GLAMOUR AND POVERTY OF THE RUSSIAN SUBMARINE FLEET

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March 19, the day of a submariner will be celebrated in this country. For the first time, this festival set by the decree of the Navy Forces Commander-in-Chief and seconded by veteran-submariners from St. Petersburg was celebrated in 1996.

The history of our submarine fleet is rich with events. But after the break-up of the Soviet Union, the importance of the Russian submarine fleet has been reduced. After the year 1990, the missile-carriers have not been constructed, while the constructed ones were not overhauled, which created the danger of complete annihilation of naval strategic forces. Only comparatively recently, the head missile-carrier of atomic submarines (ASM) of the fourth generation was laid – Yuri Dolgorukiy. This year, it is to be introduced to the armory list. The other ASM of this project – Alexander Nevskiy – laid March 19, 2004, will be introduced in 2007.

March 19, 2006, in plant Sevmash, the third ASM of project 955 will be laid – Vladimir Monomakh. All three ASM of the new type will be equipped with solid-rocket ballistic missiles Bulava, which were projected by Moscow Institute of Heat-Engineering.

The three new atomic submarines – is that much or not for our fleet which has not been renewed for 15 years already?

“That is too little”, recognized expert of the submarine fleet, Hero of Russia Admiral Edward Baltin considers.

“During Soviet times we used to introduce 6-7 submarine atomic-powered vessels. Russia gets super-income at the expense of oil exporting; however, little is spent for developing new armament. If we want to stay a naval and missile power, we have to increase military expenses”, the Admiral considers. According to his words, construction of ASM only (without filling) costs $5 billion. This is a quarter of the present military budget of this country.

“To compare, the United States will spend $180 billion for the development of the Navy Forces in 2006”, Baltin says.

Experts of the State Duma committee in charge of defense consider that in the matters of above and under water fleet of this country, there are problems and it is necessary to revive them extensively. They note that “by 2015 in the Russian Navy Forces there will not be more than 60 submarines of the 1st and 2nd classes. On average – 15 craft in each fleet, but almost all of them are out-of-date”.

Experts note that during the same period, the park of the American Navy Forces is to grow by 300 ships of the same classes. On combat possibilities, the Russian fleet is behind the Swedish and Finnish ones by two times, the German one, by four times in the Baltic Fleet. In the Black Sea, there is the Turkish fleet, which is stronger than the Russian one by three times. According to the data, the volume of combat opportunities of the Russian Navy Forces is behind the US ones by 20 times, British – by seven times, French – by six times.

So, it is not excluded that in the future Russia may have problems in the respect of providing naval security of this country.

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