>Russia’s Black Sea Fleet To Lose All Warships By 2015?

>According to Russian internet portal RIA Novosti, Russia risks to lose all her warships of the Black Sea Fleet till 2015.

The majority of warships in the Russian Black Sea Fleet have been in service for over 30 years and would not be fit for sea missions by 2015, the Gazeta newspaper said on Friday citing a Navy source

The official said the only solution for the looming crisis would be the construction of at least a dozen of Project 20380 corvettes which have been designed to protect Russia’s coastal waters and oil and gas sea transportation routes, especially in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea.

The first Project 20380 corvette, the Steregushchy, was put into service with Russia’s Baltic Fleet in October 2008. The second, the Soobrazitelny, was floated out on March 31, and two other ships of the same series, the Boyky and the Stoyky, are under construction.

The source said that the Russian shipbuilding industry simply does not have the capacity to build the sufficient number of warships and submarines to satisfy the needs of the fleet

I do not know what to think about that news article.

It is a know fact that the Russian shipbuilding industry failed to materialize new and sophisticated warships larger than corvettes. There has been no new cruiser or destroyers designed and build after the end of the Cold War.

Jane’s Fighting Ships mentions 5 on going frigate projects. Two of them Grom (Project 1244.1) and Admiral Gorshow (Project 22350) are yet to be built. The other 3 projects Neustrashimy (Project 1154), Gepard (Project 11661) and Streregushichiy (Project 20380) class are slowly continuing. The current production tempo of the Russian shipyards cannot match the number of the ships becoming obsolete due their age.

On the other hand Black Sea is too important for Russia to ignore. And Black Sea is the most convenient gateway to the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. Therefore Russia will never leave Black Sea defenseless and will not risk its Black Sea Fleet crumble from old age. But the state of the Black Sea Fleet is not promising. Its sole submarine Alrosa suffered a engine break down and had to be towed back. Her status since that accident is not known. The flagship of the BSF cruiser Moskva is scheduled to take part in the Vostok-2010 exercise in Far East and there are rumors that she may not come back.

Yet the latest article of RIA Novosti contradicts an earlier article. One month ago the RIA Novosti ran an article stating that BSF was to get new frigates and submarines by 2015. Well its kind of funny. Either BSF is going to lose al her warships or will get new warships and will continue to exist. No middle ground if we were to believe RIA Novosti.

 But one thing is certain. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet does need a anti-ageing operation.

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