Russia’s navy plans to expand its fleet by 50 ships this year as part of a massive military upgrade plan started under President Vladimir Putin last year and is to continue until 2050. Those ships include nuclear submarines to replace Russia’s aging fleet and some refurbished surface ships, the Moscow Times reported.
The navy will receive the second and third of its Borei-class nuclear-powered submarines in 2015 along with at least five new surface warships and 10 combat boats, ITAR-Tass reported. The revamp comes as tensions between Russia and its former Cold War adversaries in the West are at their highest since the collapse of the Soviet Union over the conflict in Ukraine. U.S., Ukrainian and European officials accuse Russia of directly intervening on behalf of pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.
A majority of U.N. member states condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula that until its annexation hosted both the Ukrainian and Russian Black Sea fleets. Russia forced the Ukrainian navy out and took command of a number of bases and the equipment at them. Direct control over Crimea gives Russia a more complete presence in the Black Sea across from three NATO member states: Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.
Full article: Russian Navy Will Get 50 New Ships This Year, Including Nuclear Submarines, Surface Warships, Says Admiral (International Business Times)