Shaila’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘russian

The Russian Navy or VMFR (Russian: Военно-Морской Флот (ВМФ) России- Voyenno-Morskoy Flot Rossii (VMF) or literally Military Maritime Fleet of the Russian Federation) is the naval arm of the Russian Armed Forces. The international designation of Russian naval vessels is “RFS” – “Russian Federation Ship”.

The Russian Navy possesses the vast majority of the former Soviet naval forces and currently comprises the Northern Fleet, the Russian Pacific Fleet, the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Baltic Fleet, the Russian Caspian Flotilla, Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry (marines) and coastal artillery.

Broadly speaking, the navy’s role is to provide sea-based nuclear deterrence and to support Russia’s wider interests. Roughly one-third of naval personnel serve on the high seas, with other concerns being naval aviation, training, coastal defence, shore support, communications and maritime border duties.


While the SSBN fleet is contracting – perhaps to a force of 25-30 vessels – there is considerable effort in developing the SSN fleet, with the `Akula II’ and Severodvinsk classes replacing dated `Victor I’ and `II’ class submarines. The construction of surface vessels, by contrast, is slow and largely limited to smaller combatants, notably the Neustrashimy class frigate and Sovremenny II destroyer.


There is a realisation among Russian policy makers of the need to maintain a credible naval capability. Speaking in November 1999 Prime Minister Putin announced that a decree on the modernisation of the fleet was to be drafted and that the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was to be deployed to the Mediterranean in 2000. This marks a pattern of increasing Russian naval activity that has seen attack submarines operate in the Cold War stamping grounds of the Mediterranean and Eastern Pacific, carrying out simulated attacks on US naval forces. According to senior US intelligence analysts the Russian Navy is operating in a manner very similar to that of the Soviet fleet during the Cold War. Crucially however, Russian naval strength has seriously declined, with only 20 first class attack submarines in operating condition.


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