A Fleet of a Strong Nation

A Fleet of a Strong Nation

Vladimir Korolyov
USC Vice-President,Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy from 2016 through 2019, Admiral

The Russian Navy is a crucial element of the country’s national security system. In peacetime, it defends Russia’s interests in the World Ocean, maintaining military and political stability on global and regional levels. In wartime, it repulses the aggression coming from seas and oceans

Russian shipbuilders and naval officers clearly understand our goal, which is to set up a Navy featuring a well-balanced composition and cutting-edge equipment. Several lines of development have been defined in the state arms program. The primary goals are to uphold proper combat potential of strategic naval nuclear forces by constructing the Borei-class ballistic missile submarines, as well as to build up the combat capability of general-purpose naval forces by making ships for ocean and sea (long- and short-range) operations. In addition, we must upgrade the ships that have a significant potential in these aspects, reinforce naval aviation with modern aircraft, and supply coastal missile systems to the Coastal Troops of the Russian Navy. It is also important to establish strategic non-nuclear deterrence forces, made up of ships carrying long-range precision weapons; modernize Navy bases; and ensure balanced supplies of armament and ammunition.

Close cooperation between the Navy’s supreme command and USC’s management largely predetermined successful accomplishment of a number of important objectives. For the first time, a strategic nuclear submarine successfully launched four Bulava ballistic missiles at the Kura range. The Russian Navy’s aviation and naval forces held the Ocean Shield exercise in the Mediterranean Sea. During the mastering of a deep-sea diving system, installed on state-of-the-art rescue ship Igor Belousov, rescue teams of the Pacific Fleet set another record of submergence depth. Finally, in 2017–2018, for the first time in modern Russian history, St. Petersburg saw the Main Naval Parade, which was reviewed by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. It involved surface ships, submarines, and aircraft of all Russian fleets and the Caspian Flotilla.

Oceanographic research vessel Admiral Vladimirsky restored the practice of round-the-world voyages and performed large-scale studies of the World Ocean. Training ship Perekop, with cadets on board, performed a round-the-world voyage and sailed through the Arctic waters of the Northern Sea Route without icebreaker support.

The renewal of the Russian fleet keeps going quite intensively. Under the state arms program, the Navy is due to receive more than 180 warships and about 20 support vessels. This year alone, the Navy is to receive dozens of combat ships and support vessels. The share of new and upgraded weapon systems in the inventory of the Russian Navy has also increased. And the total time in operation of ships and submarines has exceeded 5,000 operating days! This was achieved thanks to both the manufacturers of reliable naval equipment and those who operated it with superb professionalism.

In the current year, the priority for the Navy and the United Shipbuilding Corporation is to complete trials of dock landing ship Pyotr Morgunov, frigate Admiral Kasatonov, corvette Gremyashchy, and a series of mine countermeasure vessels.

The Navy command will continue to work hand in hand with defense companies on such projects as serial construction of large-displacement ships; improvement of the Project 1155 anti-submarine guided missile destroyers; and repair and refit of heavy nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser Admiral Nakhimov and aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.

Of course, the Navy will continue to keep an eye on the construction of the Project 636.3 submarines for the Pacific Fleet and the Lada-class submarines.

Continuous development of the fleet is a fair need, which has been proven by the entire history of Russia. For a country that has access to 12 seas and three oceans and whose maritime borders are twice as long as the land ones, it’s a must to maintain, build, and develop a Navy, which could defend its national interests.