Future of the Russian Navy

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Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, the Russian Navy struggled to adjust Cold War force structures while suffering severely with insufficient maintenance and a lack of funding. However, improvements in the Russian economy over the last decade have seen a significant rise in defence expenditure and an increase in the numbers of ships under construction with a focus on blue-water vessels.[1]

An extensive rearmament program was implemented since 2011, with the Russian Defence Ministry expected to procure 100 warships by 2020.[2] The purchase of 20 submarines, 35 corvettes and 15 frigates is planned.[3] The nature of the other 30 ships is as yet unknown. The Black Sea Fleet will receive 18 new surface ships and submarines, including Kilo-class submarine, Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates, and Ivan Gren-class landing ship. There are also plans to lay down Project 21631 small missile boats and Steregushchiy class corvettes. This state arms program also provided funds for the purchase of two Mistral class assault ships. Furthermore, older vessels such as the Kirov class battlecruisers reportedly would also undergo overhauls and modernisation to bring them back into active service after spending over a decade laid up in reserve.

In early 2013 it was reported that the navy was to receive 54 new warships of various classes and 24 submarines by 2020.[4]

Major surface combatants

Future aircraft carriers

In 2005, it was announced that the Russian Navy was planning a class of two to four new aircraft carriers, the production of which could start in 2013–14 for initial service entry in 2017.[5] Jane's said it was not clear whether "this was a funded programme". In mid-2007, the new Navy chief announced plans to reform the country's naval forces and build a blue-water navy with the world's second largest fleet of aircraft carriers, aiming to create 6 aircraft carrier strike groups in the next 20 years.[6]

Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev stated in 2008 that Russia intended to build nuclear aircraft carriers in the next decade. However Russia currently does not have a yard capable of building aircraft carriers. All previous Soviet aircraft carriers were built in what was then known as the Nikolayev South Shipyard (Shipyard 444) at Nikolayev in what is now Ukraine. On August 2, 2010, Vladimir Vysotskiy stressed their importance: "If, for example, we do not have an aircraft carrier in the North, the combat capability of the Northern Fleet's guided-missile submarines will be reduced to zero after Day One because the submarines' principal adversary is aviation."[7]

Speaking in Saint Petersburg on June 30, 2011, the head of United Shipbuilding Corporation, a Russian state holding company, said his company expected to begin design work for a new carrier in 2016, with a goal of beginning construction in 2018 and having the carrier achieve initial operational capability by 2023.[8] Several months later, on 3 November 2011 the Russian newspaper Izvestiya reported the naval building plan now included (first) the construction of a new shipyard capable of building large hull ships, after which Moscow will build four nuclear-powered aircraft carriers by 2023. The spokesperson said one carrier would be assigned to the Russian Navy's Northern Fleet at Murmansk, and the second would be stationed with the Pacific Fleet at Vladivostok.[9]

In February 2015, Russian media said that the Krylov State Research Center in St. Petersburg was on its way towards developing another aircraft carrier. The design was under conceptual testing in Krylov’s laboratory.[10] There was no announcement of what shipyard would be able to build the carrier. The super-carrier project has been code-named Project 23000E or "Shtorm".[11] The program appears temporarily suspended or slowed down.

Cruisers

Modernization of existing Kirov-class battlecruiser heavy missile cruisers is ongoing with work continuing on the Admiral Nakhimov at Severodvinsk. Construction of the fourth Slava-class cruiser has been suspended for some 20 years at the shipyard in Ukraine. Not likely to ever be completed. Project 23560 Lider-class class multi-purpose cruiser/destroyer is in design development.

Destroyers

In 2014 it was reported that the specification had been signed off for a new anti-air destroyer. Twelve ships of the 10,000 tonne Lider-class are planned to enter service, split between the Northern and Pacific Fleets. There will be versions powered by nuclear or conventional power and they will carry the ABM-capable S-500 SAM and Kalibr (SS-N-30) and (SS-N-27) cruise missiles.[12] The Lider-class destroyer concept is a project of JSC Severnoye. In May 2015, Jane's reported that the Krylov State Research Center has also developed the Project 23560 destroyer design concept.

Initial reporting said that the ships would enter service in 2023-2025. In January 2018 however it was reported that detailed design phase will start after 2020 and construction in 2025.[13]

Frigates

An initial order of six Project 22350M Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate are under construction for the Russian Navy. The Northern Shipyard has thus far announced having received orders for six units.[14] The first of the class, Admiral Gorshkov was laid down in 2006, launched on 29 October 2010 and originally planned to be delivered by 2012.[15] The second unit has been launched, the third and fourth are under construction. As of June 2017 the Admiral Gorshkov, lead ship of class, is undergoing trials with delivery to the fleet expected by year's end.

In addition, six Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate were ordered and under construction at Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad, with the first laid down on 18 December 2010 and scheduled for delivery by 2013. These frigates will all serve in the Black Sea Fleet.[16][17]

Lead ship, the Admiral Grigorovich, was commissioned on 11 March 2016.

Jane's Defence Weekly and NavyRecognition.com reported in March and January 2015 respectively that the Project 20385 (Gremyashchy), Project 21631 (Buyan-M), Project 22350 (Admiral Gorshkov), and Project 11356M (Admiral Grigorovich) class corvettes and frigates are dependent on German and Ukrainian engines.[18] Projects 20385 and 21631 use German diesel engines, while the 22350 and 11356M use Ukrainian-assembled turbines.[19] Given the sanctions and standoff over the War in Ukraine, these components may not be available from 2015. As a result, two more Steregushchiy class corvettes, the seventh and eighth of the class, were laid down in February 2015. The Steregushchiy class uses Russian-built Kolomna engines.

The Gremyashchiy was launched on 30 June 2017.

Corvettes

Buyan class corvette

Submarines

The State Arms Program 2011–2020 was expected to build and deliver up to 24 submarines (both nuclear and conventional) to the Russian Navy.[4]

Borey SSBN

Yuriy Dolgorukiy is a Borey class submarine, one of the two nuclear submarine classes (the other being the Yasen Class attack submarine the Russian Navy has ordered).

Three boats of the Borei-class ballistic missile submarines were initially under construction, the first was under construction since 1996 with completion was expected in 2008. The lead boat, Yuriy Dolgorukiy, was launched in April 2007, began sea trials in June 2009 and was commissioned as a part of the Northern Fleet in 2012.[20][21] The second boat, Aleksandr Nevskiy was scheduled to be delivered to the Pacific Fleet in 2012 [22] The third was named Vladimir Monomakh. The Yuriy Dolgorukiy is operational with the Northern Fleet, while the Aleksandr Nevskiy and Vladimir Monomakh serve in the Pacific Fleet. The fourth unit was scheduled to be laid down in 2010. The mainstay of the SSBN force, the Delta IVs, joined the fleet during 1985–91. While the service life of an SSBN normally is twenty to twenty-five years, without maintenance, it may be as short as ten to fifteen years.[23] As of the end of 2017 with three units operation and the fourth Knyaz Vladimir launched, an additional four units are under construction on the ways at SEVMASH, Severodvinsk.

Before 2012 there were only about ten nuclear submarine patrols a year, each lasting three months at most and usually a lot less.[24] Most have not gone far from Russian waters and some were by recently built SSNs (nuclear attack subs) or SSGNs (SSNs equipped with cruise missiles) and not by SSBNs.[citation needed]

Yasen SSN

12 Yasen-class submarine nuclear attack submarines are to be delivered to the Russian Navy. Severodvinsk, keel laid down on 21 December 1993, was the first boat of the class slated for launch in 1998 delayed due to problems in financing. In 1996 work on the submarine appeared to have stopped completely. Some reports suggested that as of 1999 the submarine was less than 10 percent completed.[25] In 2003, the project received additional funding and the work of finishing the submarine continued. In 2004 it was reported that the work on the submarine was moving forward, but due to the priority given to the new Borei-class submarine, Severodvinsk, the lead unit of the Yasen class would not be ready before 2010. In July 2006 the deputy chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission, Vladislav Putilin, stated that two Yasen-class submarines were to join the Russian Navy before 2015.[26] On 24 July 2009 the work on a second Yasen submarine, named Kazan, was started. On 26 July the Russian navy command announced that one multipurpose submarine would be laid down every year, not necessarily of this class, starting in 2011.[27] The launch of the first boat of this class and the beginning of sea trials was reported in September 2011.[28]

On November 9, 2011 Russia signed a contract for four additional Yasen class submarines to be delivered by 2016.[29]

As of mid-2017 the Severodvinsk is operational, Kazan has been launched, and four additional units are under construction.

Kilo

Following on from the success of the Kilo class submarines, improved design Project 636.3 units are being built for the Russian Navy. Six Improved Kilo-class submarines have been built for the Black Sea Fleet, and work has begun on six additional units for the Pacific Fleet.

Lada and Amur

On 18 May 2013 Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Viktor Chirkov announced that the Russian Navy would get the first air-independent propulsion system for Project 677 Lada-class submarines by 2016-2017. He stated that the Central Design Bureau Rubin is now at work on the propulsion system which is expected by 2015-2016 but the first three Lada-class submarines will have classic diesel-electric propulsion.[30] The Amur-class is advertised as an export version of the Lada-class.

Kalina

Project Kalina is a new on AIP, H2-O2, submarine design, by TsKB Rubin and others

Haski (Husky)

New SSGN

Amphibious vessels

Landing ships

The first of an unknown number of new Ivan Gren-class landing ship class of amphibious ships was laid down in 2004 and was launched in May 2012. The ship will be delivered to the Navy in 2013. The Ivan Gren was delivered to the Navy in June 2018. [31] In 2010 it was announced that work on a second unit had begun.[32]

Amphibious assault ships

Russian officials negotiated a purchase of four Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. On 24 May 2010, the Russian Defense Minister said that Russia was in pre-contract discussions with Spain, the Netherlands, and France on purchasing four Mistral-class ships. It was planned to have one ship built abroad, two with the participation of Russian shipbuilders, and at least one built in Russia. The Minister also said that the first ships of this type would be based in the Northern and Pacific Fleets.[33] On December 24, 2010, Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev announced France as the winner of a tender to build four Mistral-class ships for Russia.[34] As the MISTRAL project continued it was plagued with controversy with arguments that the ships are not required, that Russian ship builders could have built a similar vessel and that they cost too much. In January 2013, Russian Deputy Prime Minister for the Defence Industry Dmitriy Rogozin was critical about the purchase of French helicopter carriers Mistral. The contracts signed in 2011 had been also criticized by first deputy head of the Military-Industrial Commission Ivan Kharchenko, who blamed former Defence Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov. "It is very strange that we, given our climate, are purchasing ships to transport troops that do not work at temperatures below seven degrees," Rogozin said at a general meeting of the Academy of Military Sciences on Saturday 26 January 2013.[35]

On 18 May 2013 it was announced that the second Mistral-class helicopter carrier would be named Sevastopol and join Russia's Black Sea Fleet in 2017. It was speculated that it would be based in the Novorossiysk naval base which Spetsstroy, the strategic infrastructure builder, was to complete by that time. Other sources reported that both of the first two Mistral-class helicopter carriers, the Vladivostok and the Sevastopol would be assigned to the Pacific Fleet in 2014 and 2015 respectively after their completion in France. In Vladivostok, Berth 33 was being renovated for them.

On 3 September 2014, French President announced that due to Russia's "recent actions in Ukraine", the two ships would not be delivered.[36] In November 2014, François Hollande placed a hold on the delivery of the first Mistral to Russia in view of the conflict in east Ukraine. Hollande set two conditions for delivery: the observation of a ceasefire in Ukraine and a political agreement between Moscow and Kiev.[37] On 5 August 2015 it was announced that France was to pay back Russia's partial payments and keep the two ships initially produced for Russia.[38][39]

Russia has announced its own, Lavina-class landing ship designed by Krylov (which studied and study much of the Mistral and many projects of Amphibious and LHD LHA Aircraft and Helicopter Carriers and other types of vessels)(ru:Универсальные десантные корабли типа «Лавина») equivalent more or less to a Mistral and smaller variant (with different or more specifics) Priboy-class landing ship minor class with half of the DWT and dimensions looking like an upgraded Greno or an LHD of same type, designed by Nevskoe Project Bureau. Four of the 'Lavina' ('Avalanche') class ships have been discussed, with construction possibly beginning in 2016 or 2018.[40]

Mine-countermeasure vessels

At least four Alexandrit class minesweepers are planned. The first of the class has been ordered and is expected to be launched sometime in 2012.[41] In January 2018 Deputy Chief of the Naval Shipbuilding Directorate Captain Mikhail Krasnopeyev said that the Russian Navy is planning to acquire 10 new Alexandrit-class (Project 12700) minesweepers by 2027 and 30 by 2035.[42]

Minor surface combatants

BK16, Raptor (CB90 analogue), Antares RA (modified stealth Muravej, more than half Visby in length), Project 12150 Mangust, Pr 14310 Mirazh, Grachonok-class anti-saboteur ship, other corvettes frigates patrol ships and boats.

See also

References

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  2. ^ "Russian Navy to procure 100 ships by 2020". rusnavy.com. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  3. ^ http://www.rianovosti.com/mlitary_news/20121031/177088634.html
  4. ^ a b "Russian Navy to Receive 24 Subs, 54 Warships by 2020". en.rian.ru.
  5. ^ Interfax, Russia Developing New Aircraft Carrier, May 15, 2005
  6. ^ Opinion & analysis: Will Russia create the world's second largest surface navy? RIA Novosti Retrieved on April 11, 2008
  7. ^ Russian aircraft carrier blueprint to be ready by year end – Navy chief
  8. ^ RIA NOVOSTI, "Russia to build Nuclear Aircraft Carrier by 2023" 30 June 2011.
  9. ^ BarentsObserver.com, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2015-11-15. 3 November 2011.
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  11. ^ Nikolai Novichkov (14 May 2015). "Russia developing Shtorm supercarrier". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
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  14. ^ 18.03.2011 (2011-03-18). "Severnaya Verf will build 17 warships for Russian Navy". Rusnavy.com. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
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  16. ^ "ВЗГЛЯД / ОСК и Минобороны подписали контракт о поставке фрегатов проекта 11356". Vz.ru. 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
  17. ^ 14.12.2010 (2010-12-14). "Фрегаты для Черноморского флота все же будут заложены еще в этом году". Flot.com. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
  18. ^ "Russia To Lay Down Two New Project 20380 Corvettes Instead Of Improved Version Project 20385". Retrieved 10 October 2017.
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  31. ^ http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_05_18/75195164/
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  • https://fas.org/blogs/security/2009/02/russia/
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