– BBC – Russia has dispatched a group of ships from its Northern Fleet to the Arctic, with the aim of restoring a permanent base in the region.
– Russian Navy – France halts warship delivery to Russia – France has said conditions are “not right” for delivery of the first of two Mistral navy assault ships to Russia.
– USNI News – Confrontations—and alleged confrontations—between the Russian armed forces and those of the United States, Europe and Japan have been on the uptick in recent weeks. The encounters have paced a general decline in relations between Russia and the West over events in the Ukraine. This month Russian media have reported two alleged anti-submarine warfare operations undertaken against American and Japanese submarines. The confrontations are reminiscent of similar events during the Cold War, in which submarines of the Soviet Union, the United States and her allies played a constant cat-and-mouse game against one another. This time however, the rationale behind the incidents appears more complex, undertaken by Russia as often for internal reasons as for making a larger point to the international community.
– USNI News – More than 400 Russian Navy sailors arrived in France on Monday for training to operate Russia’s two planned Mistral-class amphibious assault ships.
– War is Boring – ‘Severodvinsk’ is too expensive for mass production
– USNI News – Russian television has reported that the Russian Federation Navy has accepted its first Project 855 Yasen-class nuclear-powered attack submarine into this week.
– BBC – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has confirmed the controversial sale of two warships to Russia will go ahead, saying many jobs are at stake.
– Defense News – French defense officials are exploring ideas to avoid delivering a second helicopter carrier to Russia, including looking for an alternative client for the Sevastopol.
– USNI News – The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and the Russian Navy kicked off a week of naval exercises. Joint Sea Exercise 2014 — which will be held in the East China Sea —is the third bilateral exercise between Russia and China in as many years.
– Reuters – Russia will beef up its Black Sea fleet this year with new submarines and warships, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted as saying on Tuesday, following the annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
– Washington Times – A Russian intelligence-gathering ship has been operating off the U.S. East Coast and near the Gulf of Mexico for the past month.
– USNI News – Two of Russia’s newest nuclear submarines will begin sea trials this summer. Borey-class Vladimir Monomakh nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) and the Yasen-class attack boat (SSN) Severodvinsk will depart the Sevmash shipyard in Northern Russia, pending ice melt.
– USNI News – A Russian fighter spent 90 minutes making low-level passes near a U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) guided missile destroyer on station in the Black Sea. The incident occurred on Saturday when a Sukhoi SU-24 Fencer flew as close as 1,000 yards from USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) at an altitude of only 500 feet.
– US Naval Institute Proceedings – As NATO and the United States deprioritize a former strategic center of gravity, Russia eagerly moves in to fill the void.
– Chicago Tribune – An anti-submarine boat may have been the first casualty of the Russian incursion into Crimea, but it was hardly an act of violence, much less war: The Russian navy sank one of its own, junked vessels to create an obstacle, a Ukrainian official said Wednesday. Ukraine Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Alexei Mazepa said Russian sailors pulled the anti-submarine vessel Ochakov out of a naval junkyard and sank it in the straits that connect the Black Sea with a body of water known as Donuzlav Lake. He said the act was intended to prevent Ukrainian navy ships from leaving a nearby base and going to sea.
– RIA NOVOSTI – A pair of new missile corvettes have completed acceptance trials and will enter service in Russia’s Caspian Flotilla in the first quarter of this year.
– National Interest – Naval analysts for some time have derided the status of the Russian Federation Navy (RFN), falling from its elevated Cold War status as an American near-equal, to an obsolescent non-operational force through the first decade of the 21st century. This less-than-graceful degradation has effectively ceased with a newly invigorated shipbuilding budget, the delivery of a number of warships and, most importantly, the redeployment of this once proud navy into the world’s oceans.
– RIA NOVOSTI – A naval task force led by Russia’s largest warship has passed through the English Channel on its way to the Mediterranean.
– US Naval War College Review – An interesting look at the role of naval aviation in the Cold War Soviet Navy. Literally, the view from inside the Tu-22M Backfire. An interesting counterpoint to yesterday’s publication from Georgetown University…
– War is Boring – Now nearly two years after Mediterranean cruise, the decrepit flattop ‘Admiral Kuznetsov’ limps back into action.
– RIA Novosti – Russia has launched its new state-of-the-art Novorossiysk submarine, which set sail from a St Petersburg shipyard to become the first of six diesel-electric stealth subs delivered to the Russian Black Sea fleet in the next two years.
– War is Boring – In coming decades, the Russian navy could replace its nuclear-powered submarines with battery-powered models that are smaller, harder to detect and cheaper to build. But the non-nuclear approach to future subs is risky, particularly for under-ice Arctic operations. It’s not for no reason that the world’s leading undersea power, the United States, is committed to an all-nuke sub fleet.
– War is Boring – On Nov. 4, Russia’s Regional Development Ministry concluded in a report that Moscow was unprepared for a war in the Arctic. Over the next two days, the Kremlin and it partners in the press moved quickly to assure the world that they were stepping up their efforts to establish their military presence in the land of the North Pole — with a nuclear-powered icebreaker and a squadron of warships.
– War is Boring – Nuclear contamination has been a persistent source of danger along Russia’s Arctic coast.
– Navy Recognition – Vladivostok, the first of two BPC-type vessels (LHD – Landing Helicopter Dock) on order from DCNS for the Russian Federation was floated out of its building dock at STX France’s Saint-Nazaire shipyard on 15 October. The event was attended by senior officials representing the French and Russian navies and shipbuilding industries. The programme has proceeded as planned since the contract came into force in late 2011, with the vessels on schedule for delivery in late 2014 and late 2015 respectively.