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​Putin Shows the Illusion That russia Remains a Great Maritime Power, But This Is Not True

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russian cruiser Varyag / Open source photo
russian cruiser Varyag / Open source photo

russian propagandists continue to flaunt the vestiges of the Cold War in the face of new conflicts, challenges and threats, while the russian fleet has only two missile cruisers left

During the period from March 11 to 15, international naval exercises Maritime Security Belt - 2024 were held in the Arabian Sea with the participation of Iran, China and russian. Also, representatives of Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, India, South Africa, and Oman are involved as observers. The exercises is more of a political and symbolic character than a military-practical one. In addition, these exercises have passed in the conditions of intense tension in the region, the war in the Gaza Strip, attacks by the pro-Iranian movement Ansar Allah (Houthis) on civilian shipping in the Bab al-Mandeb strait.

During the period from March 11 to 15, international naval exercises Maritime Security Belt - 2024 were held in the Arabian Sea, Defense Express
During the period from March 11 to 15, international naval exercises Maritime Security Belt - 2024 were held in the Arabian Sea. The russians involved the flagship of the Pacific Fleet, the project 1164 missile cruiser Varyag (commissioned in 1989)...
China  modern Type 052D destroyer, Defense Express
... while China was represented by the modern Type 052D destroyer (commissioned in 2018)

China and russia sent 3 and 2 ships to the training, respectively. The PLA forces is represented by the modern Type 052D destroyer (commissioned in 2018), the Type 054A frigate Linyi (commissioned in 2012) and the all-round support ship Dongpinghu (commissioned in 2015). The russians involved the flagship of the Pacific Fleet, the project 1164 missile cruiser Varyag (commissioned in 1989) and the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov (commissioned in 1986). In total, up to 20 ships are involved, the rest are Iranian ships and boats of various types.

Read more: Ukrainian Naval Drones Not Only Damage russian Ships, But Completely Destroy Them

Only two missile cruisers remain in the russian Navy - Varyag and Marshal Ustinov. Both were involved to contain the American AUG at the beginning of a full-scale invasion. Then these ships were thrown to the Mediterranean Sea. The third cruiser, Moskva, was destroyed by the Ukrainian Navy in April 2022. Project 1164 missile cruisers have limited functionality and their main specialization is to attack the aircraft carrier group of a potential enemy. At the same time, russian propagandists continue to flaunt the vestiges of the Cold War in the face of new conflicts, challenges and threats.

At the same time, even the partners of the russians in these exercises demonstrate much more modern naval forces. Iran is actively implementing a strategy of asymmetric warfare, developing a fleet of underwater and surface UAVs, boats equipped with anti-ship missiles, and high-speed catamaran-type corvettes. This strategy, by the way, is quite relevant for Ukraine in the context of its future development of the Naval Forces. The production capacity of the russian Federation cannot be compared with China, which has already overtaken the United States in terms of the number of warships. Since 2020, 8 Type 055 destroyers have been introduced into the PLA Navy, which are similar in displacement to the russian cruiser, but are modern and versatile ships. China is finishing work on the Fujian aircraft carrier, designed from the ground up, and is ready to move on to building a fourth aircraft carrier.

Iranian Shahid Soleimani corvette, Defense Express
Iranian Shahid Soleimani corvette / Photo credit: YJC/ AmirMehdi Heydar

At the same time, the russians can show off only models of aircraft carriers and destroyers at various weapons exhibitions. Their fleet was unable to perform tasks in the Black Sea, the ships remain in their bays. russia's own shipbuilding capabilities are extremely limited, and it remains only to show off an outdated cruiser and a frigate from the Cold War era.

As Defense Express reported, Azov and Yamal Landing Ships of russian Black Sea Fleet Damaged During Ukrainian Massive Attack on Temporarily Occupied Crimea. We also wrote, that Ukrainian Naval Drones Denied russian Supply Chain From Mediterranean to Black Sea.

Read more: Ukrainian Naval Drones Make russia Give Up on Weapon Transfers Across the Black Sea, Chooses Detour via the Atlantic