Russian navy demonstrates the effectiveness of their anti ship missiles in a combat simulation against the United States Navy. The Russian Navy (Russian: Военно-морской Флот Российской Федерации (ВМФ России), tr. Voyenno-morskoy Flot Rossiyskoy Federatsii (VMF Rossii), lit. Military-Maritime Fleet of the Russian Federation) is the naval arm of the Russian military. The present Russian Navy was formed in January 1992, succeeding the Navy of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which had itself succeeded the Soviet Navy following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.
The regular Russian Navy was established by Peter the Great (Peter I) in October 1696. Ascribed to Peter I is the oft quoted statement: “A ruler that has but an army has one hand, but he who has a navy has both.” The symbols of the Russian Navy, the St. Andrew’s flag and ensign (seen to the right), and most of its traditions were established personally by Peter I.
Neither Jane’s Fighting Ships nor the International Institute for Strategic Studies list any standard ship prefixs for the vessels of the Russian Navy. For official U.S. Navy photographs, they are sometimes referred to as “RFS” — “Russian Federation Ship”. However, the Russian Navy does not use this convention for itself.
The Russian Navy possesses the vast majority of the former Soviet naval forces, and currently comprises the Northern Fleet, the Russian Pacific Fleet, the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Baltic Fleet, the Russian Caspian Flotilla, Naval Aviation, and the coastal troops (consisting of the naval infantry and the coastal missile and artillery troops).
A recently approved rearmament program has placed the development of the navy on an equal footing with the strategic nuclear forces for the first time in Soviet and Russian history. The program, covering the period until 2015, is expected to see the replacement of 45 percent of the inventory of the Russian Navy. Out of 4.9 trillion rubles ($192.16 billion) allocated for military rearmament, 25 percent will go into building new ships. “We are already building practically as many ships as we did in Soviet times,” First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said during a visit to Severodvinsk in July 2007, “The problem now is not lack of money, but how to optimize production so that the navy can get new ships three, not five, years after laying them down.”
The Russian Navy suffered severely since the dissolution of the Soviet Union due to insufficient maintenance, lack of funding and subsequent effects on the training of personnel and timely replacement of equipment. Another setback is attributed to Russia’s domestic shipbuilding industry which is reported to have been in decline as to their capabilities of constructing contemporary hardware efficiently. Some analysts even say that because of this Russia’s naval capabilities have been facing a slow but certain “irreversible collapse”. Some analysts say that the recent rise in gas and oil prices has enabled a sort of renaissance of the Russian Navy due to increased available funds, which may allow Russia to begin “developing the capacity to modernize”. In August 2014, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russian naval capabilities would be bolstered with new weapons and equipment within the next six years in response to NATO deployments in eastern Europe and recent developments in Ukraine.
Modern Russian Navy
The 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union led to a severe decline in the Russian Navy. Defense expenditures were severely reduced. Many ships were scrapped or laid up as accommodation ships at naval bases, and the building program was essentially stopped. Sergey Gorshkov’s buildup during the Soviet period had emphasised ships over support facilities, but Gorshkov had also retained ships in service beyond their effective lifetimes, so a reduction had been inevitable in any event. The situation was exacerbated by the impractical range of vessel types which the Soviet military-industrial complex, with the support of the leadership, had forced on the navy – taking modifications into account, the Soviet Navy in the mid-1980s had nearly 250 different classes of ship. The Kiev class aircraft carrying cruisers and many other ships were prematurely retired, and the incomplete second Admiral Kuznetsov class aircraft carrier Varyag was eventually sold to the People’s Republic of China by Ukraine. Funds were only allocated for the completion of ships ordered prior to the collapse of the USSR, as well as for refits and repairs on fleet ships taken out of service since. However, the construction times for these ships tended to stretch out extensively: in 2003 it was reported that the Akula-class submarine SSN Nerpa had been under construction for fifteen years