Syria Wants To Buy Two Submarines From Russia. Really?

According to excellent and well-informed website The Portal Of Submarines, a Syrian delegation visiting Russia declared their intention to buy two submarines from Russia.

On the occasion of the visit of Syrian military in Russia in the region of Astrakhan, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti said that Damascus wanted to order new equipment for his army, including two submarines of Amur class-1650 ( 677th project, Lada class).

Moscow also announced that the contract in 2007 for the sale to Syria of several defense systems as well as Bastion Yakhont supersonic missiles (SS-N-26) would be honored.

In the good old days Syrian Navy used to operate two  Romeo class submarines but as Syria’s naval ability has progressively eroded reflecting the country’s poor economic situation and the limited funding allocated to maritime forces, these two submarines were taken out of service.

While I can understand the reasoning of the Syrians for wanting submarines for their navy, I do not think it will be a good investment for them. The operation of submarines is a very risky and expensive venture and needs a large pool of experienced crews to run and support these expensive systems. Even countries such as Canada or Australia with an extensive naval heritage, and strong economic resources find it very difficult to maintain and operate their submarine fleet effectively. Greeks experience with Type 214 class submarines is also an example how large defense procurement can put strains of a nation’s economy in times of crisis.

The nature of Syrian navy is a deference one with aim of  protecting their coast, rather than being an offensive. Thus buying SS-N-26 would be a wiser investment and not buying submarines.

One Response to Syria Wants To Buy Two Submarines From Russia. Really?

  1. Pingback: More S-E Asian navies eyeing subs | MaritimeSecurity.Asia

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