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(L-R) Russian navy corvette Steregushchy, destroyer Nastoichivy and frigate Admiral Gorshkov are anchored in a bay of the Russian fleet base in Baltiysk in Kaliningrad region, Russia, July 19, 2015

'Newly Awakened' Russian Navy Has Pentagon Shaking in Its Boots

© REUTERS/ Maxim Shemetov
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In the fight against Daesh in Syria, Russia has demonstrated its state-of-the-art naval prowess. According to a new Pentagon report, the proven effectiveness of the Kremlin’s fleet has Washington worried.

In October, the Russian military launched 18 Kalibr-M cruise missiles from warships stationed in the Caspian Sea. Travelling over 1,500 miles, these projectiles struck terrorist targets in Syria, destroying key components of Daesh, also known as ISIL/the Islamic State.

While this action was clearly aimed at sending a strong message to terrorist groups in Syria, the demonstration appears to have also had an impact on the Pentagon. In a new report from the US Navy’s intelligence branch, the US military expresses concerns of a "newly awakened" Russian navy.

"Russia has begun, and over the next decade will make large strides in fielding a 21st century navy capable of a dependable national defense [and] an impressive but limited presence in more distant global areas of interests…" reads the report, entitled "The Russian Navy: A Historic Transition."

The report is authored by George Fedoroff, the US Office of Naval Intelligence’s top expert on Russia, and based on the Kremlin’s growing fleet of ships and submarines, which currently includes 186 vessels. Fedoroff also took the Russian Navy’s state-of-the-art weaponry into consideration, as well as the resolve of Russian sailors.

According to Fedoroff, the United States has underestimated Russian military capabilities since the end of the Cold War. Now, for the first time in 24 years, the Pentagon is beginning to take notice.

"Since 2000, as Russia’s governmental order and economy have stabilized, there has been a focused and funded effort to revitalize the Russian military – including the navy," the report reads. "Suspended construction programs are now moving toward completion and new construction programs are beginning to provide the navy with 21st-century submarine and surface platforms."

Fedoroff also cited Russia’s Kalibr cruise missiles as a sign of Russia’s growing naval strength.

"Kalibr provides even modest platforms, such as corvettes, with significant offensive capability and, with the use of the land attack missile, all platforms have a significant ability to hold distant fixed targets at risk using conventional warheads," the report reads.

"The proliferation of this capability within the new Russian navy is profoundly changing its ability to deter, threaten or destroy adversary targets."

Earlier this month, Russia also launched cruise missiles against Syrian targets from submarines operating in the Mediterranean.

As Russia’s navy advances, challenging Washington’s hegemony, China’s sea fleet is also making rapid gains. According to Dean Cheng, senior research fellow for Chinese Political and Security Affairs at the Heritage Foundation, China has "already outmatched every regional navy."

With its naval dominance at risk, Washington is set to spend between $80-92 billion in taxpayer money to upgrade its own submarine fleet. Earlier this month, the US Navy also faced embarrassment when its newest ship, the USS Milwaukee, broke down after less than a month of action. The littoral combat ship was towed to a base in Virginia for repairs.

Another sizeable investment for the Pentagon, the $3 billion USS Zumwalt, is already facing criticism for being outdated – and unsafe. Conducting its maiden voyage earlier this month, the stealth destroyer has a futuristic appearance, but may lack seaworthiness.

"On the DDG-1000 [Zumwalt-class], with the waves coming at you from behind, when a ship pitches down, it can lose transverse stability as the stern comes out of the water – and basically roll over," said Ken Bower, a naval architect, according to Wired.

No wonder Washington is worried about Russian submarines.

Related:
Dragon Ascendant: A Look at the Growing Firepower of China's Navy
Russia Releases Video of Missile Strikes on ISIL Targets From Caspian
Plans to Upgrade US Navy Nuclear Subs to Cost Taxpayers Billions
Tags:
Zumwalt, Kalibr-NK, Russian Navy, US Navy, Pentagon, Daesh, Ken Bower, George Fedoroff, Caspian Sea, Syria, United States, Russia
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  • cast235
    Wait until the heli carriers begin to go out. But Russia WILL need some bases abroad. Each should be big housing each brand of the mil. About 50 planes, and transports. Great to keep terrorists activities on check. At land and sea..and air.Half Marines half Navy docks with maintenance.
    Withe something like KIEV class...55,000 tonnes. carrying jets like YAK 130 , heli's and faster landing air cushioned landing craft. Instead of the weak.. Monsgneur Hollande comic landing crafts for Mistrals.
  • anne00mariein reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, Have you not seen the video, where the US States person Harf, admits the US relies on Twitter and Facebook, when dealing with the MH17?
  • Randall Lee Hilburn in reply togoaismine(Show commentHide comment)
    goaismine, Navy's have always been by far and away the most expensive of all branches of the military. Consequently they are the most dependent on the strength of a nations economy. Due to the slow but certainly collapsing US economy the US Navy is only a faint shadow of its former self. When the Dollar finally does collapse the remaining naval power will melt away like a snowball on a hot griddle.
  • Jg38691
    What a stupid story....America is not the least bit worried, nor is Russia. They are both superpowers with weaponery that cancel each other out....mutual assured destruction. Superpowers need to worry about nukes getting in the hands of extremists who will use them.
  • Ivan Zadorozhny
    The Americans never fought real wars, they have no clues what real weapons should be like.
  • Mother Gorilla
    Sad that Russia should have to do all this build-up, all for one simple, self-evident thing everyone else should be equally interested in: world peace!
  • King Arturusin reply toJg38691(Show commentHide comment)
    Jg38691, only your comment which contains some logics, the rest of the comments here have no sense at all.
  • rgrag1245in reply toanne00marie(Show commentHide comment)
    anne00marie, The dopes in the Pentagon thought they could afford to squander the defense budget on the Mideast. Anyone with a proven relationship with the Mideast should not be allowed to hold office in the US. Research and engineering should be a top priority along with infrastructure spending.
  • michaelin reply toanne00marie(Show commentHide comment)
    anne00marie, thanks for the reply. Re the video, that'll be another entertaining thing to chase up. :) But seriously, I'm not surprised as it was acknowledged in the 90's that the U.S. doesn't have the resources (read informants) in various countries to maintain an adequate picture of events. Use of the net is one of the few options, with the caveat of hidden agendum as the great unknown in social media.
  • rgrag1245in reply toJg38691(Show commentHide comment)
    Jg38691, For that matter, another Tunguska event could trigger the end of mankind by accident. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event
  • Bharat Ranain reply toMitach2002(Show commentHide comment)
    Mitach2002, yes so true American govt doesn't care about people of other countries they treat them as insects.Look what they did to middle east.
  • Bharat Ranain reply toanne00marie(Show commentHide comment)
    anne00marie,russian navy is strongest in world. bdw who is Ms Harf ?
  • Bharat Rana
    Russian navy is the best
  • demooij
    Zumwalt is a copy me trap. Like their latest plane. Look properly to this ship. The bow alone is a copy from long ago submarine ships. Heading in high waves, the bridge will be trashed and ultimate smashed.
  • Воин Света
    Washington always seems to be worried about something. They really should see a doctor about their anxiety issues. And their delusions.
  • Ann
    "No wonder Washington is worried about Russian submarines."

    LMAO, perhaps that's the best deterrence, right there...
  • Ann in reply tolinebackerk(Show commentHide comment)
    linebackerk, Wasn't that INDIA who sunk a simulated US battleship during a joint exercise?
  • Ann in reply torgrag1245(Show commentHide comment)
    rgrag1245, "Anyone with a proven relationship with the Mideast should not be allowed to hold office in the US" - I could not agree more. No dual citizens either. Only American-born presidents who hold no allegiance to any other country but this one. We made such a terrible mistake electing Barack Hussein Obama, then found out he is a muslim. We should have known that BEFORE the votes went in.
  • rgrag1245in reply toAnn (Show commentHide comment)
    sixpack6t9, McCain was a bad choice. Trump is a guy who can capture one's imagination. Let's see how this plays out.
  • Ann in reply torgrag1245(Show commentHide comment)
    rgrag1245, Agreed. Thanks for the reply.
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