Russia's naval forces are being restored and modernized under President Vladimir Putin, with advanced submarines and several new warships with the goal of restoring the navy to the power it has not had since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, a new Office of Naval Intelligence report
The buildup "will provide a flexible platform for Russia to demonstrate offensive capability, threaten neighbors, project power regionally, and advance President Putin's stated goal of returning Russia to clear great power status," the analysis reveals, reports The Washington Free Beacon.
The goal is to restore the navy's power by 2020. After the Soviet Union collapsed, its once-powerful navy was reduced and orders for new weapons systems were canceled.
But under Putin, the navy is once again receiving advanced funding, and Russia is apparently supplying advanced weapons to other countries as well, said the report.
"The quantity and quality of the ships, submarines, and armaments sold will transform the current capabilities of recipient states and, in some cases, potentially enable them to improve the quality of indigenous arms production," the report states.
Kilo-class submarines have been sold to Algeria and Vietnam, a modified Kiev-class aircraft carrier went to India and Vietnam has received Gepard-class frigates. Further, high-performance Club missiles have been in production for more than 10 years.
Meanwhile, Russia's wartime strategy remains focused on a layered defense and nuclear deterrence, said the report, including the use of long-range missiles that can hit targets 1,000 nautical miles from the nation's borders, in hopes of countering U.S. Tomahawk missiles.
Russia is still highly dependent on its submarine forces, which are made up of 56 submarines, including 12 nuclear missile submarines, 26 with cruise missiles, and 18 attacking submarines. In addition, the nation has 31 major surface warships deployed, but most of them are over 20 years old.
The newest submarine being developed is the Dolgorukiy class, which are armed with Bulava missiles that have a range of 5,281 miles. The first such submarine was launched in December 2013. Two more are almost ready to be deployed, and there are plans for eight more by 2020.
In addition, eight new Severodvinsk nuclear-powered submarines are expected to be deployed by 2020, and yet another class, in development, will protect the missile submarines.
The attack submarines can fire advanced cruise missiles, such as the new Kalibr missile recently fired in the Black Sea against Syrian targets, the report indicates, and there also plans to add the missile to older ships and submarines.
Two diesel-electric submarines are in production, and on the surface, there are several warships being built up, including a new guided-missile corvette and four new guided missile frigates. A new generation of guided missile destroyer also is planned, and a new class of aircraft carrier is being developed.
For the carrier, the report identifies the new advanced fighter jet known as the PAK-FA that is in the testing phase.
Already, a new ocean research ship, the Yantar, has been deployed, and was discovered by U.S. intelligence conducting surveillance of U.S. underwater capabilities.
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