Press digest

2018 July 6

Construction of Russian Blue-Water Vessels May Be Postponed Untill 2035

The construction of blue and green-water warships may be postponed until 2035 because of lack of funds, according to the Shipbuilding strategy of the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry.

Project 23560 Leader class destroyer Russia 1Scale model showing the Project 23560E "Shkval-class" Destroyer (export variant of Leader-class) at Army 2016 exhibition. Twelve ships of the 10,000t "Leader class" were planned to enter service from 2023-25, split between the Northern and Pacific Fleets. They would all be nuclear powered. They would be fitted with the ABM-capable S-500 SAM and Kalibr (SS-N-27) cruise missile.

"As for military shipbuilding, the time of R&D beginning and batch supplies of prospective warships is likely to be postponed to a period after 2025 because of major cuts in budget defense appropriations. The procurement of big surface ships (prospective destroyer, aircraft-carrying ship) may be cancelled altogether until 2035," it said.

The ministry considers three development options for the economy and shipbuilding industry depending on macroeconomic indicators: conservative, innovative and target-oriented.

"The conservative scenario means economic growth will slow down and negatively affect the shipbuilding industry. Decreasing economic competitiveness, a tough budget policy, a transition to monetary-credit policy with a positive real base rate of 2-3 percent, as well as oil price decrease to US$ 40 per barrel in constant 2017 dollars will result in GDP growth of 0.2 percent in 2018-2020, 1.8 percent in 2021-2025 with a further slowdown to 1.0 percent in 2031-2035," the document said.

Project 23560 Leader class destroyer Russia 2Scale model showing the Project 23560E "Shkval-class" Destroyer (export variant of Leader-class) at Army 2016 exhibition. Twelve ships of the 10,000t "Leader class" were planned to enter service from 2023-25, split between the Northern and Pacific Fleets. They would all be nuclear powered. They would be fitted with the ABM-capable S-500 SAM and Kalibr (SS-N-27) cruise missile.

The innovative scenario said the construction of the main warship series laid before 2018 is expected to be completed. "R&D will intensify, as well as procurement of serial prospective units, including major surface warships of the distant sea and oceanic zone after 2020," it said. The oil price for the scenario is to remain at close to US$60 per barrel.

The target-oriented (accelerated) scenario suggests intensive growth of warship exports in the framework of military-technical cooperation. The oil price is to be US$70 per barrel in constant 2017 dollars.

"In renewing the Russian submarine fleet focus is made on the construction of multirole and strategic nuclear submarines. In surface shipbuilding the priority goes to "mosquito fleet’ (small displacement vessels for coastal operations)," the document said.

The batch construction of surface warships and submarines by current projects is to be completed in 2022-2025.

"The creation of lead surface warships (also of distant sea and ocean zone) and new submarines will begin in the same period. They will be mostly a result of evolutionary development of warships and submarines of the current generation which will ensure succession of the technological pattern equipment at shipyards and decrease full life cycle costs," the document said.