The Bulava missile is Russia’s new submarine-launched ballistic missile. I have taken a closer look at the history and capabilities of the missile upon the announcement that it has now reached operational status.
Russia has decided to build a dedicated ship for helicopter training. This seems like a good choice. Helicopter practice is a huge time drain on operational ships, and Russia’s demand for maritime pilots is growing. It will also come in handy when the Helix helicopter is up for replacement in a few years.
The Russian military press is full of stories about preparations for the Naval Day Parade. I have collected some of them to give and idea about which units we will see in Saint Petersburg, and which naval movements we can expect in the Baltic Sea in the near future.
For the Russian Aerospace Forces, the air campaign has been a valuable source of experience. They have tested equipment, organization, and doctrine. Rapid rotations have ensured that most personnel in the Russian military have gained personal war experience from the otherwise limited operation.
In this piece I summarize some of the findings that Anton Lavrov makes in a new CNA report about The Russian Air Campaign in Syria.
The large signals intelligence ship Ivan Khurs has now been delivered to the Russian Navy. Ivan Khurs will join the Black Sea Fleet to replace the smaller ship Liman which sank last year. The commissioning ceremony took place in Saint Petersburg, and Ivan Khurs must be expected to leave the Baltic Sea shortly.
Sweden replaces the intelligence ship Orion with a larger and more modern version. Signals intelligence is an important part of naval operations during peacetime and in the phases of conflict before a war breaks out. The new ship will be ready in 2020.
Estonia has signed a new contract for Mistral missiles with French manufacturer MBDA. This gives Estonia a more robust air defense. There are still many shortcomings in the Baltic air defense, but the new short-range missiles are an important step to building a more credible deterrent.
Russia’s defense minister shows new sides of himself as an artist. While Putin has created an image of himself as the embodiment of masculinity, Shoigu appeals to a more reflective segment with his art exhibition.
Jon Paris makes a compelling case that the U.S. Navy needs to change its education system and introduce specialized career paths for engineering and operations. This step is well overdue. The idea that one can have the responsibility of either engineering or navigation of a large warship with a one-size-fits-all educational background is just mind boggling.
Russia’s new landing ship Ivan Gren is finally ready for delivery. It has been an unending saga of delays, but now the government has approved the results of the sea trials.