The term “fleet in being” originally meant a naval force that was inferior to its enemy, but could be formidable enough to be a threat without being brought to battle. 1 Today that term may apply to the Russian Navy under President Vladimir Putin. The Russian fleet is definitely inferior in numbers and capabilities by most criteria when compared to the U.S. Navy. Still, Putin is employing the fleet to carry out political presence and combat missions without fear of being defeated. Undoubtedly, Russia’s senior admirals are toasting Putin and increasing their budget requests.
Russian Navy - Putin’s ‘Fleet in Being’
By Norman Polmar