Russia returns to the Mediterranean: Fifth Soviet Navy Squadron is back?

Discussion in 'Military Forum' started by brahmos_ii, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    Russia is due to provide its permanent presence in the Mediterranean Sea by deploying an operational formation of the Russian Navy in the region by 2015. According to the General Staff, the squadron will consist of ships from the Black Sea, the Northern and the Baltic Fleets.

    The new formation will be made to the pattern of the Fifth Operational Squadron of the former USSR Navy. During the Cold War, that squadron fulfilled tactical missions in the Mediterranean. At that time the main rival of the squadron was the Sixth Fleet of the US Navy. A year after the collapse of the Soviet Union, on the 31st of December 1992, the Fifth Squadron was disbanded.

    Time proved that it was a rash step. The Mediterranean region remains the hub of clashing interests of world’s leading powers. This has been especially clear over recent years with the Arab spring events, Gaddafi’s overthrow in Libya and the protracted civil war in Syria. During his visit to the Black Sea Fleet on the 20th of February the Russian Defence Minister stressed that the Mediterranean region was the core of all essential dangers to Russia’s national interests. Thus, the Russian Navy will fulfil tasks in all parts of the World Oceans.

    This is undoubtedly a very serious undertaking. The Russian Mediterranean squadron is to be provided with comprehensive logistical support but at present the only Russian base and naval facility abroad is the Syrian port of Tartus. Secondly, it is essential to update the ships of the Black Sea Fleet, adviser of the chief of the General Staff, former Commander of the Black Sea Fleet Admiral Igor Kasatonov says.

    “All this will entail huge costs. From the geopolitical viewpoint, we need this squadron, it is the right decision. As a result, the government will have to exert itself to set up this formation similar to the Fifth Soviet Navy Squadron.â€￾

    It should be noted that the Russian government has been contributing to the updating of the Black Sea Fleet for a few years already. Three diesel-electric submarines and three frigates are being built at present. Another advantage is that there should be no organizational problems because the scene of operations was thoroughly explored at the time of the USSR. The aims of setting up this formation are evident, editor-in-chief of The Arms Exports magazine Andrey Frolov believes.

    “I believe that first of all this would be showing the Russian flag and highlighting Russia’s ambitions on an international level. This would be the proof that after 20 years Russia has regained what the USSR possessed. Finally, this would give us an opportunity to faster respond to any moves. It often happened in the past that it took ships 4-5 days to leave the port in Sevastopol and reach their destination, while events could develop much faster.â€￾

    Experts believe that 2-3 years is a realistic time for updating the fleet. At present, the existing ships are also capable of fulfilling their tasks. The General Staff reports that coordinated action in the future Mediterranean squadron was practised during the Russian naval exercises in the region in January.

  2. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Aquila Non Capit Muscas Staff Member

    Country Flag:
    well Russia will be getting 50 new ships by 2016
    so perhaps that has inspired this action
  3. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    A proposed Russian permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean Sea may consist of up to 10 combat and auxiliary ships, a high-ranking military source said.

    "A command headquarters responsible for the deployment of a permanent naval task force must be set up at the Black Sea Fleet," the source told RIA Novosti.

    "The group may consist of up to 10 vessels, including auxiliary ships," he said.

    A source in the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces confirmed Thursday that the deployment of Russian warships in the Mediterranean had been a subject of planning for some time.

    "It could be a task force consisting of warships from three Russian fleets, similar to the one that has been carrying out exercises in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, near the Syrian coast, for the last six months," the source said.

    The task force may operate on a rotation basis and use ports in Cyprus, Montenegro, Greece and Syria as re-supply points, the official added.

    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier said that Russia needs a group of warships to be permanently present in the Mediterranean Sea to secure the country's interests in the region.

    The Soviet Union maintained the 5th Mediterranean Squadron in the Mediterranean Sea from 1967 until 1992. It was formed to counter the US Navy 6th Fleet during the Cold War, and consisted of 30-50 warships and auxiliary vessels at different times.

    Indian Defence News - Russia plans to keep 10 warships in Mediterranean
  4. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence Staff Member

    Country Flag:
    this all for countering US&NATO in Syria
  5. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    So there is a watch dog for our universial police
  6. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    The Russian Navy has begun setting up a permanent task force to defend Russia’s interests in the Mediterranean, Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said Monday.

    “The defense minister has ordered us to form a task force that will operate in the Mediterranean Sea on a permanent basis,” Chirkov told reporters after a defense ministry meeting. “We have already started work on this task.”

    The move comes at a time of increased international tension in the eastern Mediterranean due to the worsening civil war in Syria.

    According to Chirkov, the issue has been discussed at the Navy's Main Headquarters, with the focus on logistics and training of commanding personnel.

    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said earlier on Monday that a decision to deploy a permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean had been made.

    “I believe that we have the capability to form and maintain such a task force,” Shoigu said, citing the success of recent large-scale naval drills carried out by the Russian navy in the Mediterranean and Black seas.

    The exercises involved warships from the Northern, Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific fleets, strategic bombers and naval infantry.

    Neither Shoigu nor Chirkov mentioned a timeline for the deployment of the new task force, which would likely require significant effort to ensure efficient logistics and the proper maintenance of warships in the Mediterranean group.

    Shoigu admitted Monday that the general state of affairs in the navy "could not be called satisfactory," particularly in terms of poor servicing and maintenance of vessels.

    “A significant part of the fleet has to be operated with extended periods [of time] between repairs, while many ships and vessels have armaments and military equipment that can be used only with restrictions," Shoigu said.

    A high-ranking defense ministry source told RIA Novosti in the beginning of March that a proposed Russian permanent naval task force in the Mediterranean Sea could consist of up to 10 combat and auxiliary ships from three of the existing fleets.

    The task force may operate on a rotating basis and use ports in Cyprus, Montenegro, Greece and Syria as resupply points, the official added.

    The Soviet Union maintained its 5th Mediterranean Squadron in that sea from 1967 until 1992. It was formed to counter the US Navy 6th Fleet during the Cold War, and consisted of 30-50 warships and auxiliary vessels at different times.

    Russian Navy starts forming Mediterranean task force | Russia & India Report
  7. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican ELITE MEMBER

    A Task Force, A Fleet !!!!!! with out aircraft carriers??? Get serious.
  8. brahmos_ii

    brahmos_ii SENIOR MEMBER

    Russia is stepping up its military presence in the Black Sea region and is set to create a naval task force in the Mediterranean. The military says it is being done to enhance combat preparedness. However, there are political reasons behind these moves: Moscow is clearly designating its military presence in the regions because of the aggravating situation in Syria.

    One of the key events to indicate the Russian Navy's stepping up its activity in the Black Sea region, was the surprise drill whose results President Vladimir Putin summed up on May 13.

    On March 28, the supreme commander-in-chief ordered to launch a large-scale military exercise in the Black Sea region, and arrived in the Krasnodar Territory to check its progress. The exercise involved up to 7,000 servicemen, more than 30 ships, aircraft, rapid deployment units of airborne troops and marines.

    In the recent years, all exercises of the Russian army have been conducted according to schedule. They were prepared for in advance: everything was spelled out in tactical assignments, the leadership of the Defense Ministry or even the country's leadership, and, sometimes, foreign observers arrived at the scene as the drill was at its peak. The war games were followed by routine analysis, and, of course, new decorations and promotions.

    The March drill on the Black Sea dismantled this stereotype.

    Putin made it clear at the conference that such "military shake-ups" would be standard. This kind of inspection of combat preparedness is most effective, as it allows for detecting shortcomings and oversights. "The purpose of these events is not to make formal reports or show off, but "to find out weak spots, and have a deep, careful and objective analysis of the situation in order to... perfect the structure and combat work of all units," Putin noted.

    The establishment of Russia's Mediterranean task force would be another benchmark decision. It was announced by Navy chief Admiral Viktor Chirkov in Sevastopol as the Black Sea Fleet was marking its 230th anniversary.

    "At present, the headquarters of the task force is being formed; the selection and appointments of officers of the headquarters to their post according to the table of organization are underway," Chirkov said.

    The comeback of Russian warships to the Mediterranean Sea reminds of another decision: in August 2007, Russia resumed the flights by strategic aircraft to remote areas of the world. The flights had stopped in 1992. The Soviet Mediterranean squadron was dissolved on December 31, 1992.

    In 2007, skeptics said the revival of strategic aviation in its former shape was not possible. At present, Russia strategic warplanes appear in the most unexpected places of the world. Things are more difficult with Russian warships in the Mediterranean region. In the Soviet times, the 5th squadron of the Soviet Navy operated in the Mediterranean Sea, and comprised 30 to 50 vessels in different periods. The task force was set up during the Cold War, and the USA's Sixth Fleet was regarded as its main opponent.
    At present, Russia considers a task force of five to six ships, and, possibly, a couple of submarines although the military do not rule out the participation of Mistral-type helicopter carriers. However, it is not the number of vessels but the very fact of their presence that is important now.

    Meanwhile, the situation in Syria is aggravating. Vladimir Putin discussed the Syrian conflict with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and then with British Prime Minister David Cameron. In world practice, diplomatic arguments are sometimes reinforced by military ones, especially because Russia is interested not only in partnership with Syria. The Syrian port of Tartus is the only point of Russian military presence outside the former Soviet Union. Moscow's wish to keep this base is understandable.

    Yet the matter cannot be only reduced to political considerations of the moment. While stepping up its military activity in the Black and Mediterranean Seas, Russia is trying to designate its interests in these regions for a long-term period. It is not by accident that Putin demanded taking into account the results of the Black Sea drill in preparations for the West 2013 military exercise in the autumn.

    Why Russia activates Army, Fleet on Black Sea | Russia & India Report
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  9. S K Mittal


    Russia should also think of mantaining a task force in chinesse sea to protect their intrests from china.

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