Kaliningrad is a military stronghold in the Baltic Sea. It is also an interesting case of Russia’s joint approach to defense under the leadership of the Baltic Fleet. Here is a quick overview.
A maritime exercise between Iran, China, and Russia has received much attention. It is a very small exercise where China and Russia sent one warship each, so it is mostly a symbolic gesture. But the World response has demonstrated the power of naval diplomacy.
Defense analyst Ilya Kramnik has been fired from Izvestia for publishing a critical analysis of an interview with defense minister Sergey Shoigu. Kramnik particularly addressed Shoigu’s inclination to taking credit for other people’s achievements and the propagandized nature of the Defense Ministry’s PR-practices under Shoigu.
It is time to let go of the idea of impenetrable A2/AD bubbles. Russia does not have the technical capabilities to do it, and politically it is hard to see why they would even want to. We need to start thinking about Russia’s missiles as a layered defense system instead. That is the point of this conference paper.
Almost 130,000 soldiers will take part in Russia’s upcoming exercise Tsentr 2019. It takes place in the central region of Russia and will include a huge expeditionary exercise in the Arctic.
There finally is a reliable list of participating ships for Russia’s Naval Day parade in Saint Petersburg. It is a very similar collection of ships as last year. The biggest surprise is the participation of the frigate Admiral Gorshkov which is returning from a trip around the world.
Russia may face a few years without any battlecruisers. The shipyard has announced that the maintenance and upgrade program of Admiral Nakhimov will take a few years longer than expected. This means that Admiral Nakhimov will not be ready to take over by the time a similar upgrade begins on Pyotr Velikiy in 2020.
The Arctic will not be a peaceful exception in a militarized world. In this post I compare the security situation in the Baltic and the Arctic. Both regions are militarized these days, but in very different ways. The most dangerous dynamics are in the Arctic, and it will get worse in the coming years.
Russia has ordered two more Gorshkov-class frigates and two more Ivan Gren class landing ships. With this purchase they will have a total of six Gorshkov-class and four Ivan Gren class.
Russia has some impressive new weapons under development, but many of the projects have been struck by problems and delays. Here is an overview of how things are going with the most spectacular programs.