Crete with 22 Rafale fighter jets, two Hawkeye reconnaissance aircraft and three helicopters. He is escorted by 3 frigates, a support vessel and a nuclear submarine, as well as a Greek frigate Hydra and a submarine “Papanikolis“.
The presence of US and French navies in the Aegean and the southeastern Mediterranean, according to NATO, is aimed at controlling Russian naval forces in the region.
Also in this zone are numerous ships of the Greek and Turkish navies, which operate within the framework of NATO.