– CNN – The Russian spy ship, the Viktor Leonov, was spotted 100 miles south east of Wilmington, North Carolina, in international waters.
– War Zone – Lighting your own sub on fire, or setting a fire right next to one, seems like a pretty stupid, if not unbelievable way to execute a drill.
– Breaking Defense – “When I was an ensign, a lieutenant, we knew we could beat the Russians. It was just a question of time because we were better than them,” NATO’s top admiral said. “I’m not sure we could make that assumption now.”
– Defense News – A draft of the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review confirms the existence of an underwater nuclear drone made and operated by Russia, a capability the U.S. Defense Department had not previously publicly acknowledged.
– CIMSEC – Recent actions by the Russian military all point toward conveying the message that Russia does not want the presence of foreign militaries in Baltic Sea waters and is capable of taking countermeasures to exert its sovereignty in the region.
– Reuters – Russian tankers have supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea, according to two senior Western European security sources, providing an economic lifeline to the secretive Communist state.
– BBC – The UK’s most senior military officer has warned of a new threat posed by Russia to communications and internet cables that run under the sea.
– War Zone – The report comes a year after a MiG-29KR and a Su-33 crashed during separate incidents while operating aboard Russia’s carrier.
– War Zone – New video shows that the Cold War dinosaur of a ship has been largely gutted to make way for new combat systems and weaponry.
– War Zone – Are Moscow’s Arctic ambitions going to result in a rebirth of the Soviet-era Caspian Sea Monster?
– Reuters – Three Russian warships, including two anti-submarine vessels, docked in Manila on Friday to unload what navy officials said was weaponry and military vehicles donated to the Philippines as part of a new defense relationship.
– War Zone – The carrier’s long delayed deep refit and modernization program has had its budget slashed in half putting in question the carrier’s future relevance.
– US Naval Institute Proceedings – Like the Soviet Navy before it, the Russian Navy’s true power lies in its submarine force. Although recovering from a prolonged period of limited investment and confined activity, the various nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSNs), guided-missile submarines (SSGNs), and ballistic-missile submarines (SSBNs) Russia inherited from the Soviet Union make it a capable adversary in the undersea domain. If Russia is to remain a relevant player beneath the waves in the 2020s and 2030s, however, it will have to substantially recapitalize its aging submarine force in the coming decade. Fortunately for Russia’s submariners, reinvigorating submarine construction has been one of the visible accomplishments of the Russian Navy’s modernization program for 2011–2020.
– The Independent Barents Observer – With battle cruiser Pyotr Veliky in the lead, a big group of Northern Fleet ships unfold a grand exercise near the border to Norway.
– USNI Blog – A discussion of current Russian hypersonic anti-ship cruise missiles.
– New Scientist – Reports of satellite navigation problems in the Black Sea suggest that Russia may be testing a new system for spoofing GPS. This could be the first hint of a new form of electronic warfare available to everyone from rogue nation states to petty criminals.
– War is Boring – The Kremlin can’t replace its aging subs fast enough.
– RT – An amazing 90 minute review of the Russian Navy’s fleet, including its undersea and air arms.
– BBC – The ship spotters of Istanbul have become a key resource for diplomats and intelligence experts, alerting the world to the scale of Russia’s campaign in Syria.
– War Zone – Early last April, we were among the first to report that Russia intended to send the world’s largest submarine, the Typhoon class Dmitry Donskoy, and their largest surface combatant, the nuclear powered Kirov class battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy, to the relatively tight and tense confines of the Baltic Sea. Now both ships have officially set sail from their home port of Severomorsk on their unprecedented voyage.
– CIMSEC – Read the latest episode of Sea Control for a conversation with Captain Klaus Mommsen (ret.) of the German Navy to talk about the Russian Navy and its latest developments.
– USNI News – China and Russia’s planned exercise in the Baltic Sea is raising eyebrows in northern Europe, NATO headquarters and Washington. Dubbed Joint Sea 2017, the China-Russia maritime exercise in late July will see the introduction of a People’s Liberation Army Navy destroyer, frigate, and a support ship into the Baltic Sea. The PLAN flotilla will join Russia’s Baltic Sea fleet off St. Petersburg for joint drills.
– USNI News – BALTOPS 2017, now in its 45th year as an annual naval exercise, took place during the first two weeks of June in a Baltic Sea region that continues to be tense with Russia’s continued assertiveness, which became apparent with the violent annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
– War Zone – Though Russian officials have delayed plans to move forward with two of its major surface ship programs indefinitely, including a new aircraft carrier, the Kremlin insists it will move ahead with work on a modern amphibious assault ship. Despite assurances to the contrary, there is little evidence that the country’s shipbuilding infrastructure is anymore ready for this task, and the project could easily end up deferred in the face of other priorities.
– War Zone – Russia is reportedly moving ahead with aggressive plans to revitalize its military as the country adopts an increasingly revanchist foreign policy. However, some items are noticeably absent from the Kremlin’s latest rearmament program, specifically two all-new surface warships, suggesting earlier proposals may have been, not surprisingly, too ambitious for the Russian defense industry. In particular, the new plan put work on new classes of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and destroyers for the Russian Navy on hold indefinitely.