Russian Navy to Receive New Missile Corvettes by End of 2015

3

The Russian Navy will receive three new missile corvettes by the end of 2015, navy commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said Wednesday.

“The navy is expecting the Veliky Ustyug corvette this year and two more warships of the same class in 2015,” Chirkov said.

The Defense Ministry has ordered a total of nine Project 21631 (Buyan-M) corvettes for the navy, with at least six vessels to be assigned to the Caspian Flotilla.

The first two Buyan-M corvettes, the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Uglich, entered service with the flotilla earlier this year, Chirkov said.

The Zelenodolsk shipyard, based in Russia’s Tatarstan Republic, began construction of the sixth corvette in the series, the Vyshny Volochek, in August last year.

A Buyan-M corvette has a displacement of 949 tons and a maximum speed of 25 knots. It is armed with Kalibr (SS-N-27) anti-ship missiles, 100-mm and 30-mm guns, as well as Igla-1M air defense missiles.

Advertisements

Russia’s Baltic and Northern Fleets in Urgent Drills

2

Marines of Russia’s Baltic and Northern fleets boarded large landing ships, the Defence Ministry press service told Itar-Tass.

At the same time, groups of the Pskov airborne troops were moving to an airfield to board aircraft to go to planned areas. The landing grounds will be known only after the aircraft takes off and heads for the areas, the press service added.

All the mobile units of paratroops and marines are ready to land anywhere under any climate conditions, it noted.

Meanwhile, tank units and troops of the Western Military District were being carried by rail, a defence ministry source said.

On February 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Defence Ministry to conduct an urgent complex drill to test the combat readiness of forces of the western and central military districts.

Shoigu later said it was in no way connected with the situation in Ukraine.

Aviation Equipment Holding Joins Sukhoi Superjet Project

3

Russia’s Aviation Equipment Holding is joining the Sukhoi Superjet airliner project to replace imported equipment including landing gear currently made in France, the holding’s CEO Maxim Kuzyuk said on Thursday.

First supplies will arrive from the Russian Technologies State Corporation affiliate this year, Kuzyuk said.

Aviation Equipment comprises 36 enterprises at locations in Moscow, Moscow and Arkhangelsk regions, Ufa, Samara, Ulyanovsk and Omsk, supplying equipment to Russian and CIS countries and distributing equipment for international manufacturers. Aeroflot, Sukhoi, Transaero and UTair are among its clients.

Moscow Informs NATO of Russian Troops Exercise

4

Moscow has informed the North Atlantic Alliance of the surprise inspection of the Russian troops in the Western and Central Military Districts that started on Wednesday, February 26, Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko told ITAR-TASS.

A total of 110,000 troops are participating in the exercise. “Ninety aircraft, over 110 helicopters, up to 880 tanks, over 1,200 pieces of military hardware and as many as 80 ships and vessels will be involved,” Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

The main purpose of the drill is to practice interoperability in different theatres of war. The exercise will also include a mass helicopter landing operation, he said.

Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov told foreign military attaches that the exercise was being conducted in strict compliance with the Vienna Document 2011. “Russia strictly complies with the Vienna Document 2011. This is why we will be engaging no more than 38,000 personnel for no more than 72 hours,” he said.

The Russian Defence Ministry notified the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of the surprise exercise in the Western and Central Military Districts.

“Our international obligations do not require us to inform our partners about such military activities,” Antonov said, adding that by so doing the Defence Ministry was demonstrating its commitment to the policy of openness.

The Defence Ministry also informed Russia’s eastern neighbours about the exercise. “The notice specifies the names of the units, concrete ranges and the tasks we will be solving at each stage of the exercise,” Antonov said.

Combat Readiness Drills not Connected with Ukraine

2

Snap combat readiness drills started Wednesday in two of Russia’s military districts.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that snap checks began at 2 p.m. Moscow time and involve units of the Western military district and the Second Guards Army of the Central Military District, and commands of Aerospace Defense Forces, Airborne Troops, Military Transport Aviation and Long-Range Aviation.

The decision to initiate the checks was not made in connection with the unrest in Ukraine, Shoigu added.

The exercises are held in line with orders from President Vladimir Putin, who is the supreme commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Last year, Russia held at least six snap combat readiness checks of the armed forces. A surprise exercise in July was the largest in the post-Soviet era and involved some 160,000 servicemen, about 1,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 130 aircraft and 70 warships from the far-eastern and central military districts.

The Defense Ministry has said that snap checks are to be conducted on a regular basis to ensure constant combat readiness.

Private Investors to Buy 49% in Kalashnikov Concern

1

Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) has given the green light to the purchase of 49% of the Kalashnikov concern by private investors Alexei Krivoruchko and Andrei Bokarev, the service told Itar-Tass ahead of any official announcement.

The deal was previously reported to be signed in March after the regulator’s approval.

The concern now registers an additional stock issue worth 2.6 billion rubles ($72 million), half of it to be bought by the current director general Krivoruchko, who is also director general of Aeroexpress, and co-owner of Russia’s leading manufacturer of locomotives and railway equipment Transmashholding Bokarev.

This amount will be put into the concern’s capital immediately, while 1.2 billion rubles ($33 million) will be further invested over next two years. Accordingly, Krivoruchko’s and Bokarev’s contribution will total 2.5 billion rubles, or about $69.6 million. Rostec corporation that retains the controlling stake will invest in the holding’s development another 1.2 billion rubles.

Russia to Expand Permanent Military Presence Abroad

1

Russia is planning to expand its permanent military presence outside its borders by placing military bases in a number of foreign countries, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

Shoigu said the list includes Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, Singapore and several other countries.

“The talks are under way, and we are close to signing the relevant documents,” Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.

The minister added that the negotiations cover not only military bases but also visits to ports in such countries on favorable conditions as well as the opening of refueling sites for Russian strategic bombers on patrol.

Moscow currently has only one naval base outside the former Soviet Union – in Tartus, Syria, but the fate of this naval facility is uncertain because of the ongoing civil war in that country.

KamAZ Signs Sales Deal with Indonesia

3

Russia’s largest truck maker KamAZ has signed a deal to sell and eventually assemble its vehicles in Indonesia, a company official told RIA Novosti.

KamAZ reached agreement with Indonesia’s PT. Tehnikaina to act as distributor for its trucks, said Rafail Gafayev, the company’s export director.

“Indonesia with its population of 250 million is the largest market in Southeast Asia,” he said.

The deal was agreed on the sidelines of a meeting of a bilateral trade commission and has been in the works for over a year, according to Gafeyev.

“KamAZ currently intends to pursue a much more aggressive policy in exporting our products,” he said. “Over the next seven years we intend to increase [exports] fivefold.”

Russian Army Inspection not Connected with Situation in Ukraine

2

A surprise inspection of the Russian Armed Forces ordered on Wednesday, February 26, by the supreme commander-in-chief is not related to the latest events in Ukraine, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

When asked how the inspection in Russia’s Western Military District was related to the events in Ukraine, Shoigu said: “Generally speaking, it is not. We do not relate these things in any way.”

“The exercise will take place on Russia’s border with other countries as well, and Ukraine may be among them,” he said, adding that if a similar inspection were carried out on the border with Finland, it would hardly raise any interest in society or mass media.

A total of 110,000 troops are participating in the exercise. “Ninety aircraft, over 110 helicopters, up to 880 tanks, over 1,200 pieces of military hardware and as many as 80 ships and vessels will be involved,” the minister said.

The main purpose of the drill is to practice interoperability in different theatres of war. The exercise will also include a mass helicopter landing operation, Shoigu said.

Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov told foreign military attaches that the exercise was being conducted in strict compliance with the Vienna Document 2011. “Russia strictly complies with the Vienna Document 2011. This is why we will be engaging no more than 38,000 personnel for no more than 72 hours,” he said.

“You should not mix up the two figures: the 150,000 I mentioned and 38,000. The latter means 38,000 that fall under the Vienna Document. These include the Army, Airborne Troops, and Marines,” Antonov said.

The Russian Defence Ministry notified the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of the surprise exercise in the Western and Central Military Districts.

“Our international obligations do not require us to inform our partners about such military activities,” Antonov said, adding that by so doing the Defence Ministry was demonstrating its commitment to the policy of openness.

The Defence Ministry also informed Russia’s eastern neighbours about the exercise. “The notice specifies the names of the units, concrete ranges and the tasks we will be solving at each stage of the exercise,” Antonov said.

He stressed that the Defence Ministry would continue such comprehensive surprise inspections and exercises in the future.

“Our surprise inspection is not aimed against any state. It’s a routine activity of the Armed Forces, and we will continue this practice in the future,” he said, adding that this is part of Russia’s plans to improve the combat capability of its Armed Forces.

Russia to Construct New Patrol Ship Class

1

The lead vessel in a new class of patrol ships was laid down in a ceremony at Russia’s Zelenodolsky shipyard Wednesday, the builder said in a statement.

The Vasily Bykov will be the first diesel-powered Project 22160 patrol ship and is planned to feature a helicopter landing pad on its aft deck, according to the Severnoye Design Bureau, the vessel’s designer.

The 1,300-ton ship will have a range of 6,000 nautical miles and be armed with a single 57mm cannon, heavy machine guns, air defense systems and optional missile launchers.

“This ship is a vessel of a new generation, built according to modular principles,” Cpt. of the First Rank Igor Dygalo said.

Dygalo explained that owing to its modular design the ship could be re-tasked in short order to perform a range of duties.

The new class is intended for economic zone patrol, search-and-rescue operations, anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, environmental monitoring, as well as coastal defense and escort service, according to the shipyard’s statement.

A navy spokesperson said that six ships of the class are expected to be built by 2019.