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Black Sea Fleet to get 18 new warships and renew naval aviation till 2020

Black Sea Fleet to get 18 new warships and renew naval aviation till 2020 25.10.2010
Text: RusNavy.com
Photo: BSF cruiser Moskva. militaryphotos.net
Black Sea Fleet (BSF) will receive six Project 22350 frigates, six Project 677 diesel submarines, two Project 11711 large landing ships, four ships of other projects, modernized bombers Su-24M instead of obsolete versions, and ASW aircrafts Il-38 instead of amphibious aircrafts Be-12 till 2020, reports Zerkalo Nedeli referring to Russian Navy Main HQ.

Reinforcement of Black Sea Fleet will be conducted under State Arms Program 2011-2020, added the source.

Navy Main HQ previously said that most of BSF ships have been in service for over 35 years, so by 2015 when new ships are commissioned into BSF the whole fleet would be in need of replacement. Being in operation for over 40 years, ASW aircrafts will be subject to decommission by that time.

On Oct 20 Russian and Ukrainian defense ministers signed a document providing that Russia will inform Ukraine about manpower, arms, and strength of Black Sea Fleet. Anatoly Serdiukov pointed out that the significant agreement signed is the first step to renewal of Black Sea Fleet.

Currently, Russian BSF has less than 40 warships, including the fleet's flagship Guard missile cruiser Moskva; two submarines (only B-871 Alrosa is operable); two large ASW ships; three frigates; small missile, landing, reconnaissance ships; seagoing minesweepers, and salvage vessels. BSF naval aviation numbers about 35 aircrafts (Su-24, Su-24MR, Be-12, An-2, An-12, An-26) and 20 helicopters (Ka-27, Mi-14, Mi-8). Fleet manpower numbers about 25,000.

Black Sea Fleet (BSF) is an operational-strategic formation of Russian Navy; its main objective is ensuring Russia's military security in the Black Sea. It is believed that BSF was established on May 13, 1783 when the group of warships from disbanded Azov Flotilla led by Vice Admiral F.A. Klokachev arrived to Akhtiarskaya Harbor. Through over 200 years of its history, Black Sea Fleet took part in many campaigns, including Russo-Turkish wars, French War, the Great Patriotic War. Black Sea Fleet has written glorious pages in Russian Navy's chronicles; they are Battle of Tendra (1790), Battle of Sinop (1853), defense of Sevastopol (1854-1855, 1941-1942) and etc. During the Great Patriotic War BSF conducted 24 landing operations, scuppered 835 and damaged 539 enemy's ships. The breakup of the USSR made a serious strike upon Black Sea Fleet; according to bilateral agreements between Russia and Ukraine signed in 1995 and 1997 Soviet BSF was divided into Russian Black Sea Fleet and Ukrainian Navy. Nowadays, the greater part of the fleet's infrastructure is located in Ukraine. In 2008 Black Sea Fleet participated in Russian-Georgian conflict. Black Sea Fleet HQ is situated in Sevastopol. Some BSF naval bases are Novorossiysk, Sevastopol; under construction are Novorossiysk and Ochamchira (Abkhazia). Since July 17, 2007 BSF Commander is VADM Alexander Kletskov.

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