Russian Sub to Feature Advanced Quiet Propulsion by 2016

Russian Sub to Feature Advanced Quiet Propulsion by 2016

MOSCOW, February 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s latest generation attack submarine will be fitted with an advanced ultra-quiet propulsion system within the next three years, the country’s naval commander said Thursday.

Admiral Viktor Chirkov said that the first Lada-class attack submarine will be equipped with the air-independent system by 2016, to increase both its range and stealth.

The only operational Lada-class submarine, the Sankt Peterburg, entered into service four years ago after more than a decade of construction and sea trials.

The navy briefly suspended production of the vessels in 2012, pending design changes.

The new propulsion system is being developed at the northern Sevmash shipyard, the country’s largest.

Air-independent power plants offer significant advantages over diesel-electric submarines, which must surface regularly to recharge their batteries, and nuclear submarines, which must continually run noisy pumps to cool their reactors.

Submarines with such systems can stay submerged for weeks at a time and are already in operation with a number of navies around the world. The United States has so far not employed the technology, however, in favor of the longer endurance and range of nuclear submarines.

Chirkov said that in the long-term Russia would move towards building submarines in modular fashion to produce a variety of sizes from standard parts, a common practice in the construction of surface ships. He added that future submarines would also increase their degree of automation.

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Russia to Strengthen Mediterranean Force With ‘Stealth’ Subs

Russia to Strengthen Mediterranean Force With ‘Stealth’ Subs

MOSCOW, February 20 (RIA Novosti) – The combat capability of Russia’s naval task force in the Mediterranean will increase significantly following the first deliveries of Varshavyanka-class submarines to the Black Sea Fleet in 2015, Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said Thursday.

Russia formed a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean last year to defend its interests in the region. The move was widely seen, however, as a response to calls for international intervention in the worsening civil war in Syria, Russia’s longtime ally.

The task force currently consists of 12 warships and auxiliary vessels, including the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky and aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.

According to Chirkov, the Russian warships are taking part in an international operation to remove chemical weapons stockpiles from Syria.

“In general, the tasks assigned to the Mediterranean group are absolutely clear: to thwart any threat to Russia’s borders and security,” the admiral said, adding that it is normal practice for any country to keep naval assets in vital regions around the globe.

Chirkov said that the first Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarine, the Novorossiisk, will join the Black Sea Fleet in 2015.

The Defense Ministry has ordered a total of six Varshavyanka-class subs, dubbed “black holes in the ocean” by the US Navy because they are nearly undetectable when submerged.

According to the Admiralty shipyard in St. Petersburg, the second and third subs in the series will be floated out in May and June, respectively, “to be delivered to the customer by yearend.”

Сonstruction of the fourth submarine – the Krasnodar – began at the shipyard Thursday.

The Varshavyanka-class (Project 636) is an improved version of the Kilo-class submarines and features advanced stealth technology, extended combat range and the ability to strike land, surface and underwater targets.

The submarines are mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters.

The vessels, crewed by 52 submariners, have an underwater speed of 20 knots and a cruising range of 400 miles (650 kilometers) with the ability to patrol for 45 days. They are armed with 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air missiles.

The Black Sea Fleet has not received new submarines for decades and currently operates only one boat: the Kilo-class Alrosa, which joined the navy in 1990.

Russian Navy sending 3 more ships to Mediterranean

Russian Navy sending 3 more ships to Mediterranean

ST. PETERSBURG, September 13 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Navy is bolstering its strength in the Mediterranean Sea from seven to ten warships, its top commander told journalists on Friday.

The guided-missile cruiser Moskva, the destroyer Smetlivy and the assault landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov are on their way to join Russia’s naval task force already stationed in the Mediterranean, the Russian Navy’s commander-in-chief Viktor Chirkov announced.

“The tasks are very clear: to avoid the slightest threat to the borders and national security. This is the practice of all navies of the world – to be located where the level of tension is increasing,” Chirkov said. “They [ships] are all acting according to the operational command plan of the offshore maritime zone.”

Russia began its military buildup in the Mediterranean in 2012. Starting in December last year, the navy established a standing task force in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in response to heightened regional tensions due to Syria’s ongoing civil war, now well into its third year.

From May 1, 2013, all Russian warships operating in the region have been grouped under a single task force under a special offshore maritime zone operational command.

Russia’s naval task force in the eastern Mediterranean currently consists of seven warships – the assault landing ships Peresvyet, Admiral Nevelskoi, Minsk, Novocherkassk, and Alexander Shabalin, the anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Panteleyev and frigate Neustrashimy.

The Russian Navy said in an earlier statement that the guided-missile cruiser Moskva had passed through the Straits of Gibraltar on September 10. The RT television channel reported that it is expected to join the Mediterranean fleet by September 15 or 16.

Russian Med fleet redeployment “not linked” to Syria – Navy

MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) – The redeployment of Russian Naval vessels in the Mediterranean Sea is part of a planned rotation and is not linked with the worsening situation in Syria, a Russian Naval spokesperson said Thursday.

The statement comes after media reports had suggested that the grouping of Russian vessels in the Mediterranean Sea was to be changed in direct connection with events in Syria. Admiral Viktor Chirkov, commander of the Russian Navy, told Zvezda TV channel Sunday that Russia “should have five or six vessels permanently deployed in the Mediterranean,” but did not say how many were already there.

“The vessels in the Mediterranean, like those in other parts of the world, act under plans by the Russian Naval Command and General Staff, and fulfil tasks set,” the Naval spokesperson said.

“On completion of these tasks, the vessels then either return to their bases, or are replaced by other vessels to complete the tasks set,” the spokesperson said, adding “This does not amount to a renewal of any grouping or groupings, it is a planned rotation.”

The spokesperson for the Russian Navy did not share any further details with RIA Novosti regarding the ships involved, and said Navy General Staff decides what class of vessel to send.

Russia’s Mediterranean Fleet foreign policy tools – ex-Navy Chief

Russia's Mediterranean Fleet foreign policy tools - ex-Navy Chief

MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s task force created in the Mediterranean Sea should be an effective tool of the country’s foreign policy, an ex-navy chief said on Sunday.

Russia began setting up a naval task force in the Mediterranean in March, sending several warships from the Pacific Fleet to the region for the first time in decades, including the destroyer Admiral Panteleyev, the Peresvet and the Admiral Nevelsky amphibious warfare ships, the Pechenga tanker and the salvage/rescue tug Fotiy Krylov.

Warships from Russia’s Northern, Baltic and Black Sea Fleets are also currently staying in the Mediterranean on a rotating basis. Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov said in May the Mediterranean task force may be enlarged to include nuclear submarines.

“The fleet has always been a tool of foreign policy. Any country with the seacoast, which is especially large in Russia, must think about how to defend its coasts and prevent alien actions,” said Feliks Gromov, Russia’s navy chief in 1992-1997.

“That is why, the operational task forces, which the Soviet Union employed – one in the Mediterranean and the other in the Indian Ocean – were created for the purpose of exercising political leverage, supporting some states and warning others. Soviet warships were always present in the Mediterranean in the state of combat readiness,” Gromov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

The Soviet Union maintained its 5th Mediterranean Squadron from 1967 until 1992. It was formed to counter the US Navy’s 6th Fleet during the Cold War, and consisted of 30-50 warships and auxiliary vessels.

Russia must have warships that would be able at any time to solve state tasks in the area that has considerable influence on the situation in the entire southern region, he said.

“This includes not only the Mediterranean, but also the Pacific region, and also the struggle against pirates in the Horn of Africa,” he said.

Russia’s modern Navy needs at least three aircraft carriers, in addition to French Mistral-class helicopter carriers currently under construction, Gromov said.

“The Pacific Fleet should have at least two aircraft carriers and the corresponding number of combat and support ships. In the [Russian] North, at least one aircraft carrier is needed, considering that the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has served for many years and needs good repairs,” he said.

Such warships must be built in Russia, the admiral said, adding the country could start their construction in this decade. “The efforts of the defense and industrial complex must be concentrated on this and there must be understanding of the basic tasks the country has.”