Monday, 20 August 2007

Red Dawn

Is that a bear I see on the sea? Might not be as crazy as it sounds. The Russian Navy has announced that it will be completely overhauling itself, or as Commander of the Russian Navy Vladimir Masorin said “that the state pays much more attention to its Navy”.

What does this mean? Well, the intention is that within 20-30 years the Russian Navy should have two aircraft carrier strike groups, each with 3 aircraft carriers so that "One ship will be in the sea, the second will be ready to replace it and the third will be at the base", the Commander explained. Each ship is expected to carry about 30 aircraft and approx 50,000 tonnes.

Russia is not intending on matching the US Navy in carrier strength, it has much different requirements. So we see the construction of new naval base on the Pacific on the Kamchatka Peninsula for surface vessels, SSN and SSBN facilities. It is due to be open by the end of 2010 and cost an estimated US $350 million. Together with new a base at Novorossisk for the Black Sea Fleet (BSF) complete by 2012.

At the end of June we saw the test-firing of a new generation of SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile) from one of the three surviving Typhoon Class SSBN. These missiles will be fitted to the new Borey Class SSBN. The test missile is reported to have successfully struck it's target some 6,000km away.

Russia has been using Cold War tactics and flying long-range bombers into NATO airspace. Last month RAF Tornadoes intercepted two Russian bombers off Scotland, while in recent weeks aircraft have been reported flying near to US Airspace.

All this is hot on the heels of Russia's stated claim on the hydro-carbon reserves under the Arctic shelf, never mind that Russia has oil reserves second only to Saudi Arabia. Canada is contesting Russia's claim and has announced they will build at least two new naval bases in the North of Canada to back up their claim. Of course the USA will throw their hat in, but have more pressing issues at the moment. Though Canada's claim may be sincere, Russia is not known for backing down, so maybe a more pragmatic approach should be considered!

Russia is still also very annoyed over the construction of the US Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM) system on their doorstep. Accordingly they have pulled out of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, which set a limit on conventional forces on the European continent. This will allow Russia to build up it's armed forces. Oh, let's not forget, they also said that they will re-target its nuclear tipped ballistic missiles on Western cities once the US ABM goes on-line in several years. Down to Lidl to buy our NBCR (Nuclear Biological Chemical Radiological) suits then!

Well, if you have children I would suggest they take English, Russian, Hindi/Urdu and Mandarin Chinese. They should be well-prepared for the future world order.

“Peace - In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.”
-The Devils Dictionary 1911