Russia’s All Corvette Navy
“If the current situation [with shipbuilding] remains unchanged, we will face a grand-scale removal of ocean-going warships from service with the Russian Navy by 2015 and, as a result, a sharp decrease in its combat capabilities,” Adm. Vyacheslav Popov said in the article “The Navy and Russia’s national security” published in the “Russia’s Security-2010” almanac on Thursday.
Popov, who is the chairman of the committee on national maritime policies in the upper house of parliament, said the main cause of the looming crisis was lack of financing allocated for construction of new ocean-faring ships.
“The allocated funds are insufficient to carry out large-scale construction of ocean-going ships and simultaneously maintain the existing fleet in combat-ready condition,” the admiral said. He said the Russian Navy received only one 2,000-ton corvette and no ocean-going warships in the past decade.
Changing the building priorities of major navies may no longer be a choice, if you notice the declining numbers in even well-funded Western Fleets. The rule may soon be “build small or die“. But as capable as such modern small vessels are, what’s wrong with that? Whatever works.
Earlier this month, Dmitry Gorenburg predicted this in the Russian Military Reform blog:
In another 10 years, its major ocean-going ships will be gone, with nothing but a few corvettes and a couple of French LSTs to replace them.