GADZHIYEVO (Murmansk region), April 16 (RIA Novosti) – The first Borey-class ballistic missile submarine could be put on combat duty this year after taking weaponry on board, a senior Russian Navy commander said Wednesday.
“Upon receiving new weapons on board this year, the Yury Dolgoruky submarine will be ready to perform its duties,” said Rear Admiral Alexander Moiseev, commander of the submarine forces of the Northern Fleet.
The Yury Dolgoruky joined the Northern Fleet in January 2013 while the second Borey-class boat, the Alexander Nevsky, was commissioned by the Navy in December last year.
The third boat, the Vladimir Monomakh, is undergoing sea and state trials, and the fourth Borey-class submarine, the Knyaz Vladimir, has been under construction at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia since July 2012.
The Borey is Russia’s first post-Soviet ballistic missile submarine class and will form the mainstay of the strategic submarine fleet, replacing aging Typhoon, Delta-3 and Delta-4 class boats. Russia expects eight Borey-class submarines to enter service by 2020.
The new Borey-class boats, with a length of nearly two football fields, can carry sixteen Bulava missiles, each fitted with up to 10 independently-targetable nuclear warheads.
Ballistic missile submarines comprise one leg of Russia’s strategic nuclear triad along with land-based ICBMs and the bomber force.
MOSCOW, February 14 (RIA Novosti) – Cypriot defense minister Fotis Fotiou was led on a tour of a Russian nuclear-powered missile cruiser currently resupplying in the Mediterranean island, navy officials said Friday.
The visit by the Pyotr Veliky, the flagship of the Northern Fleet, to Cyprus comes against the backdrop of media speculation that Limassol may be considering granting Moscow a maritime base in exchange for economic aid for the struggling EU member.
Ties soured last year following the seizure and devaluation of deposits at Cypriot banks, which are heavily used as offshore tax havens by Russian businessmen. That move was part of requirements to qualify for a 10 billion euro ($13.7 billion) international aid package to rescue the nation’s banking sector.
Pyotr Veliky is deployed as part of a permanent Mediterranean naval task force established last year in what was widely seen as a response to increasing Western calls for intervention in the ongoing civil war in Syria.
MOSCOW, January 10 (RIA Novosti) – A naval task force led by Russia’s largest warship has passed through the English Channel on its way to the Mediterranean, a Russian military official said on Friday.
The group carried out naval aviation exercises while passing close to UK territorial waters, Captain 2nd Class Yevgeny Kirillov said.
The group of ships, consisting of the Russian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and five escort vessels from Russia’s Northern Fleet, had days earlier anchored in the Moray Firth off the coast of Scotland due to inclement weather, the UK Defense Ministry confirmed on its website on Friday.
The Royal Navy dispatched the Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender from Portsmouth on December 19 to escort the Russian task force. Goodwill messages were exchanged between the Russian and British ships on New Year’s Eve, the UK Defense Ministry added.
The Russian carrier group left port on December 17 for the deployment.
In August, Russian news agencies quoted a military source saying a long-distance sea deployment by Russian warships including the Admiral Kuznetsov would call at Russia’s only Mediterranean naval facility located in the Syrian port city of Tartus.
A task force led by the Admiral Kuznetsov made a port call at Tartus two years ago.
The Kuznetsov has an air group including Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker-D fighter jets and antisubmarine helicopters.
MOSCOW, January 5 (RIA Novosti) – Pilots from Russia’s Northern Fleet will undergo retraining in 2014 to master the modernized Ilyushin Il-38N anti-submarine aircraft, a military official told journalists Sunday.
The first crew has already completed the theoretical part of the program and has begun the practical flight training, said Captain First Rank Vadim Serga, a representative of the Northern Fleet.
“The plane has been enhanced with new-generation detachable hydroacoustic and magnetic beacons that surpass their Western counterparts in a range of ways,” he said.
The Il-38N can act as a maritime patrol aircraft capable of performing electronic reconnaissance, Serga said. The new aircraft is equipped with the Novella system that allows it to detect targets from up to 320 kilometers away, including radar-equipped submarines, ships and aircraft.
The Novella system comprises a high-resolution thermal imager and sensors for detecting magnetic anomalies, along with other sensors that allow it to locate submarines and surface targets, as well as to carry out scientific research, Serga said.
The Novella is a variation of the Sea Dragon system that was installed on five Il-38s serving with the Indian navy during the last decade.
The new Il-38N could be used to map magnetic and gravitational charts of the Arctic Ocean.
MOSCOW, December 2 (RIA Novosti) – Russian naval forces are set to make the Arctic a priority region, boosting combat training and scouting lesser-known areas of the icy territory in 2014, a navy spokesman said Monday.
The Northern Fleet will conduct sailing and diving expeditions in the Arctic and develop a series of ice-class patrol ships to protect the country’s interest in the region, said Vadim Serga, a captain First Class and spokesman for the fleet’s Western Military District.
Russia has already begun deploying aerospace defense units and constructing an early missile warning radar system near the far northern town of Vorkuta. Completion of that system is planned for 2018.
The Defense Ministry is also renovating the Temp military airfield on the New Siberian Islands in the extreme north.
International competition for influence in the Arctic has stepped up considerably in recent years, with countries like Canada, Denmark, the United States, and Norway all increasing their military presence in the resource-rich region.
It is estimated that the Arctic contains one of the world’s largest reserves of untapped hydrocarbon resources.
MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian navy has taken delivery of its first four series-produced MiG-29K/KUB carrier based fighter jets, the Defense Ministry said Monday.
“The MiG aircraft-manufacturing corporation has handed over two MiG-29K single-seat and two MiG-29KUB twin-seat carrier-based fighter aircraft,” a spokesman said.
The Russian Defense Ministry signed a contract with MiG in February 2012 for delivery of 20 MiG-29K and four MiG-29KUB fighters by 2015.
The aircraft will be deployed on Russia’s sole serving carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, based in Murmansk with the Northern Fleet.
The Admiral Kuznetsov currently operates Sukhoi Su-33 naval fighter aircraft.
The MiG-29K is a naval variant of the MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jet, and has folding wings, an arrester tail-hook, strengthened airframe and multirole capability thanks to its Zhuk-ME slotted array radar, MiG says.
Unlike the Su-33, which is capable of air defense missions only, the MiG-29K can be armed with a wide variety of air-to-surface as well as air-to-air weaponry and laser-designation systems.
The aircraft is also capable of “buddy” refueling other MiG-29Ks using the PAZ-1MK refueling pod.
So far, the aircraft has only entered service with India, for use on the refitted Russian-built carrier INS Vikramaditya, which was handed over to the Indian Navy on November 15.