Russian Navy

Russia’s Mistrial with the Mistral

lavina vs mistral
When Russian forces moved into neighboring Ukraine last year, France suspended the sale of two completed helicopter assault ships it had built for the Russian Navy. Undaunted, Russia now plans to build several ships of its own, according to their St. Petersburg navy design bureau, one intended to be larger, faster and more heavily laden than the French built Mistral warship. Dubbed Lavina (‘Avalanche’), the new ship, which is scheduled for completion by the end of this decade, “will have a full load displacement of 24,000 tons, as opposed to 21,300 tons for the French-designed ship. It will also have a maximum speed of 22 knots, compared to 19 knots for the Mistrals.

Just like the Mistral, Lavina will house 16 helicopters, about 50 armored vehicles (about 10 fewer than the French amphibious assault vessel) and a potential six smaller boats, as opposed to the Mistrals’ four. All figures are likely rough estimates, with numerous variables, and it is unclear how advanced the Lavina blueprints are at the current stage. ”

Other helicopter carriers are also in development, including the Priboy, a 14,000-ton helicopter carrier, capable of transporting 16 attack helicopters, and previously announced by Nevsky Design Bureau, another leading St. Petersburg design bureau.

According to Russia Today, “the Yantar shipyard also reportedly began construction of a smaller Ivan Gren-class assault vessel, which the Navy said would be ready by 2018.”

 
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Russia’s 21st Century Under Water Navy

borei_class

While its easy for Russia to parade new ground-based weapons systems past the Kremlin in Moscow, or use the venue as a fly-over for the latest aircraft, its a far different scenario for the ships that plum the ocean’s depths. According to Defense News, “Four different kinds of submarines are under construction and more are coming. The country expects to lay down five new nuclear submarines in 2015.

The Navy is accepting Borey-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, Yasen-class nuclear attack submarines, and Kilo- and Lada-class diesel electric attack submarines. Six Kilos are being built for Vietnam and more are offered for export.

This rate of construction is beginning to look more like Cold War days rather than the lethargic shipbuilding rates prevalent since the 1990s.

Yasen

By comparison, the US only recently returned to building two nuclear attack submarines per year, and industry is gearing up to begin construction of a new class of ballistic submarines in 2021 — a three-subs-per-year construction rate not seen since the Reagan era.”

 
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