A 68-page US Naval intelligence report, entitled The Russian Navy: A Historic Transition outlines the rising credibility and threat of Russia’s Navy.
The report details a situation where Russia’s navy, third largest behind the US and China, may soon be capable of denying the US Navy access to the Black and Baltic Sea.
Russia’s land grab in Crimea as well as their enclave in Kaliningrad could potentially lock US forces out of the Black or Baltic seas.
US Lt. General Ben Hodges spoke to this in a Pentagon press briefing earlier this month, saying that the nearly 25,000 Russian troops illegally stationed in Crimea “have the ability to really disrupt access into the Black Sea.”
Earlier this year, Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced plans to revive and increase the size and scope of its Black Sea submarine fleet.
The new submarines are designed to excel at warfare in shallower water while being arguably the quietest submarines in the world.
“The new submarine and ship classes will incorporate the latest advances in militarily significant areas such as: weapons; sensors; command, control and communication capabilities; signature reduction; electronic countermeasures; and automation and habitability,” the report states.
The report also describes Russia’s KALIBR missiles, which were put on display in October when Russian boats in the Caspian Sea fired missiles at ground targets in Syria.
In addition to the KALIBR missiles, the report speculates that Russia’s fifth-generation aircraft, the PAK FA aka T-50, could be ready for deployment as soon as 2016.
The increased stealth capabilities of the plane, as well as it’s potential role aboard a new Russian aircraft carrier could spell big problems for the US.
According to the report, Russia is “currently reorganising its personnel structure to more accurately reflect the needs of modern warfare” and will do so by attempting to transition to an all-volunteer force.
The report acknowledges that Russia is under heavy financial strain due to sanctions and historically low oil-prices, but they are nonetheless determined to create a modern navy that is capable of undermining the military superiority of the West.
Here’s the full report:
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