Most of the media coverage of the recent missile strikes on Syrian chemical warfare has been focused on the firing of JASSM, Scalp and Storm Shadow land attack missiles by US, French and British warplanes.
As is so often the case, though, the naval contribution to military action has been underreported.
Subsequent official US reporting confirmed, however, that a total of 103 land attack missiles were fired, with nearly 70 per cent being launched from naval platforms as follows:
At least one Tomahawk-equipped British nuclear powered attack submarine was reportedly positioned to take part in the strikes, but did not in the event fire any missiles.Duncan provided air defence. Photo: UK MOD
Further naval input was provided by the British Type 45 air defence destroyer Duncan, equipped with surface-to-air missiles, operating off Cyprus to provide protection for allied warplanes from possible attack by Russian interceptor aircraft and missiles.
Syria-based Russian warships, including the frigates Admiral Essen and Admiral Grigorovich, and a pair of Kilo diesel electric attack submarines, reportedly moved out of harm’s way some days before the attacks commenced.