The self propelled artillery system Bereg is the only coastal artillery system of its kind in service in Russia and is based exclusively in Novorossiysk. Today's exercises took place on the Taman Peninsula, where the littoral zone is perfect for firing upon any sort of target. The coastal defense system consists of six mobile units on a MAZ chassis. At full battle readiness, it is as long as two buses and reaches cruiser speeds, 60 km/hr, and it can deploy in less than five minutes.
The objective of this exercise is to prevent an enemy landing by destroying the enemy while he is still fourteen to twenty km from the shore.
Crewman with thick, unidentified accent: I'm talking about the gun-layer's station...It's the most important place.
Many specifications of the weapons system are a military secret. Civilians are strictly prohibited from approaching the camo covered command post. The number of sailors manning the Bereg is classified. Riflemen guard the perimeter even during exercises.
Pavel, the crew commander, says that the system can engage in combat in any conditions, day or night, in temperatures from -50 to +50 degrees. The coastal artillery system has advantages over guided missiles:
Track commander: "You can knock a missile out, but a shell is, basically, a hunk of iron. Not much you can do about that."
You can tell if a target has been destroyed only by looking at the radar screen. A couple of hits will sink a destroyer. Just one hit will send a landing vessel capable of making 180 km/hr to the bottom. Only the Bereg can hit that kind of target.
Igor Siratskiy, commander of the Novorossiysk coastal defense forces: One Bereg system can track four targets, on land or at sea. Any combination of forces, any combination of equipment.
...Today's exercises took three hours and expended a hundred rounds and sank dozens of targets. They packed up in less than five minutes and returned to base. The sailors say that the main thing is suddenness and accuracy.