- Russia to Hold Large-Scale Mediterranean, Black Sea Naval Drills
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- Russian Warships Head to Mediterranean
- Russian Warships Hold Drills in Mediterranean
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MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) – A proposed Russian permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean Sea may consist of up to 10 combat and auxiliary ships, a high-ranking military source said.
“A command headquarters responsible for the deployment of a permanent naval task force must be set up at the Black Sea Fleet,” the source told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
“The group may consist of up to 10 vessels, including auxiliary ships,” he said.
A source in the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces confirmed on Thursday that the deployment of Russian warships in the Mediterranean had been a subject of planning for some time.
“It could be a task force consisting of warships from three Russian fleets, similar to the one that has been carrying out exercises in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, near the Syrian coast, for the last six months,” the source said.
The task force may operate on a rotation basis and use ports in Cyprus, Montenegro, Greece and Syria as resupply points, the official added.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier said that Russia needs a group of warships to be permanently present in the Mediterranean Sea to secure the country’s interests in the region.
The Soviet Union maintained the 5th Mediterranean Squadron in the Mediterranean Sea from 1967 until 1992. It was formed to counter the US Navy 6th Fleet during the Cold War, and consisted of 30-50 warships and auxiliary vessels at different times.
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- shanksinhaskeleton of a fleet02:03, 04/03/2013The principal question is, does Russian Navy have enough ships to maintain a Mediterranean squadron? 20 years of neglect have broken the Navy's back, with most principal surface combatants old and non seaworthy. Even the prestigious Northern and Baltic fleet are merely skeleton fleets with few true ocean going vessels. Current shipbuilding programs are not expected to churn out meaningful numbers before 2020. In the meantime, Russian Navy should focus on ensuring the survival of the three major fleets instead.
- alexk2(no title)21:25, 04/03/2013Well they are on track to have anywhere between 4-10 new frigates by 2020, 6-12 new corvettes and 3-6 new diesel electric submarines.
They have also set aside money to modernize 2-3 Kirov cruisers and Admiral Kuznetsov carrier, as well as a dozen nuclear attack subs. The fleet will be considerably stronger by 2020, albeit not very large, but with a much larger proportion of modern vessels and equipment.
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