'Russian Navy on Point of Collapse'

jim30

LE
Yes I know its 'war is boring' but a thought provoking article on the future prospects for the Russian Navy. Pretty grim reading, and a useful reminder the next time we collectively panic that a Russian surface ship is in the Channel.

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/the-russian-navy-is-on-the-verge-of-collapse-b0ce344ebf96

he Russian Navy Is on the Verge of Collapse

Big ships age out and Moscow can’t replace them

by DAVID AXE

The Kremlin has announced that Russia will hugely boost its naval operations in 2015.

But that’s an empty promise— or threat, if you will. In fact, the Russian fleet is on the edge of a precipitous decline in ship numbers and combat power, owing to huge industrial shortfalls that have been decades in the making.

“As for missions of Russian naval ships, there will be 50 percent more of them than in 2013,” Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian general staff, told a TV audience in December.

But Gerasimov’s vow belies a bleak future for the Russian navy. Even if the fleet is busier in 2015 than it was in 2013, in coming years it will have fewer and fewer ships to be busywith—and those that remain will be progressively smaller and weaker than rival vessels.



Today the Russian navy possesses around 270 warships including surface combatants, amphibious ships, submarines and auxiliaries.

On paper, that is. But that count includes many ships that are inactive and in poor material condition plus scores of small patrol vessels with very limited combat capability.Of the 270 ships, just 125 or so are in a working state. And of those 125, only around 45 are oceangoing surface warships or submarines that are in good shape and deployable.

All the above figures come from Dr. Dmitry Gorenburg of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.

By comparison, the U.S. Navy possesses some 290 warships. Pretty much all of them are well-maintained, deployable, oceangoing vessels.

All the same, a force of almost 50 large warships is no insignificant thing, and outguns the fleets of all but the most powerful countries. The problem, according to Gorenburg, is that today’s Russian navy is old … and won’t last much longer.


“The Russian navy is still primarily a Soviet legacy force,” Gorenburg writes. “There are relatively few new warships in service at present and the ones that have been commissioned in recent years are all relatively small. In terms of large surface units, the navy only operates what it was able to save during the years when it received virtually no funding.”

Many, if not most, of the Soviet-vintage ships will decommission in the next few years as they became too old to sail safely and economically.

Under Pres. Vladimir Putin’s regime, the Kremlin has laid plans to rebuild the fleet. But that’s easier said than done when the vessels most badly in need of replacement are also the most difficult to build—heavy cruisers, powerful destroyers and Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, which is barely seaworthy after nearly three decades in service.


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“Russia’s shipbuilding industry is not in good shape,” Gorenburg explains. He estimates that the industry could build somewhere between half and 70 percent of the vessels Moscow wants by 2020. “The earliest that Russia could build a new aircraft carrier is 2027, while new destroyers are still on drawing board, with the first unlikely to be commissioned for 10 years.”

And it doesn’t help that Russia has invaded and alienated Ukraine, which built Admiral Kuznetsov and until recently supplied Russian shipyards with many of the heavy components they need to complete new warships.

Moscow tried to inject new hardware and expertise into its rusting shipbuilding industry by acquiring two new Mistral-class amphibious assault ships from France—and also licensing the design for possible continued construction of the class in Russian yards.

But Paris suspended the deal last year after Russian troops annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region and also infiltrated eastern Ukraine to aid pro-Russian separatists.Russia’s shipyards are still capable of building small corvettes and other uncomplicated coastal patrol vessels. And that’s shaping the fleet’s operations.

“Whereas the Soviet navy focused on building ships designed to take on carrier groups,” Gorenburg concludes, “the new Russian navy will be primarily focused on defending against smaller adversaries closer to home.”

So the Russian fleet’s 50-percent-more-hectic 2015 could be one of its last busy years for a good long time—at least in any meaningful sense of the word “busy.” More and more, Moscow’s navy will have to stay home.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and Chinese navies continue to grow and modernize. The American fleet is working hard to expand to around 315 large ships by the 2020s. And Washington is already deploying more of its vessels oversea
 

mso

LE
Delete 'soviet / russian' insert RN. Strangely the article still makes sense...
 
Follow some of the links though Jim. One guy he references is dismissive of the re-invigoration of the Baltic fleet, but their latest subs and stealth corvettes / frigates could upset the balance against lithuanian Hunt Class, Polish Perry's and Latvian Skrundas ...
 
B@gger - was it that obvious ?
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
Nothing changes. When I was involved in metallurgy about fifteen years ago I heard via a side wind that some of the scrap metal we were processing had been stripped from the ships of the Black Sea Fleet because their crews hadn't been paid for months and it was the only way they could raise money.

Wordsmith
 

jim30

LE
Krom - as noted at the start, I always take War is Boring with a healthy pinch of salt, but equally I'm not too quick to assume the Baltic is dooooooooooooomed.

The Russian fleet has had multiple 'we are getting new kit' announcements over the years, but this has yet to really translate into a genuine reinvigoration at all levels. Some of their stuff is VERY good, but this isn't fleet wide, and to be honest until they get to that point they'll remain a force with limited potential and some nice concepts.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
Future Russian naval investment will require a sinking fund.
 

Yokel

LE
Have they run out of vodka and consumed all the coolants instead?
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
RIP
Maybe Putin will decide that where he really wants sea power is in the Far East as the PLA(N) gets its arrse in gear..
 
B

Baldricks Batman

Guest
Delete 'soviet / russian' insert RN. Strangely the article still makes sense...

I note it says 'of which only 45 are deployable' ,i think the RN would struggle with that number.

Edit i suppose there is an argument to say at least the RN could [possibly] concentrate its force ,where as the Geography of Russia makes this impossible .
 

S0I

LE
Follow some of the links though Jim. One guy he references is dismissive of the re-invigoration of the Baltic fleet, but their latest subs and stealth corvettes / frigates could upset the balance against lithuanian Hunt Class, Polish Perry's and Latvian Skrundas ...

That's a 'problem' for the brown water navies like the Germans to address
 
The Russian Navy did not seem very effective even back in 1999. Kosovo kicked off and my ship at the the time (Iron Duck) was the first NATO ship (part of SNFM) to reach the area. We were warned that the Ruskies were kicking off about our (NATO) involvement and were sending their newest Frigate/destroyer/cruiser. Later Int stated that the Russians could not get passed the Bosphorus or Dadanelles straits (or something like that) due to not being able justify/afford the fuel. So were their surface fleet ever that effective/funded/looked after post USSR?
 
And. Yes a naval presence for a land locked country.
 
Every cloud etc, massive selling opportunities.

If France won't sell them the goodie, then let our shipyards bid for the work. Better still decommission 1/2 our fleet and sell it to them and use the proceeds to part fund upgraded replacements.

You can tell I know nothing
 
Every cloud etc, massive selling opportunities.

If France won't sell them the goodie, then let our shipyards bid for the work. Better still decommission 1/2 our fleet and sell it to them and use the proceeds to part fund upgraded replacements.

You can tell I know nothing


This is Arrse. Knowing nothing doesn't mean you can't be an internet expert
 

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