World

June 10, 2013

Putin on Russia’s naval plans in the Mediterranean

Vladimir Isachenkov
Associated Press

Russia announced June 6 that it will keep a fleet of about dozen navy ships in the Mediterranean Sea, a move President Vladimir Putin said is needed to protect his country’s national security.

Putin said the plan should not be seen as saber rattling, but it comes as Moscow is serving as a key ally and arms supplier to Syrian President Bashar Assad during that nation’s civil war. The only naval base that Russia has in the Mediterranean and anywhere outside the former Soviet Union is located in Syria.

Russian ships have been making regular visits to the Mediterranean, but the statements by Putin and other officials mark an attempt to revive a Soviet-era practice, when Moscow had a permanent navy presence in the waterway.

The chief of the military General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, said June 6 that Russia currently has 16 navy ships in the Mediterranean. The Defense Ministry said it would regularly rotate them to keep a presence of about a dozen.

Speaking at a meeting with the top military brass, Putin said the sea is a ìstrategically important region, where we have interests connected with ensuring Russia’s national security.

The statement is part of Putins’ efforts to boost his nation’s military and showcase its power worldwide.

Military officials have said in the past that Russian navy ships in the Mediterranean could be used to evacuate equipment and personnel from the Syrian port of Tartus. Previous deployments have invariably included amphibious landing vessels, which could serve the purpose.

Analysts and retired naval officers point out that Russia lost much of its navy capability during the post-Soviet economic decline, when the military had to mothball relatively modern ships for lack of funds to maintain them. The military has commissioned new navy ships as part of a costly military buildup, but their construction has dragged on slowly.

Experts say the current plan will stretch the Russian fleet capability and note that the base in Tartus, a rundown facility made up of a floating pier and a few aging barracks and warehouses, can’t provide a sufficient backup for the permanent navy presence in the region.

It’s also too small for big ships, which must stay at sea.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 18, 2014

Business: Lockheed to Lose 17 F-35s Under Automatic Pentagon Cuts - Pentagon will cut 17 of the 343 F-35 fighters it planned to buy from Lockheed Martin in fiscal 2016 through 2019 unless Congress repeals automatic budget cuts, according to a new Defense Department report. DOD looking for ways not to break MH-60R helo deal - The...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 15, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,802 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>