Russian Navy

Russian Navy looks forward

Text: Krasnaya Zvezda, Andrei Gavrilenko
Photo: Krasnaya Zvezda
Russian Navy will keep on being a reliable guarantor of national security at seas and oceans. It will be reinforced with new ships. Russian mariners will face new exercises and long cruises. They have plenty of miles ahead.

Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky recently held an annual operational meeting with fleet commanders and top-ranking naval officers in St. Petersburg. Among the issues considered were Navy development prospects for the period of 2011-2020 and beyond, as well as urgent matters of training process improvements in the post-reformed armed forces. The operational meeting with fleet commanders helped to reach uniform understanding of basic trends in mid-term and long-term developments, and qualification improvement of Navy's key personnel.

The meeting was held in accordance with defense ministry's schedule in the Kuznetsov Naval Academy which is a branch of the Navy Training and Research Centre. At present, this center includes 12 training and scientific institutions Kuznetsov Naval Academy, Higher Naval Officer Course, 5 naval colleges, 3 research institutes, Nakhimov Naval School, and Kronshtadt Naval Cadet Corps. It is the first time in many years such different organizations work under unified command, so under unified standards. New uncustomary organizations do work now methodical center, teacher training center, Navy development center, educational and IT research center etc.

Russian Navy will undergo considerable technical renovation. New surface ships and submarines will be commissioned; in particular, new Borei class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Each sub of the project will carry intercontinental ballistic missiles R-30 Bulava which are to be fielded in the current year. First Borei class SSBN Yury Dolgoruky armed with Bulava missiles is going to join Pacific Fleet soon. Living residence for the crew of Yury Dolgoruky has been already built in Rybachy, Kamchatka. Right after Yury Dolgoruky, Russian Navy will receive new subs of this project SSBN Alexander Nevsky, SSBN Vladimir Monomakh, and SSBN Svyatitel Nikolai.

"At present stage of the Russian Navy's development when its presence worldwide acquires strategic significance again, our servicemen perform critical tasks to create favorable conditions for protection of Russia's national interests".

Being the Borei class subs integrator, Sevmash shipyard completes construction of the 4th generation submarine SSGN Severodvinsk. Today, Project 885 Yasen has not analogs in Russia. The sub was designed by Malakhit design bureau (St. Petersburg) and laid down at Sevmash shipyard in 1993. Such long construction period is explained not only by economic problems in the country but crucially new sub's design and armament. Severodvinsk is equipped with advanced communication and navigational systems, powered by radically new nuclear propulsion plant, and armed with powerful weapons. The sub is supposed to join Russian Navy in the current year.

It is also planned to deliver upgraded SSBN Novomoskovsk to the Navy in January 2012. The submarine completes cycle of interim overhauls which has being carried out over Project 667BDRM submarines since 90's. Earlier on, these works were done on SSBN Verkhoturye, SSBN Yekaterinburg, SSBN Tula, SSBN Bryansk, and SSBN Karelia. In contrast to newest subs of Project 955, upgraded Project 667BDRM has been tested and mastered since late 80's. Now 4 out of 6 subs of this class have been rearmed with Sineva ballistic missiles a modernized version of combat-proved missile R-29RM. Other two submarines will be rearmed with Sineva missiles within the next 3-4 years.

Submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) Sineva has significantly larger flight range over 11,000 km. Standard version of the missile is armed with four warheads. Besides, it is possible to equip these missiles with crucially new nuclear warheads for pinpoint destruction of high-priority targets. Project 667BDRM submarines armed with new missiles will remain operable for next 15-20 years, so constitute the basis of Russia's maritime nuclear force along with new Project 955 subs.

According to recent statement of Alexander Leonov, director general of defense-oriented corporation NPO Mashinostroyenia, State Arms Program 2011-2020 implies development of new-generation missiles for the Navy. "We have designed up to 80% cruise missiles currently operated by Russian Navy. All attack submarines are equipped only with our antiship missiles. Same as all largest surface ships", he said.

The director added that "fortunately, all types of weapon systems will undergo development, including those we are dealing with. Works are in progress. For good reasons, I can't talk about characteristics but the general development trends are increasing of speed up to hypersound, improvement of operational range, and versatility".

The same missile will be capable against sea and land targets. However, versatility of launching platforms is also critical; it is when the missile can be used by different kinds of carriers.

The director general underlined that "the corporation has formed clear and well-defined backlog of export orders at least till 2018. This is a pretty good parameter because it makes possible to shape a long-term production program. Having a firm order for missiles, we can optimize production schedule and do some works ahead of it. Generally, we produce over 50 missiles per year, in some years production output reaches 100 missiles".

St. Petersburg's shipyard Admiralteyskie Verfi started section assembling of Project 636.6 Kilo diesel electric submarine Novorossiysk meant to join Russia's Black Sea Fleet. According to schedule, the sub will be delivered to the orderer in 2013. The ship is assembled by progressive module technique with the use of informational technology and advanced methods for hull welding, installation of shipborne systems and equipment. SSK Novorossiysk is designed for antisubmarine and anti-surface warfare, protection of naval bases, seashore, sea lanes, and conducting reconnaissance.

Some systems of this submarine can be altered with regard for operation in the Black Sea. Same-type subs are expected to join Russian Navy in the nearest years.

This project is one of the most successful series in conventional submarine building brilliantly implemented and developed. Distinctive features of these subs are high silence, perfect hull architecture, reasonable automation of control process, powerful missile/torpedo/mine armament, good living conditions, and simple maintenance. The submarines are equipped with newest inertial-type navigation system storing parameters without corrections for a long time and providing missile system with required information in underwater position. This improves concealment while mission performance. In addition, there is a new automated command information system; it includes missile control subsystem, assists in commander's decisions, and provides targeting data for missile systems and torpedo tubes.

SSK Novorossiysk was laid down in Aug 2010 at Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard which has built over 300 submarines. Among them was the newest Russian diesel sub St. Petersburg, having unique technical characteristics improved silence, endurance, operational range, and reliability. As of combination of these features, the sub has no analogs worldwide. The new submarine can be operated at any latitudes except for regions fully covered with ice. SSK St. Petersburg is designed for antisubmarine and anti-surface warfare, protection of naval bases, seashore, sea lanes, and conducting reconnaissance.

Renovation of surface fleet is in focus as well. Our navy has been recently reinforced with new advanced assets. Corvette Stereguschiy is among them. This ship built by Severnaya Verf shipyard was developed by Almaz Design Bureau and embodied latest achievements of shipbuilding science. The ship's design includes the newest Russian-made integrated information systems. Stereguschiy is a multipurpose sea-going warship designed for antisubmarine/antisurface/antiaircraft warfare and gun support of landing operations. In July 2011, Severnaya Verf plans to deliver corvette Soobrazitelny which is expected to join Baltic Fleet. Besides, same-class corvette Boiky is to be launched in mid-April.

Also, Severnaya Verf recently laid the keel for the first serial frigate Admiral Flota Kasatonov. The lead ship of Project 22350 Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Gorshkov was laid down there earlier. The frigate is designed for operations in distant and littoral sea zones, as well as participation in ocean-zone missions.

Frigate Yaroslav Mudry was commissioned into Russian Navy some time ago. The ship's builder Yantar Shipyard is an active participant of numerous international defense exhibitions. This is the only Russian shipbuilding company located in southwestern part of Baltic region next to Europe's largest industrial centers. Yaroslav Mudry is the second ship of the project. The new frigate has some distinctions with her predecessor Neustrashimy currently operated by Baltic Fleet. For instance, exhaust system of stern diesel generators is equipped with oil catchers preventing pollution of outside water. Some technical innovations were introduced to control systems including those of attack weapons. Besides, Yaroslav Mudry was equipped with advanced tactical arms.

"One should understand dangers of the peacetime, potential military threats, and which strategic adversaries Russia could have in 20352050. Today, one of the key objectives for the Navy is involvement in nuclear force strategic operations as a deterrence element... Another prime task is demonstration of military presence. With regard to Russia's growing economic capabilities, the Navy will develop in order to accomplish certain missions and achieve certain goals. We cannot afford to spend immense sums improvidently..."

Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief
Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky

Yantar shipyard recently laid down the keel for the first Project 11356 frigate for Russian Navy. The new ship will bear the name of Admiral Grigorovich. Project 11356 is a development of JCS Severnoye Design Bureau. Frigates of this project are designed for antisurface/antisubmarine/antiaircraft warfare in ocean and sea areas both independently and within task forces as an escort ship.

In particular, one or two Project 11356 frigates will be commissioned into Black Sea Fleet after 2013, lately said Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky. According to him, in 2015 Black Sea Fleet would have at least five such ships in inventory to perform anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden.

President of United Shipbuilding Corporation Roman Trotsenko said in his turn that Russia's Black Sea Fleet would receive several littoral ships and a "pack" of diesel subs. "Black Sea Fleet is an exceptionally interesting subject to us. We plan to deliver 4-6 corvettes for littoral defense and a group of 4-6 diesel electric submarines, first of them will be constructed by Admiralteyskie Verfi", Trotsenko said.

Russian Navy is being reinforced not only with new submarines and surface ships. New equipment is also fielded. For instance, a new floating armor vest having no analogs worldwide was recently put into service. These vests are designed for marines and servicemen of surface ships.

New salvage equipment is being included in inventory as well. For one, the crew of Black Sea Fleet salvage vessel Kommuna has trialed new unmanned submersible Panther Plus for several months. The submersible was run at the depth up to 70 meters for over 50 hours.

Therefore, ships of Russian Navy will continue to meet highest world standards in the next decade, reliably protecting Russia's interests all across the world and maintaining politico-military stability in adjacent seas.

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