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    Russian Navy: Status & News #1

    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:57 am

    Beautiful ships... thanks for posting.
    Russian Patriot
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    Post  Russian Patriot Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:33 am


    Russian Navy to Receive New Rescue Ship in 2014

    The Russian Navy confirmed on Saturday it would commission a new search-and-rescue ship equipped with DIVEX deep-sea diving system in 2014.

    Construction of the Igor Belousov rescue ship started in 2005 at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg but faced a series of setbacks mainly due to the failure of Russia’s Lazurit Design Bureau to meet contractual obligations on the development of deep-sea diving system GVK-450.

    The Russian Defense Ministry decided in 2011 to equip the ship with a deep-sea diving system produced by Scottish firm DIVEX, which will be delivered, installed, and tested by experts from Russian company Tetis Pro.

    Igor Belousov will be the first rescue ship built in post-Soviet Russia. The vessel is vital for the Russian Navy as it still lacks reliable means to rescue submarines in distress.

    After the Kursk nuclear submarine tragedy in 2000, when Russia had to rely on the assistance of Norwegian divers to reach the vessel buried on the ocean floor at the depth of 108 meters, the Russian Navy has acquired a number of foreign-made deep sea rescue equipment.

    At present, all Russian fleets have British-built Panther Plus and Tiger submersibles in service.

    http://www.en.ria.ru/news/20120407/172665764.html
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    Post  GarryB Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:41 am

    The priority is to get the ship in service... and hopefully a couple of others as well... one per fleet that operates subs would be a start, though some sort of vessel like the old India class sub might be useful too for more clandestine use. AFAIK the Delta III has been converted to that sort of role.

    Obviously the next step is investment into Russian underwater unmanned vessel technology...
    TR1
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    Post  TR1 Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:20 am

    http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/6205/119078089.2/0_74249_ebc71fa9_orig

    Severodvinsk in dock
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    Post  GarryB Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:30 am

    Nice... would vote for this post but already voted on the Pantsir-S1 thread... Smile
    TR1
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    Post  TR1 Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:15 am

    Some great photos of the Northern Fleet:
    http://forums.airbase.ru/2010/06/t70175,45--sovremennyj-severnyj-flot.html

    Lots of excellent new stuff on last several pages.

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    Post  TR1 Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:27 pm

    http://www.lifenews.ru/news/86184

    MOD and United Shipbuilding Corp have not been able to agree on prices, and laying down of 4th Borei delayed by 2 months.
    Not good, they need to figure this out and fast. Actually as far as ballistic missile subs go things are alright, 2 Boreis close to service and another in the pipeline, while the 667BDRMs will remain viable for many years.

    However the big nuclear attack boats of all kinds will pose a challenge. There are around a dozen project 971 attack boats, the core of the fleet- but aside from them there are also 3 of the titanium 945 boats, and 4 late-build 671RTMK....that is around 20 nuclear attack boats alone! Add to that the 8 or so Anteiis, and we have close to 30 boats needing replacement sometime past 2020.

    I don't think there is any way the large 885s will be enough for this task alone, maybe they really do need to look at a smaller alternative to make up numbers.
    Unless the RuNavy is purposefully accepting lower numbers in exchange for the entire nuclear attack fleet being large and all-purpose, with diseal subs making up the deficit.
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    Post  GarryB Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:09 pm

    There has always been a huge gap between SSNs and their conventional equivalents SSKs.

    The gap is in terms of the period they can remain underwater as well as size and equipment with the huge power of nuclear propulsion giving the SSN not only exceptional underwater endurance... they can pretty much remain submerged for their entire voyage and the patrol time is limited not by fuel or oxygen but but the amount of food the boat can carry, but also the huge powerful sonar arrays they carry.

    The Lada class for all its problems promises to dramatically close that gap in terms of sonar performance and underwater duration.

    The only remaining performance difference is speed with the nukes being much faster above and below water, but in a defensive sub speed is not so important as sonar and staying underwater for long periods.

    For protecting ports a Lada M class boat will be as effective as a nuke but much cheaper...
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    Post  coolieno99 Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:21 am

    China and Russia will hold their first joint naval drills. In the past, the 2 countries have held joint military exercises together, but they were land based drills.

    Russian naval deputy chief of staff Rear Admiral Leonid Sukhanov announced on Sunday the official start of the joint exercise with the Chinese navy in Qingdao of East China's Shandong province.

    Ding Yiping, deputy commander of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, delivered exercise tasks.

    The drill is scheduled to be held from Sunday to Friday in the Yellow Sea of the Pacific Ocean.

    A total of 16 vessels and two submarines from Chinese navy would participate the drill, including five missile destroyers, five missile frigates, four missile boats, a support vessel and hospital ship. Together with them are 13 aircrafts and five shipboard helicopters.

    More than 4,000 Chinese servicemen will attend the drill, said the navy sources.

    On Saturday, a Russian naval task force arrived at the naval base in Qingdao.

    The task force, four warships from Russian navy's Pacific Fleet and three supply ships, left their home port in Vladivostok on April 15.

    The Russian warships include the Pacific Fleet's flagship Varyag, a slava-class guided missile cruiser, Marshal Shaposhnikov, Admiral Panteleyev and Admiral Vinogradov, three Udaloy-class destroyers.

    According to China's Defense Ministry, the exercise will focus on joint maritime air defense, anti-submarine tactics, maritime search and rescue as well as joint effort to rescue hijacked vessels.

    The two navies will also deploy aircraft and special force units to conduct joint maritime anti-terror task in the exercise.

    Sukhanov said the exercise would be held within the framework of the "strategic partnership" agreed by the leaders of the both countries.

    The exercises will involve tests for the command-and-control, armaments, support and protection systems of the two navies, Sukhanov was quoted by Beijing-based People's Daily as saying.

    The navies will also conduct surface and underwater exercises and test combat systems interoperability, as well as the effectiveness of automated control systems, electronics and information warfare.

    "Participating naval forces will train in the prevention of armed conflicts in exclusive economic zones," he said.

    China and Russia have conducted four bilateral and multilateral military exercises since 2005 within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2012-04/22/content_15108571.htm



    Last edited by coolieno99 on Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:30 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add video)
    Russian Patriot
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    Post  Russian Patriot Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:32 am



    Russian warships will be equipped with NATO navigation and communications systems to improve coordination in anti-piracy missions around the world, Chief of the Russian General Staff Nikolai Makarov said on Wednesday.

    The issue has been discussed during a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels.

    “We decided to install standard NATO navigation and communications systems on our warships,” Makarov said.

    NATO warships have been patrolling the pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast since 2008, as part of Operation Ocean Shield. NATO has recently extended its mission in the Gulf of Aden and adjacent areas until 2014.

    Russia joined the international anti-piracy mission in the region in 2008. Russian warships have successfully escorted more than 130 commercial vessels from various countries since then.

    Task forces from the Russian Navy, usually led by Udaloy class destroyers, operate in the area on a rotating basis.

    A task force from Russia’s Northern Fleet, led by the Udaloy class destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov, will arrive in the Gulf of Aden in the beginning of May to join the anti-piracy mission.

    http://www.en.ria.ru/world/20120425/173053100.html
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    Post  GarryB Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:33 pm

    Interesting... I suspect it will be like navy vessels getting communications systems compatible with civilian aviation and surface vessels so in addition to talking to each other they can talk to civilian or in this case NATO platforms of all types.

    I rather suspect NATO navigation systems aren't built around GLONASS so these will likely be in addition to Russian systems.

    Transas make some state of the art stuff in terms of comms and nav.
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    Post  TR1 Wed May 02, 2012 12:08 am

    So apparently the two incomplete 949A hulls (Volgograd and Barnaul) @ Sevmash, have been cut into sections. Perhaps their use for 955A boats is very possible...the large size would explain the increased missile compliment.
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    Post  TR1 Mon May 07, 2012 1:09 am

    http://flot.com/news/navy/?ELEMENT_ID=111379&fromcategory=337

    New Glavkom of the fleet assigned.

    Vice Admiral Victor Chirkov.
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    Post  Austin Mon May 07, 2012 10:29 am

    Renaissance of the Russian Navy?
    Proceeding Magazine - March 2012 Vol. 138/3/1,309 [2]
    By Captain Thomas R. Fedyszyn, U.S. Navy (Retired)

    Russia’s warship construction may be on the rise again, but the Russian naval mission of the 21st century appears markedly evolved from the Soviet naval mission of the 20th century.

    The maritime-strategy world is getting accustomed to hearing about the growth of the Chinese navy, but then–Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead caught everyone off guard when he announced that the “Russian navy is moving again” during his March 2011 testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee. 1 Several scholars already have noted that Russia is developing the capacity to once again become a maritime threat to Western naval power, particularly in light of the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s support of the 2008 Russia-Georgia War. 2 However, deeper analysis of recent events suggests a counterintuitive conclusion: The slumbering bear is awakening, but this time as a new, less combative and aggressive animal. In terms American naval strategists might appreciate, Russian naval power seems to be heading down largely the same road as that prescribed in our Sea Services’ directive, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower .

    Few American naval officers study Russian naval tactics and capabilities these days. The Soviet Union’s demise prompted tectonic shifts in the global balance of naval power. The Soviet Navy, the main opponent of the U.S. Navy throughout the 1980s, shrank markedly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. By most estimates, the Russian Federation Navy (RFN) of 2007 was approximately one-fourth the size of the Soviet Navy at its peak. The submarine force, once the jewel in Moscow’s crown, deteriorated even more sharply, shrinking from a high of almost 400 boats in 1985 to 65 in 2007, with estimates suggesting that less than half of those were fully operational. Active-duty personnel dropped from almost a half million in 1985 to 146,000, many of whom were conscripts. Russia’s volatile transition from a military-oriented, centrally planned economy to a capitalist experiment moved in fits and starts. The state was unable, and perhaps unwilling, to invest properly in its navy. And it showed.

    New Strategy for a New Era

    However, beginning in 2008 the Russian navy began sending messages that it was on the rebound. Startling headlines from Moscow announced plans to build nuclear-powered aircraft-carrier strike groups and the RFN resumed operations in theaters it had not seen for a generation. 3 Specifically, Russia’s two showcase ships, the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and nuclear-powered cruiser Pyotr Veliki ( Peter the Great ), deployed to the Mediterranean and Caribbean in flamboyant fashion, operating with former Cold War allies and adversaries alike. Russian naval aviation began flying patrols in the Norwegian Sea and off Alaska with regularity. In effect, Moscow was announcing that the Russian navy was back. What changed?

    A nation’s grand strategy rarely changes quickly. In 2000, however, newly elected President Vladimir Putin made it clear that in the 21st century, Russia would once again be a global leader. The strategic documents issued shortly after his election insisted on Russia’s pride of place in the international order. However, words and attitude alone were insufficient to improve and modernize Russia’s armed forces. The mineral-based Russian economy continued to lag behind the West, and the hoped-for transformation of the Russian military sputtered without strong budgetary support.

    After economic expert Dmitry Medvedev became president in 2008 (with Putin staying on as prime minister), the world witnessed both a nuanced change in official Russian strategic thought and budgetary priorities. While Russia still strove to be a “world leader,” its new strategic guidance, Russia’s National Security Strategy to 2020 , reflected maturation in the understanding of all elements of national power. 4 In particular, the new strategy viewed military power increasingly as a means to a new end: economic well-being and prosperity. Indeed, it made the following noteworthy points:

    • Russia’s development will follow the path of globalization and the interdependence of the international system; Russia intends to join the ranks of the top five countries by size of GDP

    • International politics will focus on energy resources, particularly in the Arctic Ocean and Caspian Basin

    • Russia’s top two national interests are to enhance the competitiveness of its economy and to regain standing as a world power

    • National defense will be provided on the principle of reasonable sufficiency and will include public diplomacy, peacekeeping, and international military cooperation

    • Terrorist organizations remain a threat to national security.

    The Russian national security strategy’s emphasis on economics and quality of life as principal issues, as well as its insistence on not matching the American military dollar-for-dollar, suggests a competitive, but not confrontational, Russia. In this strategy, Russia portrays itself as no longer a prisoner of the Eurasian landmass by emphasizing the Arctic, Caspian, and Far East (Pacific) regions of growing importance, along with those of global trade and interdependence. Moscow willingly volunteers to engage in international peacekeeping operations worldwide and to vigorously pursue terrorist extremist groups.

    Economics Trumps Bellicosity

    While the Russian equivalent of our national military strategy, The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation , always was notoriously hard-line on defense issues, its most recent version (February 2010) is decidedly less confrontational. The publication’s “main tasks for the military” include: multilateral cooperation with partner states, combating piracy, ensuring the economic activities of the Russian Federation, participating in international peacekeeping activities, and combating international terrorism. 5

    Over the past decade Russian naval strategy has been considerably harder to distinguish than its more general and far-reaching national security strategy. In fact, Russia has not produced a formal and comprehensive naval strategy since 2001. 6 Given the navy’s historically inferior position in the Ministry of Defense, it is more useful to consider ministerial guidance as well as official pronouncements and news releases to understand the thrust of contemporary Russian naval policy.

    As early as 2004, the Russian Ministry of Defense’s blueprint for a future navy revolved around eliminating a blue-water or “ocean” capability and focusing instead on the 500-kilometer zone of territorial waters. 7 The 2010 Russian National Maritime Policy , published together with the Ministries of Trade and Commerce, touched on naval strategy, since its central theme was unfettered use of the world’s oceans to support the growth of the Russian economy. The navy’s role in this national strategy is mentioned, but only after lengthy discussions of shipping, fishing, minerals and energy, and scientific activities. While naval roles include the obvious missions of deterrence and protection of sovereignty, there is even more extensive discussion of peacekeeping, humanitarian missions, mineral exploitation, maintaining freedom of the seas, and showing the flag.

    The section on regional naval priorities makes clear that the Arctic and Pacific theaters, followed closely by the Caspian Sea, matter most. The discussion focuses on providing access to the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean and on ensuring complete control of the Northern Sea Route through an Arctic Ocean that has become ice-free for longer periods each successive year. Not surprisingly, maintaining superiority in the development and deployment of nuclear-powered icebreakers remains a priority. Discussion of the Pacific also revolves around sea-based economic activity and the intensification of exploitation of mineral resources. This, in turn, calls for the development of coastal-port infrastructure in the Kuril Islands, an area of contention with Japan.

    The Caspian regional priority can be summed up in one word: oil. For Russian national maritime policy, economic issues—mineral exploitation, maritime transport, and pipeline security—represent Russia’s principal interests.

    Two themes characterize Russian strategic guidance to its military. First, all branches of the military will be reformed through downsizing and professionalization. Those most in danger of severe cutbacks are those not optimally responsive to the ends of Russian grand strategy. Second, Russia’s economic interests require a complementary military force to provide security and expansion. These considerations shape Russia’s thinking about its navy.

    From ‘Irreversible Collapse’ to Accelerated Construction

    Russian naval leaders saw the fleet degrade over the generation following Admiral Sergey Gorshkov’s death in 1988. With the advent of the Putin administration in 2000, some began to talk—only talk—of how Russia would restore its former naval greatness. Then came two setbacks. First, political leaders decided that the Russian Infrastructure Fund, amassed after the turn of the 21st century, would not be used to rebuild the Russian military. Next, the global recession led to a sharp drop in the price of oil—the source of most of Russia’s wealth. Western naval analysts dubbed the Russian navy the “fleet that has to die” citing a study by the Moscow-based Independent Military Review , which saw Russian naval shipbuilding in a “situation of irreversible collapse.” 8

    Soon after (and in some cases simultaneously), however, there were more positive developments as well. First, the new Russian defense minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, known primarily for his business expertise, called for wholesale reform of the armed forces. This included the elimination of the Russian navy’s aging and obsolescent platforms—along with a large portion of its officer corps. Further, Russian shipbuilding corporations were consolidated in an attempt to reduce redundancy and make the surviving shipyards more efficient, enabling the skilled shipbuilders to concentrate. Finally, the Medvedev administration announced an expanded investment plan for the Russian military and allocated 25 percent of its military investment budget to the navy, a percentage vastly exceeding that of the past generation. 9 This proposal should be considered realistic, as the price of oil is once again hitting record highs. Russia, the world’s largest exporter of oil, natural gas, and numerous precious minerals, will be a principal beneficiary of what some economic analysts see as an inexorable cost-growth of all extractive commodities. 10

    Russia’s streamlined shipbuilding capacity is beginning to show progress in the construction of several types of warships. The most publicized project is the development of the new Borey-class nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN), planned to initiate eight hulls by 2017. The class leader, the Yuri Dolgorukiy , was commissioned in 2009 in St. Petersburg, following 25 years of sporadic construction, but follow-on building is adhering closely to original schedule. This class will replace the obsolescent Delta III and IV classes of SSBNs as the navy’s contribution to Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent. The Yasen class of up to ten nuclear-powered guided-missile submarines (SSGNs) is led by the Severodvinsk , which was commissioned in 2010 after a 16-year building process. The Kazan , the second of the class, is scheduled for commissioning in 2013, only four years after construction began. Accelerated construction times for both classes of submarines are attributed to the “resumption of regular funding of defense contracts and newly established industrial cooperation.” 11

    Surface-combatant construction is following the same trend. The 2007 launching of the Steregushchiy , a 2,100-ton corvette touted for her low-observable design along with a high degree of automation and combat-systems integration, signaled Russia’s return to developing its own surface-warfare fleet. While the lead ship took more than six years to deliver, her successors, the Soobrazitelniy (recently commissioned), Boiky , and Stoiky , are expected to follow in considerably less time. The plan is for 10–20 ships of this class, intended for coastal patrol and escort duties. Further, Russia has built frigates for the Indian Navy and is now beginning to produce three identical Project 11356 frigates for itself, scheduled to be homeported in the Black Sea. More formidably, Russian shipyards have just commissioned the first Admiral Gorshkov –class frigate. This 4,000-ton warship is equipped for modern antisubmarine and antisurface warfare as well as escort duties.

    Arctic, Pacific, and Caspian Concerns

    The Russian icebreaker inventory is a special case, dwarfing the rest of the world’s fleets. Her six nuclear icebreakers (four oceanic, two coastal) are designed to maintain the Northern Sea Route for commercial as well as military purposes. The aging Russian fleet will be augmented by a third-generation nuclear-powered vessel, capable of operating near the coast as well in the deep waters of the Arctic Ocean. Russia expects to build three or four of these icebreakers, the first of which will be operating in 2015.

    Development of offensive strike platforms—aircraft-carrier strike groups—is the lone area where Russian actions do not match Russian words. For several years, Moscow’s official policy has stressed the importance of aircraft carriers, maintaining that they are a staple of all great navies. In early 2008, former Russian naval commander Admiral Vladimir Masorin ordered Russia’s design bureaus to draw up plans for nuclear-powered carriers displacing 60,000 tons. 12 President Medvedev even announced a goal to build “five or six aircraft carrier task forces” designated for operations in the Pacific and Northern Fleets regions. 13 However, in striking defiance of earlier pronouncements, Defense Minister Serdyukov confirmed that their construction will not begin until at least 2020, and that there was no longer any discussion of building new ocean-class cruisers. 14

    In all likelihood, the Russian nuclear aircraft-carrier striking fleet will remain an expression of future aspiration, and its only cruisers will be repaired versions of its four aging capital ships. The more realistic naval-aviation scenario is that Russia will maintain this capability through its purchase of French Mistral -class large-deck amphibious platforms. Russia hopes to buy two and then construct two more of these platforms, whose specialties include troop deployment as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

    As important as what the Russians are building is how and where they intend to operate these ships. The Northern Fleet, always preeminent in the Russian navy, will continue to receive a disproportionate share of new warships. However, beyond the ballistic-missile submarines dedicated to strategic deterrence, most strategic discussion centers around Russia’s need to exploit Arctic mineral and trade resources. Russia’s second-biggest fleet, in the Pacific, is being similarly tasked. Given the country’s simmering confrontation with Japan over the Kuril Islands, most experts expect that at least one of the first two Mistral s—to be named the Vladivostok and Sevastopol —will be homeported in the Pacific, able to both deploy Russian naval infantry and perform missions of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

    The Baltic Fleet probably will continue to shrink but will increasingly be called on to safeguard Russian undersea gas and oil pipelines. While Georgia will occupy the Black Sea Fleet’s attention, this too is a region of growing Russian trade and oil commerce. The Caspian Flotilla, always a stepchild in strategic discussions, is being fortified with impressive Astrakhan -class patrol boats to ensure that Russia has the premier naval force in this oil-rich region. In an effort to gain more worldwide visibility and support for its antipiracy operations, Russia was actively engaged with Vietnam, Syria, and Venezuela (and up until March 2011, Libya), for logistics and repair services in their principal ports.

    Russian naval strategy—like all strategies—can be discerned through analyzing the allocation of defense resources. Several conclusions emerge as Russian naval activity is evaluated. First, the navy’s relative stature is growing in Russia. Ships are being built at a markedly faster pace and these ships are increasingly joining the Russian fleet, not only being sold to foreign countries. Thus, Admiral Roughead was correct in his assessment: The Russian navy is on the move again. Second, Russia is relying more on its navy to provide an invulnerable strategic second-strike capability, the seaborne deterrent SSBN force. Third, however, Russian shipbuilding projects (other than perhaps the Yasen-class SSGN) are not principally designed for countering other navies or for projecting offensive military power beyond territorial waters. Instead, their weapon systems allow them to conduct independent operations and to inter-operate with other navies, but not challenge them. Most new Russian ships are smaller than their forebears and designed to be multimission rather than to specialize in one warfare area.

    Naval Convergence Theory?

    Finally, Russian naval strategy, as manifested in its operations, pronouncements, and budgets, is becoming well aligned with Russian national-security strategy—perhaps as its principal military tool. This strategy, as noted earlier, seeks to enhance both national prosperity and Russia’s stature. Military power is aimed primarily at preventing war, but otherwise is considered another element of national power, used principally in support of Russia’s economic growth. This same message is repeated throughout our own guidelines, A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower . 15

    While Russian and American strategies refer to regional warfighting capability in concert with allies, both nations’ military forces primarily exist to foster stability, trust, prosperity, and cooperation. Both strategies also acknowledge that, while sovereignty disputes and natural-resource competition may spark future conflict, each navy’s most likely principal challenges are terrorist networks, criminal elements, and natural disasters.

    This logic could likewise underpin the argument for the relative importance of American naval power, enabling us to become an “offshore balancer” after we withdraw from ground wars in the Middle East and Central Asia. However, it almost certainly argues for major changes in the size, shape, and composition of the future Russian military, and particularly in its navy.

    The historic Russian obsession with large standing armies of conscripts created an unaffordable military tool without a credible mission. Even the technologically sophisticated portions of the Russian military aimed at offensive operations against large nation-states have become problematic, and this leaves the need for a smaller, professional, military capable of defending Russian borders and combating domestic disruptions caused by terrorists and nationalist movements. It also calls for a military force whose principal role is to project the Russian image abroad and ensure the security of all Russian economic expansion. This is the strategic and ever-widening niche for the future Russian navy.

    These trends may result in a rise back into the upper crust of the world’s navies. However, we are more likely to see Russian warships operating in multinational antipiracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden than trailing American carrier strike groups in the Pacific or the Mediterranean. These antipiracy patrols will increasingly be carried out by small, fast, stealthy multimission platforms. The very likely increased Russian presence in the Arctic Ocean will have more to do with global trade and oil security than it will with bastion defense of ballistic-missile submarines. Russian task groups in the Caribbean will be increasing Russia’s international stature as well as selling arms to Latin American nations, rather than threatening American military exercises. The U.S. task is to be able to discriminate those military activities required by an expanding economy from those that challenge vital U.S. interests as our national-security strategy moves into the second decade of the 21st century. The U.S. Navy’s maritime strategy just might have struck a resonant chord in Moscow.


    1. “Roughead says Russian, Chinese Navies Growing,”, www.navytimes.com/news/2011/03/defense-navy--cno-assesses-russian-chines... .

    2. LTCOL John A. Mowchan, “Russia’s Black Sea Threat,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings , vol. 137, no. 2 (February 2011), pp. 26–31. Lee Willett, “The Navy in Russia’s Resurgence,” The RUSI Journal , vol. 154, no. 1 (2009), pp. 50–55.

    3. Vladimir Petrov, “Medvedev orders construction of aircraft carriers for the Russian Navy,” Jane’s Defence Weekly , 14 October 2008.

    4. “Russia’s National Security Strategy to 2020,” 12 May 2009, http://rustrans.wikidot.com/Russia-s-national-security-strategy-to-2020 .

    5. “The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation Approved by Russian Federation Presidential Edict on 5 February 2010,” http://www.sras.org/military_doctrine_russian_federation_2010 .

    6. “Maritime Doctrine of the Russian Federation 2020,” approved by Vladimir Putin, 27 July 2001, www.oceanlaw.org/downloads/arctic/Russian_Maritime_Policy_2020.pdf .

    7. Andrei Kislyakov, “Will Russia create the World’s second largest Navy?” RIA Novosti , 13 November 2007, http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20071113/87843710.html .

    8. Reuben F. Johnson, “The Fleet That Has To Die,” The Weekly Standard , 15 July 2009.

    9. Keith Jacobs, “Russian Navy: Quo Vadis?” Naval Forces , vol. 30, no. 3 (2009), pp. 56–64.

    10. Jeremy Grantham, “Time to Wake Up: Days of Abundant Resources and Falling Prices Are Over Forever.” GMO Quarterly Letter , April 2011.

    11. “Nevsky and Novomoskovsk: Two Submarines for Putin,” RIA Novost , 15 December 2010.

    12. Milan Vego, “The Russian Navy Revitalized,” Armed Forces Journal , May 2009, pp. 34–47.

    13. Vladimir Petrov, “Medvedev orders construction of aircraft carriers for Russian Navy,” Jane’s Defence Weekly , 14 October 14 2008.

    14. “No New Russian Aircraft carriers until 2020,” Agence France-Presse , 10 December 2010.

    15. While the document comprehensively addresses all potential naval missions including large-scale warfare, its immediate and lasting impression is its emphasis on “soft power.” See Ann Scott Tyson, “New Maritime Strategy to Focus on Soft Power,” Washington Post , 17 October 2007.
    TR1
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    Post  TR1 Tue May 08, 2012 3:06 am

    http://balancer.ru/forum/punbb/attachment.php?item=278545&download=2

    Official response by MOD to a group of veterans concerned with fate of Kirov.

    "Currently work is being completed on determining the scope and process of modernization for the Nakhimov cruiser"
    "Inclusion of a second cruiser into the modernization project under GPV-2020, is planned for 2016".

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    Post  TR1 Sun May 13, 2012 3:01 am

    http://lenta.ru/news/2012/05/12/bulava/

    Military court case about sale of information about Bulava, to foreign services.
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    Post  TR1 Sun May 13, 2012 3:01 am

    http://lenta.ru/news/2012/05/12/shtab/

    The Glavkom of the navy was fired because he did not take adequate steps to move Fleet HQ from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
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    Post  TR1 Sun May 13, 2012 4:13 am

    http://balancer.ru/forum/punbb/attachment.php?item=279604&download=2

    Orel next to Sovremmeny, North Fleet. Somehow I expected the sub to look bigger in comparison.
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    Post  GarryB Sun May 13, 2012 8:24 am

    BTW

    Russian Navy: Status & News #1 - Page 12 Sub_an10
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    Post  Austin Sun May 13, 2012 1:54 pm

    I read all the 3 ships of Peter the great class will be modernised and AD will have full blown S-400 system , I can think of Kalbir and Zircon-S/yakhont as part of modernisation..will be one heavily armed boat.
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    Post  medo Sun May 13, 2012 2:10 pm

    Austin wrote:I read all the 3 ships of Peter the great class will be modernised and AD will have full blown S-400 system , I can think of Kalbir and Zircon-S/yakhont as part of modernisation..will be one heavily armed boat.

    Will they replace radars and install something like Polyment for S-400 use?
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    Post  TR1 Sun May 13, 2012 2:13 pm

    Cruiser fate is still hard to talk about.

    Nakhimov looks like it has a fair chance, but work will take a while.
    Defense ministry said they will look @ a 3rd cruiser mid decade, but which? Lazarev is in terrible shape, and Kirov was declared dead long ago, though it is still hanging out @ Sevmash. At this point one wonders which of the 2 is in better state.


    Nothing to do but wait and see.
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    Post  Austin Sun May 13, 2012 2:36 pm

    They serious need a CBG , Cruisers are great but without the ability to get reasonable fighter aircraft and ASW helicopters , it is not possible to defend your fleet in open ocean.

    RuN atleast needs 4 aircraft carrier , even Gorshkov class will do
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    Post  TR1 Sun May 13, 2012 2:48 pm

    Good find Austin.

    Just punctuates how critical the big stick of atomic attack subs will remain to those who can afford to operate them.

    As such I would rather see this task tackled than grandiose carrier plans.
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    Post  Austin Sun May 13, 2012 11:13 pm

    The Russian Navy’s ‘New Look’ Reform in 2009-2011
    DmitriyBoltenkov

    Moscow Defence Brief 2012

    In 2008, when the Russian political leadership realized the need for radical transformations in the armed forces, the Russian Navy was essentially a much smaller version of its Soviet predecessor.

    The reform of the Navy pursued the following objectives:

    * Reduce the number and size of the central military command bodies

    * Bring all the remaining Navy units to their full numerical strength

    * Redeploy some of the units in accordance with new military threats

    * Spin off and outsource non-military operations

    * Improve combat training

    * Reform and optimize the support and logistics system, and

    * Bring in new ships, and rearm naval aviation and coastal units.

    The authors of the reform wanted to achieve a situation whereby the Navy units could focus on combat training, with all the support and logistics operations outsourced to civilian contractors.

    The reform of the Navy began well after the roll-out of similar transformations in the Army and in the Air Force. The first stage of that reform began in 2009 and left the core naval units to which the actual ships and submarines are assigned largely unaffected. It was completed by December 1, 2011, when the MoD launched the second stage, with serious transformations in the pipeline for the fighting core of the Navy.

    First stage of the Navy reform in 2009-2011

    New military districts

    One traditional weakness of the Soviet armed forces was the lack of coordination and cohesion between the separate armed services. During conflicts each of these services would often end up fighting its own war. The Five Day War with Georgia in 2008 demonstrated the same weakness of the Russian armed forces. The Russian government responded by introducing an American-style system in which all the forces fighting in the same strategic theater take their orders from a single HQ. Four new strategic operational commands (designated as “Military Districts” to honor a long-standing tradition) were set up in 2010: the Western, Southern, Central and Eastern. The Baltic and Northern fleets of the Russian Navy are now subordinated to the Western MD, the Black Sea Fleet and the Caspian Flotilla are part of the Southern MD, and the Pacific Fleet takes its orders from the Eastern MD. Each Military District HQ now has a Navy department. Navy Admiral K. Sidenko has been appointed Commander of the Eastern MD.

    The commanders of the separate armed services have retained a very limited remit, which includes building up the fighting ability of the armed service in question, training command staff and overseeing combat training. The commander of the Russian Air Force seems to have already found his own niche in the new command and control system of the Russian armed forces; the same cannot be said about the commander of the Navy, at least for the moment.

    The strategic nuclear submarines on combat patrol still take their orders directly from the General Staff, just as they did prior to the launch of the reform.

    In addition to subordinating the Russian naval forces to the new Military Districts, the reform has also resulted in a substantial restructuring and cuts in the central MoD departments, including the department in charge of the Navy.

    Naval combat units

    The structure of the Russian Navy’s ship and submarine units remained largely unaffected during the first stage of the reform. The only notable change was the decision to disband several units which had outlived their usefulness, such as the divisions to which the Navy had previously assigned decommissioned nuclear submarines.

    There were also some optimizations in the command structure. The Northern Fleet’s 11th and 12th submarine squadrons were merged to become the Submarine Command. The HQ of the 18th Submarine Division was disbanded following the decommissioning of Project 941 (Typhoon class) SSBNs in 2010.

    Finally, the status of the commanders of flotillas and naval bases was substantially reduced. Previously they held the rank of Vice Admiral; this has now been reduced to Captain 1st Rank.

    Naval aviation

    In 2009-2010 the Russian Navy’s air regiments and air squadrons were merged into airbases, mirroring recent changes in the Russian Air Force. The new airbases subsumed flight units stationed at one or several of the nearby airfields, as well as the attendant communications, radar and maintenance units. Thirteen such airbases were set up. The MoD has also created a new naval aviation training center in Yeysk, a port on the Sea of Azov, to replace the disbanded training center in Ostrov, near Pskov. There are plans to build a carrier deck simulator in Yeysk to train naval aviation pilots.

    In 2010 the MoD brought into effect further air base optimizations. As part of the Baltic Fleet it set up the 7054th Air Base, which subsumed 12 individual units, including all the fighters, bombers, transports and carrier-based helicopters. Then in the summer of 2011 all the Tu-22M3 long-range bombers which served with the Naval Aviation were transferred to the Russian Air Force’s Long Range Aviation. The Baltic Fleet’s fighters and strikers were assigned to the Air Force’s 7000th Air Base in Voronezh. The Navy’s fighters stationed in the Kamchatka were assigned to the Air Force’s air base in Khurbin, to become a separate air group. Despite the reassignments, most of these aircraft units remained stationed at their old airfields. The only aircraft which are still assigned to Naval Aviation are the Su-24 strikers stationed in the Crimea; this has to do with the terms of the lease agreement with Ukraine for the Black Sea Fleet’s base on the peninsula. The Northern Fleet’s 279th Independent Naval Fighter Air Regiment (Su-33) has not been affected by the reform, either. By late 2011 some of the newly-created naval airbases were merged. The Baltic Fleet, the Northern Fleet and the Black Sea fleet now have only one airbase apiece (the 7054th, 7050th and 7057th, respectively). The Pacific Fleet has two, the 7060th and the 7062nd.

    Coastal defense and marines


    As part of the reform of coastal defense forces and the marines, all the skeleton-strength units have been disbanded. The Baltic Fleet’s coastal defense force in Kaliningrad now consists of a motor rifle brigade, a motor rifle regiment, an artillery brigade and a missile brigade. All marine units are now manned to their full war-time strength; several have been redeployed. The 61st Marine Brigade on the Kola Peninsula and the 3rd Marine Brigade on the Kamchatka have been reduced in size to regiments. In the Crimea the 810th Marine Regiment has become the 810th Marine Brigade. In Vladivostok the 55th Marine Division has been restructured to become the 155th Marine Brigade, although its actual manpower and strength have gone up. The Caspian Flotilla’s 77th Marine Brigade has been disbanded; there are now only two marine battalions left, one in Astrakhan, the other in Dagestan. The marine battalions themselves have become smaller; each now consists of only three companies instead of four. All marine units have also lost their tanks.

    Coastal defense missile and artillery units have undergone only minor cuts; they now consist of two brigades, two regiments and an independent division. Their old missile batteries are being replaced with the new Bastion and Bal systems.

    Combat support units


    All combat support units are now manned to their full strength; several have been merged, and several reduced in size. Radio-electronic warfare regiments have become radio-electronic warfare centers. The Navy’s technical bases have been merged or subordinated to larger units. For example, all seven of the Northern Fleet’s technical bases on the Kola Peninsula have become branches of the 571st base in Severomorsk.

    Logistics

    The logistics services have undergone the most radical reforms of all the other Navy components.

    Back in 2007 the Russian Navy’s ship repair plants became joint-stock companies; some of them are now part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (OSK).

    Many of the support and utility assets formerly owned and maintained by the separate Navy fleets or directly by the MoD have been transferred to the Oboronservis state-owned defense holding company. These include housing and utilities; central heating and power plants; communications, missile and artillery repair plants; hardware depots; civilian engineering operations and trading organizations. As a result the Navy is no longer responsible for any non-military services or utilities in military compounds; all of them have been subcontracted to commercial companies such as Slavyanka, Repair and Operations Directorate, and Power Grid.

    The logistics services which took their orders directly from the Navy Command have also been reformed. A case in point is the arsenals and arms depots which were previously subordinated to the Main Navy Command’s missile-artillery directorate or mines and torpedoes directorate. These arsenals and depots were complex operations which stored, distributed, repaired and disposed of weapons and ammunition. Weapons and ammunition storage has now become the remit of the newly created technical weapons bases. All the other services have been subcontracted to commercial companies which have taken over many of the assets of the former arsenals and arms depots, and which have now become part of Oboronservis.

    In late 2010 the Navy’s logistics service was merged with the weapons and rear operations service to become a single logistics and rear operations service. The size of the new service was substantially reduced, and many of the servicemen became civilian contractors.

    In 2010-2011 the former auxiliary and rescue ship brigades and divisions were downsized into smaller squadrons; their servicemen have also become civilian contractors.

    The catering, fuel supply, and clothing and equipment services which used to be part of the Navy’s separate fleets or central logistics services have been merged into versatile supply bases manned entirely by civilians.

    The Navy’s various medical services have been merged under large military hospitals. For example, the Pacific Fleet’s 1477th Military Clinical Hospital now controls all of the fleet’s medical facilities, including four medical branches, one big clinical center and two smaller hospitals.

    Many of the non-military functions previously performed by servicemen have been outsourced. In 2012 all catering, laundry and bathing operations will be subcontracted to commercial companies. Maintenance of the Navy’s cars, trucks and armor has been outsourced to Oboronservis.

    Combat training

    The Russian Navy’s training programs have been ramped up very substantially in recent years compared to the situation in the 1990s and early 2000s. Ships are spending a lot more time in the sea; the number of naval exercises has gone up, and naval aviation pilots are clocking in more flight hours. The Northern Fleet’s ships spent a total of 800 days in the sea in 2011; the figure for the Baltic Fleet is 300 days. The Black Sea Fleet performed 30 separate combat missions that same year. Helicopter pilots of the Baltic Fleet clocked in an average of 60 hours flight time. In the marines the situation with combat training also showed a substantial improvement.

    There have been several joint exercises involving several types of armed services. The 7th Airborne Assault Division, which is stationed in Novorossiysk, regularly takes part in joint exercises with the Black Sea Fleet to practice amphibious landing operations. The same is true of the Army’s 200th Motor Rifle Division stationed on the Kola Peninsula.

    The Navy was actively involved in large combined exercises of the Russian armed forces, including the West-2009, East-2010, Center-2011, East-2011, and others. The Russian Navy has also stepped up its participation in various international exercises.

    The scenario of the East-2011 exercise, in which the Pacific Fleet took part, included many interesting elements; some of them were unique even by the Soviet Navy’s standards. One of those elements was the formation of a joint naval assault and amphibious landing force, which sailed to Kamchatka, landed a force at the local firing ranges and launched missiles against numerous targets. The Varyag missile cruiser then sailed from Kamchatka to the Mariana Islands, where it took part in the Pacific Eagle 2011 joint exercise with the U.S. Navy, and after that visited the Canadian port of Vancouver. Several Russian ships have been involved in the anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden.

    Recruitment and training


    The Russian naval training establishments have also undergone a radical reform. Several of the Navy’s research institutes and training centers have been merged under the Naval Academy — Military Training and Research Center (VUNTs MVF VMA). It includes the Naval Academy, the Higher Specialized Officer Courses, five naval research institutes, three MoD research institutes (the 1st, the 24th and the 40th), the Nakhimov Naval School and the Kronstadt Naval Cadet School. The center used to take its orders directly from the Russian Navy, but in February 2011 it was subordinated to the MoD’s Education Department. In December 2011 the submarine training centers in Obninsk and SosnovyyBor also became part of the Naval Academy — Military Training and Research Center. There are plans to relocate the whole center to Kronstadt in 2015-2017, which will then become Russia’s equivalent of Annapolis.

    Several other MoD centers also train officers for the Russian Navy.

    In recent years there has been no recruitment of cadets to naval schools owing to the glut of fresh lieutenants trained in the previous years. Many of these lieutenants even have to spend their first years in the Navy serving in positions normally filled by warrant officers and able seamen. To illustrate, some 377 lieutenants entered service with the Northern Fleet in 2011, even though only 130 lieutenant-level positions were available.

    There has also been a sharp fall in the number of people who leave the Navy immediately upon finishing their naval training. The reasons for that include much better pay and a notable improvement in naval officers’ living conditions in recent years. The standards of combat training have also improved substantially. Average pay in the Russian armed forces has been rising steadily since the launch of the reform. On January 1, 2012 the basic salary paid to some categories of servicemen doubled or even tripled.

    A shortage of conscripts is one of the problems the Navy has in common with the other armed services (and not only in Russia). The Navy Command is therefore trying to encourage current and former conscripts to stay on as professional servicemen by offering them housing and relatively high salaries. The MoD has announced plans to increase the proportion of professional sailors serving under contract to 100 per cent for submarines and to 70 per cent for surface ships.

    Second stage of reform from 2011


    The second stage of the reform of the Russian Navy was launched on December 1, 2011; its focus is to reorganize the core units to which the actual ships and submarines are assigned.

    One explanation is in order before we proceed. In the Soviet Navy, the 1st and 2nd rank ship divisions usually consisted of up to 20 ships in two or three brigades; each brigade included up to ten 1st or 2nd rank ships. The 3rd rank divisions (minesweepers, small missile and anti-submarine ships) consisted of 8-10 ships in two or three tactical groups.

    As a result of post-Soviet cuts, by 2011 each 1st or 2nd rank ship division included no more than five ships. An average 3rd rank division has 3-5 ships, so it is capable of fielding only one tactical group. The upshot is that while the number of ships in service has fallen, the size of the command structures has remained the same.

    The main objective of the second stage of the reform is therefore to optimize the structure of the ship units by reducing the rank of some of these units and completely disbanding others. It is important to note that the cuts will not affect the actual number of ships in service; the axe will fall only on the bloated command structures and HQs.

    The following changes have been put into effect as of December 2011:

    # The MoD has disbanded the HQs of the Baltic Fleet’s 12th Surface Ships Division and of the Black Sea Fleet’s 30th Surface Ships Division. The 128th Surface Ships Brigade and the 71st Assault Landing Ships Brigade, which used to be part of the 12th Division, have become independent. The same applies to the 11th Surface Ships Brigade and the 197th Assault Landing Ships Brigade, which were part of the disbanded 30th Division.

    # The Pacific Fleet’s 44th Anti-Submarine Ships Brigade has been disbanded. Its ships have been assigned to the 36th Surface Ships Division. The 182nd Submarine Brigade, stationed in the Kamchatka, has also been disbanded. Its submarines have been assigned to the 19th Submarine Brigade in Vladivostok.

    # The Northern Fleet’s 2nd Anti-Submarine Ships Division has been downsized to become the 14th Brigade. The 5th Minesweepers Brigade has been disbanded, and its ships assigned to the 7th Brigade.

    # The small anti-submarine ship and minesweeper divisions of all the fleets of the Russian Navy are being downsized to tactical groups.

    # The HQs of the White Sea naval base and of the Sovetskaya Gavan naval base area have been downsized to the level of base station commands.

    More optimizations are expected in the Navy in the coming months.

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