Monthly Archives: March 2014
Russia has made a decision on the first foreign customer to purchase the latest Russian S-400 Triumf air defence system for the country’s armed forces. According to the information available, Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his express consent to sell these advanced complexes to China. The parties are currently negotiating the quantity and the price of the systems. Nevertheless, China will not receive the S-400 Triumf air defence systems before 2016.
It should be noted that the Chinese Defence Ministry has expressed its interest in acquiring S-400s in 2012. Alexander Fomin, Head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, confirmed that the parties were holding talks on supplying Beijing with the S-400 systems, and a source close to the Kremlin said that Vladimir Putin had given a green light to sell the newest S-400 air defence guided missile system to China. The source also noted that the decision was made in early 2014 and is not related to existing disagreements with the United States and Europe due to the reunification of Crimea with Russia.
Four Yak-130 combat trainer jets belonging to a new aerobatic team of the Russian Air Force are preparing for participation in the air parade over Red Square on May 9. This was announced by Russian Air Force spokesman Igor Klimov.
“A group of four Yak-130s is planned to participate in the Victory Day parade. The aerobatic demonstration team would show piloting skills at various altitudes and perform “Nesterov’s loop”, “Tulip”, “Barrel” and other aerobatic elements,” Mr. Klimov stated.
The Air Force pilots in Yak-130 planes continue training together with the Swifts team in the air over Borisoglebsk. They carried out single and group flights to master piloting skills at altitudes from 300 to 1,500 meters.
“Test pilots of the Yakovlev design bureau helped to train the aerobatic group. The training in Borisoglebsk started in October 2013,” the official concluded.
It’s worth noting that the next-generation Yak-130 combat training aircraft is designed for teaching, training, and maintaining the skills of fighter pilots for fourth- and fifth-generation fighter jets. The greatest advantage of the Yak-130 consists in its complex control system that makes it possible to fly at high angles of attack and perform aerobatics with ease.
The results of snap combat readiness drills conducted last month have confirmed that training of the Russian military has improved. This statement was made by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
“The intensity and quality of the Armed Forces’ training have improved,” Mr. Putin said at a ceremony attended by senior commanders, adding the improvement was supported by defence purchases last year, which have equipped the Russian Army and Navy with modern weapons.
It should be pointed out that last month, Vladimir Putin ordered snap military drills in Russia’s Western and Central Military Districts bordering Ukraine. The exercises involved dozens of vessels from the Baltic and Northern Fleets and aircraft of the Russian Air Force. Russia’s Defence Ministry said the drills had no relation to the political standoff between Russia and the West over Crimea.
The Defence Ministry said earlier that snap checks would be conducted on a regular basis to ensure constant combat readiness. In particular, Russia is expected to conduct large-scale military exercises in the Eastern Military District in September.
The fourth Russian Varshavyanka-class submarine for the Vietnamese Navy has been launched in a ceremony at the shipyard where it was constructed, according to St. Petersburg city officials.
It’s worth mentioning that Vietnam signed a contract in 2009 to buy six diesel-electric submarines in a deal reportedly worth $2 billion. Two of the submarines have already been delivered to Vietnam, with the third currently undergoing sea trials and another being under construction at St. Petersburg’s Admiralty Shipyards.
The Varshavyanka class (Project 636) is an upgrade to the Kilo class, featuring advanced stealth technology, extended combat range and the ability to strike land, surface and underwater targets. The boats, which can be armed with torpedoes, mines, and Kalibr 3M54 cruise missiles, are mainly designed for anti-submarine and anti-shipping missions in the relatively shallow waters of littoral zones. The submarines have a displacement of 3,100 tons, can reach speeds of 20 knots, and dive to 300 meters.
Russia has no plans to create naval and military bases abroad. This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Commenting on media reports that Russia allegedly planned to create its bases on the Seashells, in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Cuba and Argentina, Mr. Lavrov said the country had no plans to establish naval and military bases in the territories of other countries.
“The Russian Navy has strengthened significantly, and I think that after the reunification of Crimea with Russia it will have much more opportunities for development. Apart from the Black Sea Fleet, we have the Far Eastern, Northern and other fleets. It is very important for the state to have the Navy on the highest level of training, especially when the fleet has not only to cross oceans for training, but carry out specific tasks. Construction of the bases like American ones is not discussed. Any agreements like those concluded by Americans to ensure immunity for their servicemen from crimes in the country of their presence are also out of the question,” Mr. Lavrov concluded.
The Russian serial strategic nuclear-powered submarines Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh will conduct single launches of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles in summer-autumn 2014 as directed by Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu. This information was presented by a source in the General Headquarters of the Russian Navy.
“The Vladimir Monomakh is expected to undergo state trials in summer-autumn this year, including a sub-launch of the Bulava missile in the area of the White Sea. The missile will be fired toward the Kura test site located in Russia’s Kamchatka Region,” the source in the Russian Navy pointed out.
“The Alexander Nevsky submarine will also conduct launches of the Bulava missile,” the source stated, noting that the two strategic nuclear-powered submarines are expected to conduct four launches of the Bulava missile all together. In addition, the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh submarines armed with a full set of the Bulava missiles will be redeployed from the Northern Fleet to the Pacific Fleet under the Arctic ice in 2015.
A squadron of Russia’s Pacific Fleet ships will call at the Singapore Strait on March 28 to participate in the KOMODO international naval drills under the command of Indonesia. This came in a statement by Roman Martov, a spokesman for the Eastern Military District.
“The coastal part of the military drills will take place in Indonesia’s port of Batam, where servicemen from 16 countries will discuss different issues to coordinate their actions at sea and at land. The active stage of the naval exercises will be held in the southern part of the South China Sea on April 1-2,” Mr. Martov stated, adding that multinational forces would hold communications training and master search-and-rescue operations at sea.
“Support vessels of the Pacific Fleet will be involved in the tugging activities. The last stage of the drills will be aimed at providing assistance to population in liquidating tsunami effects ashore, engaging naval infantry units of Russia’s Pacific Fleet,” Mr. Martov pointed out.
It should be noted that a squadron of Russian ships, including the Marshal Shaposhnikov large anti-submarine ship, the Irkut tanker and the Alatau rescue ship, left Vladivostok in mid-March.
The representatives of ČEZ Group and Dukovany NPP paid a working visit to Russia’s MSZ (Machine Building Plant). The visit was aimed at supervising the manufacture of products and holding a technical meeting with the company’s management.
The foreign colleagues were interested in various engineering aspects of the production process, as well as the issues associated with the quality assurance system audit held by ČEZ Group in May 2013. During the visit, the guests toured to the company’s main process shops and attended a number of meetings with MSZ management. According to the Czech specialists, MSZ has always been a reliable partner, who is ready for a constructive dialogue, and still pays great attention to improvement of the process efficiency and product quality.
It should be noted that MSZ manufactures fuel for all VVER-440 reactors of Dukovany NPP and two VVER-1000 reactors of Temelin NPP (Czech Republic). The supplies started in December 2009 under a contract between ČEZ Group and JSC TVEL signed in 2006.
More than 30 warships and support vessels of the Ukrainian Navy could join Russia’s Black Sea Fleet by the end of 2014, but only after they undergo inspections. This information was presented by a source in the Black Sea Fleet.
“Ships that were previously sailing under the Ukrainian flag will not be automatically included in the Russian Black Sea Fleet until they have passed a technical evaluation and we can decide which ships will enter the fleet, and which ones will be scrapped,” the source commented, adding that the ships’ condition would be evaluated by specialists from the Russian Navy and shipyards of the Black Sea Fleet.
“This process will take some time, but we hope that it will be completed by the end of the year,” the source elaborated, noting that the ships currently closest to being combat-ready include three corvettes, two amphibious assault ships and a command ship. The ships became Russian property last week following the reunification of Crimea, where the ships are based, with Russia.
Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu and his Angolan counterpart Candido Pereira dos Santos Van Dunem have discussed bilateral military cooperation and its prospects in Moscow. In the course of these talks, the two ministers exchanged opinions about urgent issues of mutual interest.
“Russia is interested in maintaining stability and peace in central Africa and believes that Angola’s battleworthy armed forces can be one of the security guarantors in this region,” Mr. Shoygu stated. The Angolan Minister noted in his turn that the country was ready to develop and strengthen military cooperation with Russia.
Despite the weakening of ties between Angola and Russia since the end of the Cold War and the end of Angola’s Civil War in 2002, some experts say that the importance of the Russian-Angolan arms trade remained strong.