Unsuccessful attempt to modernize the Black Sea Fleet

Unsuccessful attempt to modernize the Black Sea Fleet

The recent visit of the head of the military department of the Russian Federation A. Serdyukov ended with an open question about the modernization of the Black Sea Fleet. The main obstacle to the resolution of this issue is the requirement of Ukraine to provide a full list of weapons, which will replace the old fund of the Black Sea Fleet. Ukraine also fears that Russia will base in Sevastopol ships that have elements of tactical nuclear weapons. The Russian military, in turn, are trying to defend their autonomy in the Black Sea region.

It is worth noting here that, in contrast to ground combat vehicles, aviation, surface ships, weapons and the composition of the maritime brigade, Ukraine has practically no data.

In some way, the Ukrainian authorities can be understood: first, Russia was going to update its frigates, which caused many people to be perplexed, because frigates are surface ships of oceanic action, and the Black Sea is too small an area for them to deploy. However, by mid-summer, the Russian military are aware of their mistake and are beginning to diligently prepare the modernization of the Black Sea Fleet with submarines and corvettes. It was decided to commission up to six submarines of the 636M project and up to six corvettes of the 20385 project by the end of the second decade.

Before 2025, it is planned to commission up to 10 artillery and rocket small ships, which will amount to the number of the newest ships and ships on the Black Sea Fleet, on the order of 35 naval combat vehicles. It remains only to note that according to the composition of the ships it is easy to determine the direction of the main tasks of the fleet, for example, if the main forces consist of frigates - the main task is either to attack or conduct various operations far from the basing point, if the main forces of the corvette, then the priority is defensive tasks.

Possible improvements in this matter depend on the economic component, which is very much required by Ukraine. Kharkiv economic agreements, under which Ukraine currently pays for Russian blue gold - natural gas, made them economically unprofitable, and now Ukraine is striving to incline Russia's leadership to additional discounts, and there is a reason for this.

The negotiation process went, so to speak, safely - no one lost anything, however, and did not acquire either. Although even if the negotiations ended in a successfully resolved issue, then for modernization, it is fair to say, there are not enough resources. All pledged surface ships and submarines at shipyards in Russia will be commissioned by the Pacific and Northern fleets, and there is not a single new ship to modernize the Black Sea Fleet. And the importance of the Black Sea is not comparable with the ocean expanses.

One of the clauses of the contract from the Russian side could be orders for Ukrainian shipyards for the repair of Russian ships.
Recently, six Russian ships were repaired by Bulgarian shipyards, although Ukrainian factories could handle the repair of ships: Sevastopol, Feodosia, and Nikolaev. Russian officials explain their actions by the fact that Ukrainian ship repairmen offer repairs at exorbitant prices, which Ukraine categorically denies. This is a difficult question, although there is a high probability of playing political games.

Today, all negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are of a political connotation. The relations of the Slavic countries are far from the classical relations between the two democratic countries. Most likely, Ukrainian politicians are ready to resolve the issue of the basing and modernization of the Black Sea Fleet in the right option for Russia, but will require energy concessions or economic discounts. But Russian politicians are not ready to miss the acquired economic and diplomatic decisions. Now let us hope and wait that the issue of the modernization of the Black Sea Fleet will be resolved in the near future with benefit for both sides, after all the military power on the Black Sea coast will benefit both countries.

More recently, Russian officials began to talk about the restructuring of the berths and the fleet infrastructure in Sevastopol, with a great prospect for future modernization. Nobody even thinks about building a military base on its own territory of the Black Sea coast, the cost of building will nullify the entire modernization program. And Russia has a reason to say so today, President of Ukraine V.F. Yanukovych does not deny this possibility and, apparently, pushes Russian officials in this direction, making cautious statements about the Black Sea Fleet.
To date, the Black Sea Fleet consists of 19 ship units, which include more than 200 ships of various classes. 80 percent of surface ships and ship equipment require various kinds of repairs and upgrades.
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