Putin Confirms Navy's High Combat Potential

Credit: Kremlin

Published Dec 7, 2019 7:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

Russian President Vladimir Putin held high level military meetings in Sochi last week, noting that as part of the state defense order this year, the Navy will receive more than 480 different types of new equipment. 

Among them - two submarines, 23 surface ships and support vessels, three aircraft, four coastal missile systems and more than 400 missiles and torpedoes. Five Borey type submarines with Bulava ballistic missiles are under construction, the first, in the final stages of testing, is the Prince Vladimir. The Russian navy is also taking delivery of long-range missiles capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 1,500 kilometers. 

Putin meets with leaders from the Ministry of Defense every six months, and this time he reiterated the importance of maintaining the pace of development of the Navy. “In the coming years, it is necessary to actively increase the combat capabilities of the fleet. In many respects, this depends on the planned admission of navigational frigates and submarines modified for the use of Zircon hypersonic missiles - this weapon becomes extremely important for maintaining strategic stability, as well as destroyers and universal landing ships.”

Putin says the Russian Navy has confirmed its high combat potential in the fight against terrorists in Syria. A group of Russian ships is now constantly located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Syria, and a naval base is established in the port of Tartus.

Additionally, the Navy has been active in the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, including counter-piracy operations in the South China Sea, the Gulf of Aden, Malacca and Singapore Straits and the Caribbean. 111 voyages were completed involving 70 surface ships, 27 support vessels and 15 submarines. The Ocean Shield 2019 exercise involved, for the first time, naval aviators from all four fleets. A unique tactical exercise in the Arctic took place in the Northern Fleet, during which the Marines received the practice of landing on the unequipped coast and islands of the Arctic Ocean. Warships have worked out actions to protect marine economic activity on the Arctic shelf, says Putin.

War of Words with NATO

The Sochi meetings coincided with a NATO summit in London, dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the formation of this alliance which was created on April 4, 1949, as part of the “cold war” with the Soviet Union.

“At the time of its creation, the alliance included 12 states, now 29, and the total military spending of the countries of the alliance is more than 70 percent of the global volume of military spending,” said Putin, highlighting Russia's historic readiness to cooperate with NATO to counter international terrorism, local armed conflicts and the uncontrolled proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. However, he says: “Today we must proceed from the fact that the expansion of NATO, the development of its military infrastructure near the Russian borders is one of the potential threats to the security of our country.”

On December 4, NATO issued the London Declaration which states about Russia: “We, as an Alliance, are facing distinct threats and challenges emanating from all strategic directions. Russia’s aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security; terrorism in all its forms and manifestations remains a persistent threat to us all... We are addressing and will continue to address in a measured and responsible way Russia’s deployment of new intermediate-range missiles, which brought about the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and which pose significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security...We remain open for dialogue, and to a constructive relationship with Russia when Russia’s actions make that possible.”