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Russia to shore up its Navy

Russia will continue beefing up the capacities of its Navy (VMF), President Vladimir Putin said during a meeting on the military service’s short- and long-term development, which was held with the Ministry of Defense’s (MoD’s) top executives and the Navy’s high-level commanders on January 9.

Russia to shore up its NavyMarshal Ustinov in 2018, after modernisation (Picture source: Russian MoD)

"The Navy has been an important, if not pivotal, component of the national defense and security. In the 21st century, we should preserve and maintain the status of our country as a leading naval power," said Putin.

In recent years, specific attention has been paid to the development of the Navy, with large amounts of resources and money spent on it. "We will keep our Navy as a modern and well-equipped military service," said Putin.

The issues of the Navy’s modernization, including the reinforcing of the naval strategic component, were regarded in early December during several meetings in Sochi. "As already known, the proportion of modern weapon systems in service with the Navy should reach 70%. Not only should we reach this level, but also maintain it. The quality of ship designing and building and the global approaches to these processes have been drastically changed, and it should be taken into account. The reduction of naval systems’ construction terms and costs can be achieved only through the medium of cutting-edge technologies and processes, including 3D modelling, modular designs, use of common weapon systems and main subsystems, and maintaining of modern shipbuilding facilities," said Putin. The requirement for development and acceptance of electronic construction documentation on the base of digital models of ships should be included in the terms of reference for advanced naval platforms, he added.

"The designing of multifaceted targeted programs for the development of the Navy’s armaments in accordance with a single standard on the base of inter-service commonality with further switching to modular architecture is finishing," said Putin, emphasizing the importance of the Navy’s hardware commonality.

Prior to the meeting, Putin was observing a joint exercise of the Northern Fleet and the Black Sea Fleet from the Project 1164 (NATO reporting name: Slava-class) guided missile cruiser ‘Marshal Ustinov’. The exercise, which was conducted in the Black Sea, included live firing of the Kalibr (SS-N-27 Sizzler) cruise missiles and the Kinzhal (Dagger) hypersonic aeroballistic missile.

The Black Sea Fleet’s Project 11356 (Grigorovich-class) guided missile frigates ‘Admiral Grigorovich’ and ‘Admiral Makarov’, Project 21631 (Buyan-M-class) guided missile corvette ‘Orekhovo-Zuyevo’, Project 1241 (Tarantul-class) missile boats ‘Naberezhniye Chelny’ and ‘Ivanovo’, Project 775 (Ropucha-class) large landing ships ‘Cesar Kunikov’ and ‘Azov’, Project 22160 corvettes ‘Dmitry Rogachev’ and ‘Vasiliy Bykov’, Project 636.3 (Improved Kilo-class) diesel-electric submarine ‘Kolpino’, small anti-submarine warfare (ASW) ships, and minesweepers were involved in the exercise. The Northern Fleet’s cruiser ‘Marshal Ustinov’ and Project 1155 (Udaloy-class) large ASW ship ‘Vice Admiral Kulakov’ also participated in the event.

During the air stage of the exercise, two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31K fighters launched a Kinzhal missile against a target at a range. The frigate ‘Admiral Grigorovich’, the corvette ‘Orekhovo-Zuyevo’, and the submarine ‘Kolpino’ conducted surface and submerged launches of the Kalibr missiles, while the missile boats ‘Ivanovo’ and ‘Naberezhniye Chelny’ fired the Moskit (SS-N-22 Sunburn) anti-ship missiles. The Black Sea Fleet’s Utyos shore-based coastal defense missile system stroke two simulated surface targets.

Sukhoi Su-30SM (Flanker-H) multirole combat aircraft, Sukhoi Su-24M (Fencer-D) frontline bombers, and Tupolev Tu-95MS (Bear-H) strategic aircraft also participated in the event.

After the completion of the exercise, Defense Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, Vice Premier Yury Borisov, and the head of the Nakhimov Black Sea Higher Naval School (NBSHNS) Alexander Grinkevich demonstrated to President the latest naval technologies during an exhibition at the NBSHNS. In particular, Putin got himself acquainted with the development of the ships for the Arctic, green- and blue-water corvettes, littoral ships, and minesweepers, a logistic support system, and hybrid engine-powered vertical take-off and landing piloted shipborne aircraft.

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