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Structure of the Navy

Navy is thought to be a key constituent of the defensive capacity of any country. It can be divided into two main categories: strategic nuclear forces and general-purpose forces.

Strategic nuclear forces are noted for its powerful nuclear-missile weaponry, high mobility and capacity to carry out long-standing operations in different parts of the World Ocean.

Navy consists of the following branches: submarine forces, surface forces, naval air force, marines and coastal defense troops. It also includes ships and vessels, unconventional units, rear divisions and subdivisions.

Submarine forces are considered to be the striking force of the fleet capable of controlling the vast territories of the World Ocean, secretly and quickly deploying in the needed directions and unexpectedly striking both sea and continental targets from under the ocean depths. With respect to basic armaments, submarines can be subdivided into missile-firing and torpedo submarines, and with respect to power installations – into nuclear-powered and diesel-electric submarines.

Nuclear-powered submarines equipped with ballistic and cruise missiles with nuclear charges are regarded as the major striking force of the navy. These ships permanently present in various areas of the World Ocean on alert to discharge their strategic weapons by order.

Nuclear-powered submarines armed with “ship-to-ship” cruise missiles are aimed mainly at fight with enemies’ large surface ships. Torpedo submarines are used to disturb the enemies’ submarine and surface lines of communication, to protect against submarine threat and to escort missile-firing and surface ships.

The use of diesel submarine (missile-firing and torpedo) necessitates the implementation of specific operations in the restricted ocean areas. Equipping the submarines with atomic energy and nuclear-missile weaponry, powerful hydroacoustic complexes and high-precision navigation system along with integrated automation of the control processes and provision of optimal living conditions for the crew was highly conducive to the extension of their tactical characteristics and ways of employment.

In present-day life surface forces remain an essential part of the Navy. The construction of ship-carriers, airplanes and helicopters as well as conversion a number of ships and submarines to atomic energy helped significantly increase their operational capabilities. Equipping the ships with helicopters and airplanes extends the range of capabilities for detection and destruction of the enemies’ submarines. Helicopters help carry out a variety of missions ranging from retransmission and intercommunication, target designation, cargo transfer on sea to landing operations and crew rescue in a more efficient way. Surface ships remain the major force for providing an unhindered access of submarines to the battle area, their deployment and return to bases as well as transportation and cover of the landing troops. Moreover, they play an active role in the process of minelayers setting, mine threat combating and lines of communication protection.

Traditionally, the main purpose of the surface ships has always been striking the enemies’ objectives on their own territory and cover of the home coastline from the seaside against the naval forces of the enemy.

Thus, the surface ships carry out a set of crucial tactical operations. These operations can be carried out in groups, formations, units either on their own or in cooperation with other forces (submarines, air force, marines).

Naval air force is another part of the navy. It consists of strategic, tactical, deck-based and coastal air forces. Strategic and tactical aviation are used for battle operations with groups of surface ships in the ocean, submarines and troop-transport as well as delivering bombing and rocket attacks at the onshore objects of the enemy. Helicopters used by naval air forces are effective target designation mechanisms for the ship missile weaponry in destroying the enemies’ submarines and repulsing an attack of low-flying airplanes and anti-ship rockets of the enemy. Carrying the air-to-surface rockets and other armaments on board, they serve as a powerful instrument for both fire support of the landing marines and destroying the enemies’ missile and artillery boats.

Marines is the naval force aimed at combat operations conduction as a part of marine landing party (either on their own or together with land forces) and coastal defense (naval bases, ports). As a rule, marines carry out their military operations with a help of aviation and ships gun-fire. Apart from that, marines use all kinds of armament typical for motorized rifle troops but applying a specific tactics for landing.

Coastal defense troops, as an integral part of the naval forces, are aimed at protection of the Navy deployment stations, ports, important coastal areas, islands, straits and other bottleneck areas from the enemies’ ships and marine troops attack. Coastal rocket complexes and artillery, air-defense system, mine and torpedo weaponry as well as special-purpose coastal defense ships (water area protection) are considered to be their main armaments. In order to provide a coast protection, the troops have to build special coastal fortifications. \

The major objective of the rear divisions and subdivisions is to secure the rear of the Navy. Rear services are to provide for the material, transport, domestic and other needs of the Navy divisions and subdivisions so that the divisions were on alert to fulfill the specified missions.

Key Fleets:

The Black Sea Fleet is an operational-strategic unit of the Russian Navy at the Black Sea with the main base situated in Sebastopol.

The Pacific Ocean Fleet is another operational-strategic unit of the Russian Navy. In order to fulfill its military missions, the Pacific Ocean Fleet is armed with strategic rocket-powered submarine cruisers, multipurpose nuclear-powered and diesel submarines, surface ships for ocean and sea-zone maneuvers, marine rocket-carrying/anti-submarine and fighting aircrafts along with land forces and some land forces and coastal defense divisions.

Nowadays, the major missions of the Russian Pacific Ocean Fleet are as follows:

  • keeping the naval strategic nuclear forces on alert with the purpose of nuclear containment;
  • protection of economic zones and production activity regions, suppression of illegal production activity;
  • navigation security provision;
  • implementation of the foreign-policy actions of the government in the economically important regions of the World Ocean (visits, business callings, joint maneuvers and operations within the framework of peacemaking activity, etc).

The Northern Fleet is armed with nuclear-powered and torpedo submarines, missile-carrying and anti-submarine aircrafts as well as rocket-powered, aircraft-carriers and anti-submarine ships.

The Baltic Fleet is an operational-strategic unit of the Russian Navy at the Baltic Sea. Main bases are Baltiysk (Kaliningrad region) and Kronshtadt (Leningrad region). They consist of surface ships division, diesel submarines brigade, service boats and search-and-rescue ships formations, the Air forces, coastal defense troops, rear technical and special security units.