– Proceedings of the US Naval Institute – The aspiration to be a first-rate maritime power is beyond Russia’s maritime potential and industrial capacity, and Russia’s ambitions in the world’s oceans are out of reach.
– Independent – Three Russian submarines armed with cruise missiles have reportedly joined a naval battleforce heading towards Syria. The Royal Navy and Nato have been tracking the two Akula-class submarines and a diesel-powered Kilo-class sub as they travelled to join the fleet of Russian ships headed by the Soviet-era aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.
– USNI News – If there isn’t military purpose of the Russian fleet to be off Syria why are they going there?
– AFP – Several Russian warships pass in both directions through the Bosphorus every week, transporting cargo for Moscow’s military campaign in Syria, in a massive logistical effort known as the “Syrian Express”. Their passage through the densely-populated Turkish metropolis represents a unique chance to see close up a deployed Russian warship that would usually be kept well away from prying eyes. And each time they come, a group of amateur but well-informed and hugely dedicated Turkish ship spotters are there to photograph them and share their work on social media where their following has shot up.
– BBC – Russia has withdrawn a request for three warships to dock at the Spanish port of Ceuta for refuelling, following concern among Nato allies.
– BBC – Spain is coming under pressure from Nato allies not to allow the refuelling of Russian warships in the Kuznetsov carrier group bound for Syria.
– National Interest – With NATO’s eyes on the defense of its Baltic members and a growing view that Poland is NATO’s new center of gravity in the East, a Kaliningrad A2/AD zone projects advanced ground, naval, and air threats, creating significant security challenges.
– Janes – Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced on 6 October the formation of a new long-range Heavy Bomber Division (Tyazheloy Bombardirovochnoy Aviatsionnoy Divizii, or HBD/TBAD). Stationed in the Far East, the unit’s role is to patrol the Pacific Ocean and, in particular, sea areas near to Japan, Hawaii, and Guam.
– The Diplomat – Russia has begun construction of three new subs including its latest ballistic missile nuclear submarine.
– Washington Free Beacon – Russia is building a drone submarine to deliver large-scale nuclear weapons against U.S. harbors and coastal cities, according to Pentagon officials. The developmental unmanned underwater vehicle, or UUV, when deployed, will be equipped with megaton-class warheads capable of blowing up key ports used by U.S. nuclear missile submarines, such as Kings Bay, Ga., and Puget Sound in Washington state.
– USNI News – It may not be 1984 again, but it certainly is not 1994 or 2004 either. Incorporated into what appears to be an overarching strategy to assert Russian primacy in their self-identified “near abroad” the Russians are doing several things simultaneously, the most important of which may well be the large-scale exercises in Crimea as part of an apparent larger strategic war game. While many may argue the relative merits of various aspects of Russian power, sanctions, diplomatic isolation and other lines of effort, there is no denying that Russia is synchronizing a strategy to keep Europe off-balance, potential allies encouraged and possible enemies deterred from the Baltic to the Black Sea and further afield.
– USNI Proceedings – With ‘more activity from Russian submarines than we’ve seen since the days of the Cold War,’ an improved European force posture becomes vital for the U.S. Navy and NATO.
– Barents Observer – A series of unmanned underwater vehicles (UAV) for both research and military purposes are under development.
– Breaking Defense – The balance of power underwater is shifting against the West, warns a new report from the Center for Strategic & International Studies. Both Russian and NATO capabilities cratered after the Cold War, but the Russian submarine fleet is clawing its way back — and we’re not ready to face it, CSIS says. The US, its allies, and the Nordics need to invest in new technology, intense training, and, above all, closer cooperation to counter the resurgent threat.
– USNI News – While Russian submarine activity in the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas and the North Atlantic are at their highest levels since the end of the Cold War, its navy has only started to be resourced and its undersea fleet, while “a pocket of competence,” remains small.
– USNI News – Moscow has dispatched a specialized spy ship off the coast of Hawaii with the likely mission to monitor the U.S. Navy led Rim of the Pacific 2016 exercise.
– USNI News – A Russian frigate again came dangerously close to U.S. ships tasked with striking ISIS targets in Syria from the Eastern Mediterranean – coming within 150 yards of the Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group while the carrier was conducting flight operations on Thursday.
– Defense News – The latest Russian-US kerfuffle at sea appears to feature a US warship making a close-in, high-speed pass on a Russian ship — but there may be more to the story than what a one-minute and two-second video shows.
– USNI News – Starting next year, Russia’s only aircraft carrier will start a modernization maintenance period to upgrade its arresting gear and launching systems.
– USNI News – Russia has stepped up its submarine operations and is regularly probing U.S. anti-submarine networks in a new “Battle of the Atlantic,” the commander of U.S. 6th Fleet said.
– USNI News – The fly-by of the USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) in the Baltic Sea by Russian Sukhoi Su-24 Fencers on two separate occasions earlier this week serves as a dramatic reminder of the Baltic Sea region as a friction zone between Russia and the U.S. and its NATO allies.
– BBC – Two Russian planes flew close to a US guided missile destroyer almost a dozen times.
– Sputnik – Russia marks the Day of the Submariner on March 19. The date was not chosen by chance – it was on this day in 1906 that the submarines in the Russian Navy were ordered by the Secretary of the Navy to be allocated as a separate class of warships.
– DefenseOne – As the GIUK gap returns to importance, NATO must look to regenerate its anti-submarine forces.
– Foxtrot Alpha – There is no doubt that Russia’s Kirov class super-sized nuclear cruisers are charismatic fighting machines. Bristling with sensors and weaponry, and seemingly alien in design when compared to anything in the west, they are intimidating. But the truth is that they are also very dated and only one has remained in service for decades. That’s all about to change.