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#1 User is offline   pepperonikkid 

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  Posted 06 February 2019 - 11:00 AM

Winning: The Russian Navy Suffers Heavy Losses

February 2, 2019


The prolonged low oil prices are doing major damage to the Russian Navy. Less oil income on top of the damage done by economic sanctions because of the Ukraine invasion, plus the additional production costs caused by the loss of Ukrainian defense industry suppliers has forced Russia to make a number of changes that have not been mentioned in navy press releases.

Forced to make major cuts in defense spending and do so in a way that does the least damage ended up hitting naval shipbuilding particularly hard. Only one of these cuts made the news and was because the only aircraft carrier, the Kuznetsov (built in 1990), was undergoing one last refurbishment in a floating drydock. But a shipyard worker accidentally caused the drydock to sink with the Kuznetsov in it.

The carrier got out with some damage but the Swedish built (in 1980) drydock was too expensive to replace or even recover. The refurbishment of the Kuznetsov was canceled and while the ship may be optimistically placed in reserve (pending future opportunities to revive it) the navy now lacks any carriers. It may be decades, if ever, before they have an operational carrier.

The two Kirov class battlecruisers (completed in 1988 and 1998) are being scrapped because there is no money for maintenance and needed refurbishment on the older ship.

Russia has been trying, since the late 1990s, to build replacements for Cold War era warships. Most of these have reached the end of their useful lives and many of them, while still listed as in service, rarely, if ever, seem to leave port. Russian admirals have been aware of the fact that they won't have much of a navy by the 2020s unless these older ships are replaced.

The problem is that the older ships cannot be refurbished or upgraded because that would cost more than buying new ones, These older ships are not just falling apart, but because there was not any money available right after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, there were few repairs and no upgrades during the 1990s.

The twelve destroyers available were all completed in the 1980s and 1990s. There is also one 1960s vintage destroyer in the Black Sea, which is more for show than active service. The destroyers are wearing out quickly and won't be fit for service much longer.

The plans for two new classes of destroyers have been put off until the 2020s. The current destroyers suffered from lack of maintenance in the 1990s and there is no money for refurbishment. These dozen destroyers won't last much beyond 2030, at least not as ships that can stay at sea much.

There has been some new construction for frigates (ocean-going ships displacing about 4,000 tons) but some of that construction has stopped or been canceled. Construction of smaller ships like corvettes (500-1,000 tons) and patrol boats is continuing but not at a rate to replace all those currently in service.

These smaller vessels are mainly for coastal security and the Cold War era fleet had a lot more of these because Russia was a classic police state that enforced strict border controls. That has been loosened up since the Cold War ended and the loss of many older ships will not leave the coasts undefended.

Submarines were one ship type that got priority for new construction even in the 1990s but that has now slowed down.

This is critical when it comes to building replacements for the last Cold War class of SSBNs (Nuclear ballistic missile subs) were all completed in the 1980s. These have been quietly retired or "semi-retired" (only going to sea for training).

Priority was put on building eight new Borei class SSBNs. These were delayed and the first one did not enter service until 2013. There are now four in service but construction on the other four has been stopped. Some of these are half built but there is simply no money to finish them now. So the SSBN fleet will probably shrink to four subs for a while, maybe a long while.

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#2 User is offline   Taggart Transcontinental 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 12:07 PM

Wow good news you will never hear in the US press, we need to starve the Chinese the same way. That way their "blue" navy can die a lingering silent death.

#3 User is offline   Coach 

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Posted 06 February 2019 - 01:40 PM

Top down military industries have always been inferior. WW II, it took the United States about two years to overtake and surpass Nazi Germany. Reagan knew it, "they lose we win" was not an idle boast. China today has to steal the technology and research it takes to become and remain a world leader.

That is why the free market must never be hamstrung as we were under Barak. Hell we couldn't even maintain whaat we had.

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