The outlook for Russia’s navy

The Admiral Kuznetsov Russian aircraft carrier in the Atlantic Ocean
The 33-year-old Admiral Kuznetsov is Russia’s only aircraft carrier. There are plans to build three new ones, but Russia’s shipbuilding industry may not be up to the task (source: dpa)
  • Russia is dedicating a huge amount of money for a naval buildup
  • Ostensibly, the aim is to make the Russian Navy a blue-water power
  • It cannot succeed in competing with the U.S. and China for force projection
  • It will, however, become even more effective at defending the homeland

Long derided as “more rust than ready,” the Russian Navy is attempting a comeback. The admiralty envisions a “blue-water navy” that is capable of force projection far from the home shores. Military industries delight in the flow of funds for naval construction and the Kremlin is integrating naval power into its foreign policy.

At a mid-May meeting with military and defense industry leaders in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the navy’s role in enforcing the country’s interests abroad and announced that naval assets would remain on station near Syria. “Our ships armed with Kalibr cruise missiles will be on a constant military watch,” he said.

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