Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Country With the Second Longest Land Border Wants a Big Navy?

Strategypage writes that the Russian surface fleet is disappearing (certainly from the seas even if they exist dockside) as Russia focuses on submarines (including nuclear missile submarines).

This article argues that to say the Russian fleet is not going to collapse as yet another article argues, saying that Russia is building subs and small vessels for coastal defense now and will build new large warships in another decade:

Is the Russian Navy about to collapse? In a recent article on War is Boring, David Axe made this argument largely based on data from my recent articles on the Russian shipbuilding program and the Russian Navy’s priorities. While the information I provided is sound, Axe’s overall interpretation is not.

The Russian Navy is investing in a time-phased recapitalization of its navy over the next 20 years.

I've argued that Russia needs to emphasize nuclear ballistic missile subs and coastal defense (including defense of SSBN bastions) with larger show-the-flag ships a small portion of their limited defense dollars that are needed for protecting their large land border.

I can't get too worked up about Russian naval plans. Whatever Russia has or will have will likely have only local significance until Western air and naval resources can be directed to deal with them.

For me, the important thing is that the Soviet fleet collapsed. It's role was to isolate Western Europe from North America so that Russia's army and air force could defeat NATO. Absent that mission, what on Earth does Putin think a new navy would do?

If Russia wants to waste money on a blue water fleet, by all means have a go at that. Enjoy!

I mean, that Putin better not dare build a navy to challenge the West and Japan at sea!