Russia Navy Larger Than U.S. Navy Now, With Addition of Ukraine Navy Ships

 

Russia Navy

Since taking 51 vessels from Ukraine without resistance, Russia now has more warships than America. The U.S. Navy has 283 active vessels, and Russia had 280 warships until last week, when it began taking over Ukrainian vessels stationed in Crimea.

The last of Ukrainian’s 17 military vessels stationed in Crimea not already taken by Russia, the minesweeper Cherkassy, was sabotaged by its crew Wednesday after several unsuccessful Russian capture attempts. Tuesday night, gunfire, explosions and smoke were seen and heard coming from the vessel during a Russian attempt. Ten Ukrainian vessels, not stationed in Crimea, still remain in the possession of Ukraine.

Russia has also gained navy officers.  About 12,000 of Ukraine’s 15,450 navy personnel were stationed in Crimea when Russia invaded at the end of last month. Most of the officers have joined the Russian navy or resigned, according to representatives of the Russian government.

The 204th Tactical Aviation Brigade, based at the Balbek airbase, had 39 Mig-28 fighters, which were seized by Russia in the early days of their invasion. Three hundred surface-to-air missiles were seized at the Fiolent airbase, as well.

A representative of the Russian navy gave an interview Tuesday. According to Yuri Borisov, deputy defense minister for the Russian Navy, the Russian navy will have 40 more warships, including submarines and support vessels, set up for combat duty this year. Borisov stated the increase would make “resolution of the whole range of tasks that the Navy assumed [and] become more combat effective in any parts of oceans in the world,” as reported by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.

The warships will be equipped with anti-submarine and high-precision assault weapons and self-defense and airborne devices, according to the plans for the fleet development.

The vessels will be brought into military service for Russia’s navy in the near future, Borisov told reporters. Borisov also spoke “Yasen nuclear submarines of a new generation” and “modern multipurpose surface warships,” such as Lider head destroyers, corvettes and frigates. Borisov outlined plans for coast guard ships, small missile-carrying warships, anti-sabotage cutters, rescue ships, and support vessels such as icebreakers and floating cranes.

Relatedly, the Russian navy has been reported today to be conducting a massive exercise in the Mediterranean Sea, close to Cyprus. Ships from the Russian Northern Fleet are beginning joint exercises with large Russian Baltic Fleet ships. The Russian Navy may use Cyprus as a port during their exercise, it is reported, because Russia is allowed to refuel at Limassol.

The U.S. Navy has 283 active vessels plus many thousands of non-combat vessels. The force includes 10 Nimitz-class carriers, to which will be soon added two new Ford-class ships, which America is building. No other country has more than two aircraft carriers.

For comparison, the Chinese Navy, who earlier this year announced plans to build a second aircraft carrier, was reported in 2012 to have over 500 combat vessels and almost 150 major combat vessels, although some of these ships rank equally with what the U.S. would classify Coast Guard vessels.  Iran, considered to be another possible future military opponent of America, had 30 submarines, two destroyers and six frigates when assessed in 2012.

By Day Blakely Donaldson

Sources:

ITAR-TASS
Time
Famagusta Gazette
Kyiv Post