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 July 23, 2014

News: Israel’s Iron Dome defense in line for tripled U.S. spending - Israel’s iron Dome missile defense system may end up getting triple the U.S. funding that the Defense Department sought for it in March. Ukraine asked U.S. for systems to counter Russian missiles - A month before the United States says a Russian missile likely brought...
 
 

News Briefs July 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,194 As of July 22, 2014, at least 2,194 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. The AP count is three less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 
Raytheon photograph

Raytheon completes key Air, Missile Defense Radar reviews

Raytheon photograph Partially-populated, full-sized Air and Missile Defense Radar array. Raytheon has completed two critical program reviews for the new Air and Missile Defense Radar, the U.S. Navy’s next generation integ...
 

 
Insitu photograph

Insitu demonstrates long endurance capabilities of Integrator unmanned aircraft

Insitu photograph Insitu’s Integrator unmanned aircraft recovers via SkyHook; the aircraft recently completed a 24-hour endurance flight. Insitu announced July 22 the successful 24-hour flight of its Integrator unmanned a...
 
 

NASA partners punctuate summer with spacecraft development advances

Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA’s aerospace industry partners for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their† Space Act Agreements with the agency. NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move...
 
 

U.S. Navy selects Northrop Grumman for ship self-defense system

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a $12 million task order for a full range of engineering services to continue modernizing the Ship Self-Defense System Mark 2. The contract has a potential value of $61 million over five years, if all options are exercised. SSDS MK2 is a combat system designed for anti-air defense...
 




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>