Admiral: Russia will have no long-ranging vessels left after 2015

Within 2015, the Russian Navy will experience a massive reduction in the number of seagoing vessels, says ex-Commander of the Northern Fleet Admiral Vyacheslav Popov.


- If the current Status Quo is to be upheld, we can await a massive reduction in the number of seagoing and long-ranging vessels within 2015, Popov says, according to RIA Novosti.

The admiral, who is Head of the Federation Council’s Committee for National Maritime Policy warned about the drastic reductions in the Russian Navy’s combat capabilities on Friday in connection with a presentation of the “Russia’s security - 2010” review.

According to Admiral Popov, the main cause of the looming crisis is lack of financing allocated for construction of new sea-going vessels:

- The allocated funds are insufficient to carry out large-scale construction of sea-going ships and simultaneously maintain the existing fleet in combat-ready condition, the admiral said.

Russia’s current weapons procurement program through 2015 does not envision construction or purchases of large combat ships either, although Russia has recently started building the new Admiral Gorshkov class frigates with a range of 4,000 nautical miles and plans to construct up to 20 of the vessels.

The first Admiral Gorshkov class vessel is being built at the Severnaya Verf shipyard and will be launched in 2011, as reported by BarentsObserver.

Meanwhile, Russia is negotiating a separate deal with France on the purchase of a Mistral class helicopter carrier.