Tag: Russian

1,000 Baltic Sea Fleet marines take part in wargame in Russia’s northwest

The 336th Guards Marines Brigade of the Baltic Fleet

About 1,000 marines of the Russian Baltic Sea Fleet take part in a wargame that simulates action to protect the seacoast, fleet spokesman Roman Martov told TASS on Wednesday.

He said the active phase of the tactical exercise involving Baltic Sea Fleet’s marines is underway at the firing ground Khmelevka in Russia’s north-western enclave Kaliningrad region. “About 1,000 military, 150 pieces of weapons and military hardware take part,” Martov said.

Acting on alert, marines marched from the site of their permanent stationing to the area of the military drill. On the march, they trained tasks of battle defense, passage through contaminated terrain, action to counter subversive and reconnaissance groups. Air defense units acted to rebuff airstrikes of an imaginary enemy.

 

 

 

 

At least 20 ships take part in Baltic Fleet military drills

Vitaliy Nevar/TASS

About 20 combat and supply ships and one thousand officers and men are participating in the ongoing military exercise of Russia’s Baltic Fleet, the fleet’s spokesman Roman Martov told TASS.

“About 20 combat ships, boats and logistics ships and 50 pieces of military and special equipment, as well as one thousand men are involved in command staff training of the Baltic Fleet,” he said.

Vice-Admiral Aleksandr Nosatov is in charge of the exercises. The main task is to enhance officers’ skills and competence and cooperation by command centers, as well as to practice coordination with other units.

The exercise is being held in accordance with the Baltic Fleet’s combat training schedule for 2017.

 

 

Russia’s Navy to receive two more advanced submarines by 2020

‘Black Hole’ of the Russian Navy

Russia’s Navy will receive another two of the project 636.6 Varshavyanka-class submarines by the end of 2020, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

“Two project 636.6 Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarines named Petropavlovsk-Kanchatsky and Volkhov will be added to the Russian navy by the end of 2020, provided that their in-plant and state tests go well,” the statement reads. The ministry pointed out that the two submarines had been laid down in Russia’s St. Petersburg before the Navy Day.

Project 636.6 Varshavyanka is the third-generation diesel-electric submarine with a maximum surface speed of 20 knots. These submarines are capable of submerging to a depth of 300 meters, the period of their autonomous navigation is 45 days. The crew comprises 52 men.

The Project 636 submarines are considered to be the quietest of the Russian-made submarines, this being the reason why NATO gave them the reporting name of ‘Black Holes’. These submarines are equipped with modern radar systems, communications tools, hydroacoustic stations, 533 mm torpedo launchers and the Kalibr cruise missiles.

In the past several years, Russia’s Navy has already received six Project 636.6 Varshavyanka-class submarines, which were added to the Black Sea Fleet.

In May and June 2017, a Varshavyanka-class submarine named Krasnodar, traveling in the Mediterranean Sea, fired the Kalibr cruise missiles on the ground facilities of the Islamic State terrorist Group (outlawed in Russia), located in Syria.

 

 

Russia to start training female military pilots

KUBINKA /Moscow region/, August 12. /TASS/. Women will be admitted to the Krasnodar aviation school for pilot training this year for the first time in Russia’s modern history, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told reporters on Saturday.

“There are quite a few girls who would like to become military pilots. We’ve received hundreds of letters, hence the decision to enroll the first group of girls in the Krasnodar military aviation school this year”, the minister said.

“They will be few in number, 15 all in all. However, considering the number of applications received by the Russian Aerospace Forces we cannot ignore these requests, so on October 1, the first group of girls will start training to become military pilots”, he added.

Shoigu who visited the celebrations to mark Aerospace Forces Day earlier in the day expressed the hope that the school’s female graduates will make such holidays more spectacular thanks to their skills five years later.

In 2009, the Krasnodar aviation school enrolled female cadets but not for pilot training.

 

 

Russian Aerospace Force to get over hundred aircraft in 2017

Russian Sukhoi Su-35S Multi-role Heavy Fighter

Russia’s Aerospace Force will get over 70 aircraft and helicopters, as well as more than 40 air defense missile systems until the end of this year, Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Viktor Bondarev told Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper on Friday.

“Over 70 aircraft, more than 40 air defense missile systems and about 70 radar stations will arrive for Aerospace Force units until the end of the year,” he said.

Russia’s Aerospace Force has already received about 50 new aircraft this year: Sukhoi Su-34, Su-35S, Su-30SM, Yak-130 planes, Kamov Ka-52 combat helicopters, Mil Mi-8 AMTSh and Mi-8MTV-5-1 military transport helicopters and also over 20 standby and alert radar stations, the commander said.

Russian Sukhoi Su-34 Multi-role Attack Aircraft

“Besides, the industry is finalizing and delivering satellites, military carrier rockets and radars characterized by the high degree of their readiness for ensuring a closed field of missile attack warning.

Let me note that special attention during the planning of the Aerospace Force’s hardware upgrade was paid to constant alert units and formations where armament and military hardware had considerably used up their potential,” Bondarev said.

 

 

 

 

 

Russia’s 5th-generation fighter jet named as Su-57

Sukhoi Su-57 Russian Fifth Generation Fighter

Russia’s T-50 (PAK FA) fifth-generation fighter jet has received the serial index of Su-57, Aerospace Force Commander-in-Chief Colonel General Viktor Bondarev said in an interview with the website of Zvezda TV Channel on Friday.

“The decision has been made and the plane has got its name like a child after the birth. Su-57 is how we now call it,” Bondarev said.

Media reports earlier said citing sources in the aircraft-building industry that the T-50 fighter would be named as the Su-57.

The PAK FA (Perspective Aviation Complex of Frontline Aviation) took to the skies for the first time in 2010. As was reported earlier, the experimental design work on the cutting-edge fighter jet should be completed in 2019 and its deliveries to the troops should begin at that time. As United Aircraft Corporation CEO Yuri Slyusar said, the pre-production batch will consist of 12 such planes.

It was reported that the T-50 with the advanced (main) engine would perform its debut flight in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Currently, the so-called first stage engine 117S is mounted on the Russian fighter. A new engine has not yet received its name and is conventionally designated as the second stage engine.

 

 

 

Marine drills involving over 2,000 troops take place in Russia’s West

Vladimir Rodionov/TASS

KALININGRAD, August 10. /TASS/. More than 2,000 marine troops participated in tactical drills involving a marine brigade and the 11th Army Corps of the Russian Baltic Fleet, which were held at the Khmelyovka training range in the Kaliningrad region, Fleet Spokesman Roman Martov told TASS.

“The drills were aimed at training the skills of seizing coastal areas and driving the enemy forces out of them,” he said. According to the fleet spokesman, the exercises involved more than 2,000 troops, as well as over 100 pieces of military hardware, including 20 warships, boats and supply vessels, 12 planes and helicopters from the Baltic Fleet’s naval aircraft units.”

The Russian Federation enclave of Kaliningrad

Besides, tanks, the Akatsiya self-propelled howitzers, Grad multiple launch rocket systems and Shilka self-propelled antiaircraft guns, as well as other military hardware, was also used during the marine drills. At the same time, the Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft and Mil Mi-24 attack helicopters performed missile attacks on the simulated enemy’s positions. A Mil Mi-8 transport helicopters delivered a marine assault group to the drills site, while an air assault group arrived in an Antonov An-26 transport aircraft.

Baltic Fleet Su-24M/MRs from the 4th Independent Naval Assault Aviation Regiment – Chernyakhovsk Air Base contribute to the amphibious landings.

“During the exercises, ships carrying marine assault groups trained to suppress the simulated enemy’s coastal strongpoints and honed the tactics of military activities behind enemy’s lines, which particularly involve marine assault groups.

To create an environment close to that of an actual military operation, more than five tonnes of various simulated munitions were used.

 

 

 

 

Russian Special Operations Forces

Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (SSO VS RF) (Russian: Силы специальных операций Вооружённых Сил Российской Федерации (ССО ВС РФ)) are components of the Russian General Staff Special Operations Command

This is a specially created unit of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the formation of which began in 2009 during a large-scale reform of the Russian Federation Armed Forces (2008–2020).

The Forces are a highly mobile, well-trained and equipped, constant combat readiness special operations force of the Russian Ministry of Defense, designed to perform specific tasks in order to protect the interests of Russian Federation (with application of military force, by necessity), both within the country and abroad, in peacetime and in wartime.

Russian Ministry of Defense defines the term “special operation” as follows: “Special operation of troops (forces) is a complex of special actions of troops (forces), coordinated by objectives and tasks, time and place of execution, conducted according to a single concept and plan in order to achieve certain goals. Special actions of troops (forces) are activities carried out by specially designated, organized, trained and equipped forces, which apply methods and ways of fighting not typical for conventional forces (special reconnaissance, sabotage, counter-terrorist, counter-sabotage, counterintelligence, guerrilla, counter-guerrilla and other activities)”.

In 2009, as a part of the comprehensive reform of the Russian Federation’s Armed Forces, Special Operations Directorate, directly subordinated to the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, was created on the basis of the military unit 92154 in the Moscow region. At the beginning of 2012 by the initiative of the Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov The Special Operations Directorate was reorganized as the Special Operations Command, which was followed by plans to upscale the Forces manpower up to 9 special purpose brigades.

In March 6, 2013 the Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov announced the beginning of the Special Operations Forces creation. While speaking to foreign military attaches in Moscow, he said: “After reviewing the practice of the formation, training and the use of special operations forces in the leading countries of the world, Russia’s Defense Ministry has also begun to create them… A corresponding command was created, which is engaged in planning work and implements plan of training of the Armed Forces… A suit of documents was already developed to determine the direction of development, methods of training and application of these forces “.

In March 15, 2013, according to Russian media reports, creation of the Special Operations Center of the Ministry of Defense of Russia for around 500 professional soldiers has begun in the suburban village of Kubinka-2. Formation of the Center was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013. The center is directly subordinated to the Special Operations Forces Command of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

In March 23, 2013 during the meeting of the Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with the Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Valery Gerasimov said that Special Operations Forces have been created as a part the Armed Forces and that they are being trained for missions not only inside the country but also abroad.

In the end of April 2013 units of Special Operations Forces conducted a special tactics exercise at Elbrus mountains at the height of 4,5 kilometers. The exercise was dedicated to practice transportation of one of the SSO units by military transport aviation and army aviation, as well as air insertion of personnel and cargo into target area.

Colonel Oleg Martianov, currently a member of the board of the Military-Industrial Commission of the Russian Federation, was one of the founders and the first commander of the SSO.

The SSO personnel consists exclusively of officers and professional soldiers.

Operations

  • In 2014, unidentified men with military weapons began blockading Ukrainian bases in Crimea, and on February 27, around 50 men seized the Crimean parliament building. While claiming to be a local militia, this well-armed and highly professional unit turned out to be the first deployment of operators from the KSO.
  • Special Operations Forces of Russia are involved in Syria for target acquisition for Russian Air Force combat planes and for other purposes, such as the training of Syrian government troops, elimination of fighters and destroying critical enemy objects. During the liberation of Palmyra a Special Operations Forces officer has been killed.

Structure

  • Special Purpose Center “Senezh”;
  • Special Purpose Center “Kubinka-2”.
  • 344th Army Aviation Combat Training Center, Torzhok air base.

 

 

 

A Grim Future For Russia’s Nuclear Sub Fleet – The Kremlin can’t replace its aging subs fast enough

Russian Northern Fleet submarine base, Severomorsk, Murmansk

In March 2017, Russia’s new Yasen-class nuclear attack submarine Kazan launched at the northern port city of Severodvinsk. Perhaps the quietest Russian submarine ever, the event was further evidence the Kremlin can still build capable and lethal subs capable of a variety of missions, including cruise-missile attack.

But it won’t be enough. The Russian navy — already badly depleted since the collapse of the Soviet Union — can’t quickly replace most of its existing nuclear submarine fleet, which is approaching the end of its collective lifespan. The outcome will likely mean a shrinking of the Russian nuclear submarine force in the years ahead.

By 2030, the bulk of Russia’s nuclear-powered attack and cruise-missile submarines will be in their mid-thirties at least — with some pushing into their forties. For perspective, the three oldest active American attack submarines, the Los Angeles-class USS Dallas, Bremerton and Jacksonville, are all 36 years old and waiting to be decommissioned during the next three years.

Submarines wear out in old age, particularly due to hull corrosion. Another serious concern is corrosion affecting components inside the nuclear reactor compartments, but data surrounding this subject are tightly guarded secrets among the world’s navies.

More to the point, naval vessels staying in service during old age require more maintenance and longer rest periods. Given that only around half of Russia’s submarine force — a charitable estimate — can be at sea at any given time, a force made up of mostly old boats will strain operational readiness.

Russian Oscar II class submarine K-150 Tomsk

The Kremlin’s relatively new multi-role Yasen class, of which two — the Severodvinsk and Kazan — launched in 2010 and 2017 respectively, cannot make up for the future retirements of Russia’s 11 Akulas, three Sierras, four Victor III attackers and eight Oscar II cruise missile subs, which are all getting long in the tooth.

The youngest Akula class, Gepard, entered service in 2000. Most date to the early 1990s.

The Yasen is a late-Soviet design with seven planned submarines, with the last one planned to enter service in 2023. This is again being generous given the Yasen class’ enormous expense, which is twice as high as one of Russia’s new ballistic missile subs.

Akula Class Russian attack submarine

While Russia could attempt to keep its Cold War-era subs going as long as possible, “given the obvious risk of rising costs, Russia will be able to have no more than 50 percent of the current number of nuclear submarines [by 2030],” the Russian military blog BMPD warned in a particularly grim assessment.

Russia’s ballistic missile submarines will be in somewhat better shape in 2030. Few countries possess “boomers” capable of dumping nuclear warheads into enemy cities — the United States, India, China, France, the United Kingdom and North Korea. Russia currently has 13, including three from the new Borey class, with up to five more on the way.

But by 2030, Russia’s three Delta III, six Delta IV-class boomers and its one Typhoon class will all be at least 40 years old if they remain in service. Nevertheless, even if Russia scrapped these boats and only relied on its newer Boreys, no country can likely match them in numbers except for the United States, China and possibly India.

Borey-class submarine with an Akula in the background

Russia could attempt to further make up the gap in attack- and cruise-missile-submarines with its tentatively-titled Project Husky, which is still in the design phase.

The Husky could come in three variants for attack missions, cruise-missile strike — or SSGN — and ballistic missile roles. Dedicated SSGNs are particularly important for Russia, which has long based its naval doctrine around long-range missile attacks on American carrier groups. Russian anti-ship cruise missiles are especially fearsome.

But the most optimistic estimates have Russia possessing a mere three Huskies by 2030 if construction of the first of the class begins in the early 2020s — and that’s if the Russian navy keeps up ordering one every two years with a four-and-a-half year build period.

While the Yasens probably have the ability to launch cruise missiles as well, that would still leave Russia with around 10 modern nuclear-powered SSNs and dedicated SSGNs alongside two-dozen boats in their thirties and forties facing looming retirement.

The diesel-electric fleet isn’t in much better shape, with most of Russia’s 17 Kilo-class hunter-killers dating to the early 1990s. Although more advanced versions, the Project 636 Varshavyanka and the Lada class, have been commissioned at a brisker pace than the nuclear-powered Yasens.

 

NATO jets intercept Russian aircraft near Estonian airspace

Spanish Air Force F/A-18 Hornet

NATO jets intercepted three Russian military aircraft near Estonian airspace Tuesday, an alliance spokesman told CNN.

“Two Spanish F-18 jets assigned to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission scrambled from Estonia’s Amari Air Base on Tuesday morning to intercept unidentified non-NATO military aircraft near Estonian airspace,” acting NATO spokesman Dylan White said in a statement.

He added that Finnish jets also scrambled to intercept the Russian aircraft which he identified as two MiG-31 fighter jets and an AN-26 transport plane.

A pair of Russian Aerospace Force MiG-31 Foxhounds

NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission involves allied aircraft securing the airspace of the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The incident between NATO and Russian military aircraft comes less than 24 hours after US Vice President Mike Pence visited Estonia where he reaffirmed America’s commitment to NATO’s collective defense clause in the face of Russian aggression.

“No threat looms larger in the Baltic States than the specter of aggression from your unpredictable neighbor to the east,” Pence said an appearance with the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

“Under President Donald Trump, the United States of America rejects any attempt to use force, threats, intimidation, or malign influence in the Baltic States or against any of our treaty allies,” he added.

The incident also saw the Spanish aircraft “accidentally” entering Finnish airspace.

An Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force) F/A-18 Hornet

“In handing over the intercept to the Finnish jets, the Spanish jets accidentally entered Finnish airspace. NATO’s Air Command has explained the incident to the Finnish Air Operations Centre to improve future coordination,” White said.

Finland, which is not a member of NATO, appeared to confirm the incident Tuesday with its ministry of defense issuing a statement saying the two Spanish jets were “suspected of having violated Finland’s airspace on Tuesday morning.”

“We have seen an increase in air activity in the Baltic region, but with few exceptions, the vast majority of the intercepts are conducted in a safe and responsible manner by all parties,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters last month following a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council.

He also referred to a Finish Initiative which recently convened a working group of representatives from Russia, NATO, Sweden and Finland to discuss the issues involving the congested Baltic airspace.

“They are working in a good way,” Stoltenberg said.

Russian airborne divisions get advanced portable air defense systems

Verba man-portable air defense missile system wikimedia.org/Vitaly V. Kuzmin.

PATRIOT PARK (Moscow Region), All the Russian airborne and air assault divisions have been rearmed with Verba new man-portable air defense missile systems, Airborne Force Commander Colonel-General Andrei Serdyukov said on Thursday.

“We are currently completing the delivery of the fourth-generation Verba man-portable air defense missile systems to the Airborne Force. As of today, all airborne divisions have been supplied with these systems and now efforts are under way to deliver them to separate airborne assault brigades in a planned manner,” the commander said on the eve of the 87th anniversary of establishing the Russian Airborne Force.

The Command Post Exercise with the Russian 98th Guards Airborne Division.

The Verba man-portable air defense missile systems are capable of striking tactical aviation planes, attack helicopters, cruise missiles and remotely controlled aircraft in oncoming and catch-up courses in daytime and at night in the conditions of the target’s visual visibility, including amid background and artificial interference.

The new systems are capable of hitting targets with low infrared emissions in a head-on engagement at the far boundary of the destruction zone at extremely low altitudes, the commander said.

As compared to their predecessors, the new short-range air defense missile systems feature expanded combat capabilities and destroy targets highly effectively, despite powerful optical counter-measures, the commander said.

As compared to the previous man-portable air defense missile systems, the Verba complex has its area of engaging targets with low emissions increased several times and its protection against powerful pyrotechnical interference boosted several dozen times.

While the procedure of using the new man-portable air defense missile system in combat is similar to the procedure of employing its predecessors, the Verba system needs a smaller number of missiles for striking a target while the temperature range of its use has been expanded to minus 50 degrees Celsius, the commander said.

Source: TASS Russian News Agency.