By the year 2025 Russia plans to increase its ocean going fleet size to a total of 300 battleships, exceeding the level it maintained during the ‘cold war’. The Russian Navy plans to maintain six battlegroups, each consisting of an aircraft carrier and various combat support and auxiliary ships. Three attack groups are to be based in the Northern Fleet with three others in the Pacific Fleet. This expansion will address Russia’s strategic aspirations especially its territorial demands in the melting arctic zone.
According to the Russian Fleet’s Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Vladimir Masorin, three attack groups will be based in the Northern Fleet with three others in the Pacific Fleet. At all times, two carriers will be on alert while two the other two are undergoing repair and modernization. The new vessels will include four heavy carriers: the Kiev, Minsk, Novorossiysk and Baku. The construction of the first carrier will begin in the next decade. Meanwhile, the Russians are planning to construct a new series of surface battleships that will support and protect the carriers. Russia also plans to modernize its Naval Aviation, fielding new MiG-29K instead of some of its 1980’s vintage Su-33.
An expansion of Russia’s submarine fleet is also underway. Three new submarines are currently under construction and sea trials. The Russian Navy is building a new submarine base in the Kamchatka Peninsula, at the town of Vilyuchinsk, to host the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet submarine force. The base will be designed to support the new Borei strategic missile carrying submarines. The first Submarine, Yuri Dolgoruky, was launched in April 07, series. Its sister ships, Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh are expected to be completed by the year 2010. The Russian Navy currently operates 19 submarines, based in several locations in Severomorsk in the Kola Peninsula. The new base will offer centralized support for the submarine fleet.