New coastal defense missile units and air bases will be established in the Caspian region within Southern Military District, reports ITAR-TASS citing Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief ADM Vladimir Vysotsky.
"Caspian Flotilla will receive at least 16 new ships till the year of 2020", said Admiral V. Vysotsky at the session of Maritime Assembly held in Astrakhan on May 4. Two missile ships Dagestan and Volgodonsk plus three landing ships will join the flotilla no later than in 2011. New ships will be based in Astrakhan and Makhachkala, reports RIA Novosti. At present, Caspian Flotilla is the force which secures economic activity of Russian companies in the region, noted Vladimir Vysotsky.
The Maritime Assembly holds its field session in Astrakhan for the first time. "Astrakhan was chosen not by accident", explained the chairman Sergei Ivanov. "Uncertainty in legal status of the Caspian Sea remains very perceptible... Generally, Russian fleet operating in that region can be classified as small-capacity, obsolete, and noncompetitive", he said.
Most of 148 Russian vessels registered in the Caspian region are 30-year old ships, underlined Sergei Ivanov. Meanwhile, current increase in shipbuilding cannot solve the problem, since domestic shipyards primarily build vessels for foreign companies.