Putin's Maritime Ambitions


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Starter: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-vast-expansion-Russia-s-Black-Sea-fleet.html

Putin may turn out to be only the third Russian (after Peter the Great and Admiral Gorshkov) to understand the importance of sea power. NB his other plan to revivify an old base in the Arctic.

Possible questions include:

Are the extra ships going to be new build or merely rebalancing of other fleets?

How will he fund all this (esp. considering current financial and other sanctions)?

Can a larger fleet be manned in terms of key skills?

What are Putin's actual aims?

In your own time, go on.

P.S. Test thread for RR itself.
My mum has just got back from Crete and there was loads of Rushkies there.

Seriously there was a few ships not too far offshore (she was told by a local what they were)

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War Hero
Book Reviewer
Interesting that it was the BSF Commander informing Putin of what is intended, rather than the usual political tub-thumping rhetoric. The reinforcing of the BSF has been on the agenda for years, and given that the most modern unit is a Slava, then its no suprise that this theme is continuing. Other sources say that the latest committment from Naval HQ is 6 x new FF and 6 x SM by 2020 - hardly the same scale. The situation with Ukraine adds focus, as does the fact that 3 NATO countries have sea borders in the region.

Bottom Line - I don't think that a massive building/buying programme is in the offing just yet.
The promise of a larger fleet has always been present in sea power, it has forced other countries time and time again to push through programmes of ship building to compete with something that doesn't yet exist. It is hard to tell with the Russians if they are all talk and little action (let's hope that is the case!), time will tell. Probably wise to take it seriously though just in case...
Personally I think this is all about reinforcing Putin's credentials as a strong leader within Russian with the added benefit of a bit of sabre rattling. The simple fact is that Russia doesn't have the economy, or population, to support the sort of massive expansion he is proposing. Of course they might actually build all these ships but then I'd expect them to be of extremely limited effectiveness. As with many elements of the Russian armed forces the capability will be completely hollow, rendered ineffective by lack of training, limited logistics, etc


War Hero
Very much a "watch out" statement to Black Sea states. Interesting he is doing there were NATO is limited in options as well as basing.

The test will be manpower. They are struggling to get professional sailors, conscription and modern systems do not make good bedfellows. Additionally he has already committed to an uplift in submarines, which to be honest is a greater threat to the big boys.


War Hero
They've also been talking the talk about growing their forces for years with relatively little in the way of actual output. Not saying dont be concerned, but that the russians have an old fleet, getting older by the day and little in way of modern replacements capable of floating, moving and fighting are necessarily coming on line.
And another thread gets deviated into oblivion...
That's the main reason I (and I suspect most of the other regular posters of yore) have switched to ARRSE. I still keep a watching brief on RR but none of it survives derailing or ridicule these days, even supposedly 'serious' threads in CA like this one. I'll still post my usual updates for a purely RN audience, though.

See you back on 'the other side'. :(
That's a little unfair NG.

On ARRSE, there are so many posters that any minor bump or diversion is quickly swamped out, so is less visible.

With the fewer posters here, it stands out more. The obvious way to deal with it is to add more posts to this site to keep the discussion on track, not abandon it.

But each to their own. In reverse, I find it easier to watch and interact with RR than ARRSE because the pace there is too much for me at times! So I can understand if you are posting there and having a healthy discussion, there is little point in contributing to the same / similar discussion here, especially where dual-posting can disrupt the thought process a bit.
Back on thread then, Russia is massively increasing it's defence spending, 20% of Government money to be precise (according to this article) which equates to 3.5% of GDP.


As has been mentioned before, I don't think it's the hardware that's their problem, more the calibre of the troops at basic level (and sailors, ground crew etc).

The ones I met during their last 3 post-USSR visits to Guzz were not exactly awe inspiring but just to add it would appear to be a modernisation programme with a bit of expansion.

Thing is, who's he going to sell the old stuff to?
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