The largest concentration of naval forces in the world is seen at the moment in the northern Aegean Sea: the US aircraft carrier Harry Truman, modern Russian frigates and a number of nuclear-powered escort ships are sailing in the area, while the French Charles de Gaulle is currently south of Crete.
The concentration of naval forces takes place in the midst of the military conflict in Ukraine, while the Truman and the de Gaulle are reportedly scheduled to moor off the port of Souda, Crete, and Piraeus on March 25..
The mission of USS Harry Truman
The Truman reportedly sailed into the northern Aegean Sea last week with electronic warfare aircraft, F-18 Growler, to have carried out reconnaissance missions for military operations in Ukraine and the Black Sea, flying in the NATO airspace of Romania and Bulgaria.
A US official confirmed to CNN last week that the USS Harry S. Truman is in the North Aegean since March 5, partly to ensure it can conduct operations from there if tensions escalate in the region due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The official did not disclose the exact location of the aircraft carrier, but he noted that it is not usual for it to operate in the northern waters of the Aegean. The area is relatively limited for aircraft carriers due to the number of small islands and the intense commercial shipping traffic, the official said.
He added that “in the event of further escalation, the Navy could be instructed to launch more fighter jet air patrols in the Black Sea.” If Russia seeks to cross the Turkish Straits and Turkey seeks NATO support, then the aircraft carrier aircraft could be used for warplanes over the Black Sea and Dardanelles Straits, according to the official.
NATO fleet vs Russian Fleet
Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CNV) USS Harry S. Truman which has a length of 333 meters and can carry up to 90 fighters jets ,is escorted by six warships, a nuclear-powered submarine and the USS Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Bainbridge.
The most modern frigate of the Russian Navy, the Admiral Kasatonov, is reportedly sailing in the same waters, which probably has nuclear warheads and a Russian submarine as an escort.
According to reports, during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the ship was denied access to the Black Sea after Turkey closed the Turkish Straits to Russian warships. The frigate remained deployed with other Russian naval assets in the Mediterranean.
260-meter-long French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle is sailing south of Crete with 22 Rafale fighters on board, two Hawkeye surveillance aircraft and three helicopters.
The French aircraft carrier is escorted by 3 frigates, a supply vessel and a nuclear submarine as well as by the Greek frigate “Hydra” and the submarine “Papanikolis.”
The presence of US and French naval forces in the Aegean and the southeastern Mediterranean is intended to monitor Russian naval forces in the region.
At the same time, it is understood that ships of the Greek fleet are scattered in the Aegean, but also Turkish ships in the territorial waters of the neighboring country and the international waters.
sources: cnn.gr, capital.gr, newsbeast.gr
This show of force has somehow impressed Erdogan enough to actually be polite.