This summer Russia unveiled its new maritime doctrine, which contains plans for an increased emphasis on operations in the Atlantic Ocean and Arctic regions, a permanent Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean Sea, and improvements to the Baltic and Black Sea Fleets. Released on 26 July, the document calls for countering Western militaries and NATO expansion, in part through a concerted maritime approach. Today’s Russian navy is made up largely of aging Soviet-era assets, but this doctrine aims to escalate blue-water operations, modernize the existing fleet, and expand the Russian shipbuilding industry. The surface fleet is to be recapitalized with several new classes of smaller combatants that have recently begun entering the service, including the Steregushchiy-class frigate, pictured here. Submarine production and operations are expected to continue taking precedence over surface ships for at least the next few years. The acquisition of new naval-aviation assets is planned for the midterm, along with longer-range plans for a new class of aircraft carriers.
By Eric Wertheim