Russia Leader capabilities of the Black Sea Fleet increased
On May 13, Russia celebrates the Day of the Black Sea Fleet, an operational-strategic alliance of the Navy, which ensures the security of the southern borders of the country. In recent years, the Black Sea Fleet has been actively developing – the efforts of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation are aimed at a radical renewal of the combat strength and increase in shock capabilities. According to experts, this was facilitated by the return of the Crimea to Russia, the increased activity of the US Navy in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, as well as the provocations of Ukraine. Ships and submarines of the Black Sea Fleet are armed with Caliber cruise missiles, which allow them to strike at “strategic depth.” Analysts are confident that the modernization of the Black Sea Fleet allowed to take control of the movement of US destroyers and effectively perform combat missions in Syria.
outpost of Russia.
From crisis to recovery
The heyday of the Black Sea Fleet occurred in the Soviet period. The ships of the Black Sea Fleet formed the basis of the legendary 5th Mediterranean squadron, whose mission was to contain the 6th US Navy.
The collapse of the USSR undermined the combat potential of the Black Sea Fleet. In addition, disputes broke out between Russia and Ukraine over the property of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet and the future of the Sevastopol naval base (naval base). Kiev actively used the fact that the Crimea, according to the results of the Bialowieza Accords of December 8, 1991, became part of Ukraine.
The agreement on the division of the Black Sea Fleet of the USSR was reached in June 1995, and the final delimitation occurred only in 1997. Russia received 81.7% of the equipment (about 400 ships of various classes and 161 aircraft), as well as the right to maintain the base and headquarters in Sevastopol.
Nevertheless, Moscow had to make quite serious concessions. For example, the leadership of the Russian Federation agreed to limit the number of troops on the territory of Ukraine to 25 thousand people. Moscow has pledged to pay $ 98 million a year for renting the military infrastructure of the Crimea.
The presence of Russian ships did not suit the radical Ukrainian political forces. The situation around the Sevastopol naval base aggravated with the coming to power in Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko. In Moscow, discussions began on the expediency of transferring ships from Sevastopol to the Novorossiysk naval base after its corresponding modernization.
“The strategic importance of Crimea for Russia is difficult to overestimate. Kiev understood this very well and constantly provoked Moscow to please the West and its own vanity. The last straw was a coup in February 2014. The “revolutionaries” who came to power were ready to make a parking lot for American ships from the hero city of Sevastopol, ”military expert Yury Knutov said in an interview with RT.
The return of Crimea to the Russian Federation in 2014 significantly strengthened the operational capabilities of the Black Sea Fleet, the expert stressed. At the same time, Moscow continued construction work in the Tsemessky bay of Novorossiysk. In the structure of the Black Sea Fleet, it serves as a backup base. The 4th Separate Submarine Brigade is also deployed on the Novorossiysk naval base.
The modernization of Tsemessky bay will be completed in 2020. The updated base can accommodate up to 120 ships. The main task of the builders is to protect the internal raid from storms with waves up to 5 m high and earthquakes up to 9 points. To date, an eastern pier with a length of 1600 m has been built. The western pier with a length of 850 m will be commissioned shortly.
“There is an intensive development of the base infrastructure. In recent years, a number of unique objects have been built: berths, a headquarters building, a training complex for divers, a technical zone for securing submarines, ”Rear Admiral Oleg Shastov, head of the Novorossiysk naval base, told reporters earlier.
For the cover of the naval bases of the Black Sea Fleet are responsible calculations of coastal complexes “Bastion”, “Ball” and “Coast”, as well as air defense units, armed with systems S-400 and S-300, the latest modifications “Buka” and “Pantsirya.” The escort and interception of foreign aircraft is carried out by fighters deployed in Belbek and Krymsk.
The effect of “calibration”
The danger of losing the Sevastopol bay did not allow for the proper updating of the ship’s personnel, said Dmitry Drozdenko, a military columnist for the Arsenal of the Fatherland, in an interview with RT. With the return of the peninsula, the Black Sea Fleet received a powerful stimulus for development.
“Crimea is our unsinkable land-based aircraft carrier. The presence of a full-fledged armed group on the peninsula allows you to control the Black Sea region right up to the Bosphorus. The stay of the Crimea as part of Ukraine imposed a lot of contrived restrictions. Almost immediately after the return of the peninsula, the Black Sea Fleet became the leader in terms of the number of new ships delivered, ”Drozdenko noted.
The Black Sea Fleet consists of seven diesel-electric submarines (six submarines of project 636.3 “Varshavyanka” and one – project 877 “Halibut”), as well as 48 surface warships.
The largest of them are the missile cruiser of project 1164 “Moscow” (flagship), three patrol ships of Soviet construction (“Sharp”, “Ladny”, “Pytlivy”) and three modern ones: “Admiral Grigorovich” (2016), “Admiral Essen” ( 2016) and Admiral Makarov (2017). At the service of the marine corps of the Black Sea Fleet there are seven large landing ships of projects 1171 and 775.
In addition, the Black Sea Fleet has six small anti-submarine ships of the project 1124M, built in the 1980s. In 2018, the Black Sea Fleet received the newest patrol ship of the project 22160 “Vasily Bykov”. In 2019-2022, the St. Andrew’s flag is planned to be raised over five more similar ships.
The Black Sea Fleet is being updated at the expense of small rocket ships (MRK). In particular, in recent years several RTOs of the modern project 21631 have entered into its structure. In the coming years, the operational-strategic alliance should be replenished with new ships of this class, built on the project 22800 Karakurt.
In March 2019, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Alexander Moiseyev, told the media that the proportion of modernized technology in the operational-strategic alliance would increase to 70%.
Dmitry Drozdenko believes that the emphasis in the rearmament of the Black Sea Fleet is on strengthening its strike capabilities.
“Almost all new ships are carriers of the Calibrov. These are submarines 636.3, guard ships of the project 11356, “Karakurt”. Modern patrol ships have a modular design – if necessary, they can be equipped with launchers for cruise missiles, ”said the expert.
In turn, the doctor of military sciences, the captain of the first rank, retired Konstantin Sivkov, said in an interview with RT that ships equipped with the Caliber complex could strike at “strategic depth.” The range of the rocket when shooting at sea targets is about 300 km, for land – 1500 km.
“Thanks to the“ Calibram ”, our fleet“ covers ”the entire water area of the Black Sea, without leaving the basing points. In this case, the carriers of these missiles are ships with a small displacement. However, against the background of “calibration” I would not write off the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the cruiser “Moscow”, armed with Vulcan-type missiles with a range of up to 700 km, ”noted Sivkov.
The Black Sea Fleet takes part in the Syrian military operation. In the rotation mode on combat duty off the coast of Syria are ships and submarines. Submarines of the Varshavyanka project were attacked by terrorists in the SAR territory. The frigate “Admiral Grigorovich” and small missile ships “Serpukhov” and “The Green Dol” received baptism of fire.
Experts believe that the development of the Black Sea Fleet is determined by the nature of the current threats. The key challenges for the Black Sea Fleet are the increased presence of the US Navy in the Black Sea, as well as the provocative actions of Ukraine, which allegedly seeks to ensure the “free passage” of ships to the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait.
In April 2019, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexander Grushko said in an interview with TASS that the modernization of the Black Sea Fleet is carried out taking into account the approach of NATO infrastructure to the Russian shores. According to him, “all these our gains are absolutely adequate and proportionate to the real needs in terms of strengthening security.”
Almost every month, American destroyers of the type Arleigh Burke, armed with BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles, enter the Black Sea. They are accompanied by Russian ships, and movements are controlled by coastal radio-technical equipment. For example, in April 2019, the patrol ship “Vasily Bykov” and reconnaissance “Ivan Khurs” observed the actions of the destroyer USS Ross.
“Without the Caliber, effective containment of the US Navy would be impossible. Americans are accustomed to defend the so-called freedom of navigation, that is, brazenly violating sea lines and demonstrating power in the economic zone. After the combat use of “Calibres” in the United States, they realized that in the Black Sea such tricks should not be discarded. American ships enter the Black Sea, but stay away from our shores, ”Drozdenko summed up.