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BSF to be reinforced with new frigates and subs

BSF to be reinforced with new frigates and subs 14.04.2010
Text: RusNavy.com
Photo: gun mount of BSF flagship missile cruiser Moskva. Reuters
Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) will be reinforced with new frigates and diesel submarines within the nearest 5 years, informs RIA Novosti referring to a source in Black Sea Fleet HQ.

The fleet is in want of 3-4 frigate class littoral zone ships and 3-4 submarines, pointed out the source. St. Petersburg shipyard Severnaya Verf is completing construction of frigate Admiral Gorshkov, lead ship of Project 22350; Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard Project 677 submarine Sevastopol, he added.

According to the source, Black Sea Fleet's demand in new ships is caused by decommissioning of old ones, scheduled ocean exercises, long range cruises and annual participation of the fleet in international maneuvers held in Black Sea such as BLACKSEAFOR, Black Sea Harmony, Fairway of Peace.

Commission of new ships does not contradict agreements of BSF basing at Ukrainian territory and will be debated by special RF-Ukrainian subcommittee for BSF issues.

According to public sources, presently in service at BSF are 3 frigates (Pylkiy, Ladny, Pytlivy; launched in 1978, 1980, 1981) and several submarines including diesel submarine Alrosa (the only mission capable, launched in 1989).

Interfax agency previously reported referring to a source in Black Sea Fleet HQ that BSF ships large ASW ship Ochakov and diesel submarine B-380 Svyatoi Kniaz Georgy are being prepared for decommission; same perspective is planned for large ASW ship Kerch, hospital ship Yenisei, ocean-going transport Turgai, cable ship Setun, and ocean-going arms transport General Riabikov.

Black Sea Fleet is an operational-strategic formation of the Russian Navy which primary objective is maintenance of Russia's military security at the Black Sea. Black Sea Fleet HQ is located in Sevastopol. Here are some BSF naval bases: Novorossiysk, Sevastopol, under construction are bases in Novorossiysk and Ochamchira (Abkhazia). Since July 17, 2007 BSF Commander is Vice Admiral Alexander Kletskov. Manpower of Black Sea Fleet numbers about 25,000. The fleet comprises somewhat 50 warships, including ASW ships, landing craft, diesel submarines, missile boats, minesweepers.

Black Sea Fleet was established on May 13, 1783 when group of ships arrived to Akhtiarskaya Bay from unit from abolished Azov Flotilla headed by Vice Admiral F.A. Klokachev. Through over 200 years of its history, Black Sea Fleet participated in many combat actions, including Russo-Turkish wars, war against France, the Great Patriotic War. The fleet has written glorious pages in the Russian naval chronicle: the battle of Tendra (1790), the battle of Sinop (1853), defense of Sevastopol (1854-1855, 1941-1942) and other bases. During the Great Patriotic War the fleet conducted 24 landing operations, scuppered 835 enemy ships and damaged 539 vessels. Breakup of the Soviet Union affected Black Sea Fleet adversely: according to bilateral agreements between Russia and Ukraine tied in 1995 and 1997, Russian Black Sea Fleet and Ukrainian Navy were established on the basis of Soviet BSF. At present, greater part of BSF infrastructure is located at Ukrainian territory, being a firing line between governments of the two countries; Ukrainian leaders has continuously tried to incriminate Russian BSF in violations of signed agreements.

In 2008 Black Sea Fleet took part in armed conflict with Georgia.

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