Black Sea Fleet adding 6 subs with surface-to-air and land missiles
M.E. does not pretend to know Vladimir Putin's Black Sea strategy except that Russia intends to strengthen its military presence. Its submarine fleet, for instance is now totals 1-1/2 boats (2 vessels) docked at Sevastopol's South Bay in Crimea. The Alrosa (Kilo class) is shown at left with the recently nationalized Foxtrot, Zaporizhye in the foreground. According to Captain 1st Rank Anatoly Varochkin, commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet’s submarine flotilla, Zaporizhye is old and she can probably cannot dive deeper than her periscope depth which might be between 12 to 15 meters. In other words Zaporizhye is likely to become a submarine museum piece or razor blades.
In June 2012, when Alrosa was still the only sub in her Black Sea Fleet, Russia announced a plan to deploy a total of 7 subs in the Black Sea by 2017. The six additions will be new Varshavyanka class diesel-electric subs and all six are currently under construction at Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg.
“We will receive the first three subs in 2014, one more – in 2015, and the last two – in 2016 to form a full-size submarine brigade in the Black Sea Fleet,” said the fleet’s commander, Rear Admiral Alexander Fedotenkov.Varshavyanka class subs carry 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air missiles with the ability to strike land, surface or underwater targets.
Fedotenkov also said that the Black Sea Fleet would receive Krivak IV class frigates during the same period. Photos of Russia's relatively formidable Black Sea [Surface] Fleet as of 21 MAR 2014.
Clearly, Crimea is not the final target on the Russian Federation's expansion list. The Black Sea Fleet is one to be reckoned with if its imperialism is to be halted.
Submarines are always silent and strange.