Thursday, June 8, 2017

Four Oscars To Be Modernized For Russia's Pacific Fleet.

As Igor Korotchenko's blog reports (in Russian), it is official--4 Russia's Pacific Fleet SSGNs of Project 949A  (aka Oscar-II) will be modernized to carry Kalibr family missiles. 72 of them. The announcement was made by Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov. One of the Pacific Fleet Oscars, Irkutsk, is already undergoing modernization and is planned to re-join the fleet in 2021, three others should be modernized by 2025. 


It remains to be seen how many of newest Yasen-class (Project 885) SSGNs will join Pacific Fleet or when all 6 of newest missile carrying SSKs will do the same, but judging by the speed with which first six of those have been completed for the Black Sea Fleet, 2025 seems to be a realistic date for completion. Of course, as it is always the case with Russia, things may and, most likely, will change somewhat but it seems that somebody finally started paying attention to the Pacific Fleet which was left to manage with whatever was available to it since the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

Of course, one can not ignore the fact of the two newest SSBNs of the Borey-class (Project 955A) Alexandr Nevsky and Vladimir Monomach serving with the Pacific Fleet, but SSBNs are a completely different commodity than attack subs. The same goes for the surface component and here, apart from Marshal Shaposhnikov undergoing modernization, Pacific Fleet is in dire need for new hulls in its surface component. Looks like, the fleet will be getting, starting this June, long-awaited corvettes of Project 20380. So, by 2025, it seems, Pacific Fleet will have a serious submarine force capable to provide for a massive salvo against any threat, as well as "project", if need be (hopefully, not), against anyone's shores in the Pacific Ocean.  It will be very interesting to observe in the nearest future the way the Pacific Fleet will be getting its face lift, and not by the ships and subs only. New Il-38Ns with Novella complex and Mig-31s modernized to BM version, together with new sensors, should provide a very robust A2/AD capability against any combination of threats. 

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