Tag Archives: Navy Main Staff

Navy Main Staff Moved

Admiralty (photo: http://www.1tv.ru)

The Navy Main Staff’s officially moved to St. Petersburg after several years of on-again, off-again plans and delays.  Pervyy kanal covered a Senate Square ceremony and the raising of the Andreyevskiy flag over Admiralty in a light snowfall last Wednesday.

Wonder if there’s a “for sale” sign on the building on Bolshoy Kozlovskiy in Moscow.

Makarov’s Press-Conference (Part I)

General Staff Chief Nikolay Makarov apparently held a lengthy press-conference today covering many topics.  He’s still advocating buying weapons abroad (when necessary), despite Prime Minister Putin’s strong support of the domestic OPK against the military’s demands.

ITAR-TASS quotes Makarov on the pending Navy headquarters move to Piter:

“Concerning a decision by the Supreme CINC [President Medvedev] to revoke the transfer of the Navy Main Staff to St. Petersburg, there has been no such decision.  We are now working on this issue.”

The General Staff Chief seemed to say there won’t be any diminution of the role or place occupied by service Glavkomaty, according to the news service.  He said the Main Commands of the services of the Armed Forces are part of the military branch of command and control which he heads.

ITAR-TASS quotes Makarov on buying arms and equipment abroad:

“We will need to buy something that isn’t produced with the quality we require.”

He compared domestic Msta-S and longer-range French Caesar howitzers:

“In France, we were shown the work of an artillery battalion which was ready to fire 30 seconds after a march.  Our analogous norm is 15 minutes.  The difference between one minute and 15 minutes is huge.”

“Therefore, we have to acquire something in order not to lag behind, but on the condition of arranging joint production in Russia.”

Interfaks quoted him on buying armor abroad:

“Some technologies certainly have to be bought in the West.”

The Defense Ministry, he says, has no desire to buy arms and equipment abroad if Russia has analogs or more modern models.  But Russia will find it hard to compete with Western firms that are cooperating with each other.  Makarov cited Renault’s APC which uses a Volvo engine.  “Our producers need to make a revolutionary leap,” Makarov concluded.

The General Staff Chief was ambivalent about the T-90 tank, according to ITAR-TASS:

“I visited the Nizhniy Tagil exhibition and got familiar with our T-90 tank.  The tank they showed us, particularly its turret, calls for serious respect.  But we have questions remaining about many drawbacks.”

“. . . the experimental-design work the factory is conducting will allow them to realize those requirements the Russian military is placing on this new product.”

ITAR-TASS also picked up Makarov’s remarks on the Tsentr-2011 exercises:

“We want to work out common approaches to employing armed forces within the ODKB [CSTO] framework.”

“Besides militaries, all other power structures, which are understood as part of the state’s military organization, in the ODKB countries will participate in these exercises.  As far as Russia goes, we want to check the country’s military organization fully by conducting a series of mobilization measures, including also industry.”

“Starting today, we’ve started into mobilization deployment of a number of formations and units according to independent plans.”

Navy Main Staff Moving 1 June

Navy Main Staff in Moscow

A Defense Ministry representative told RIA Novosti Friday that the main complex of the Navy’s Main Command has to be emptied before 1 June in connection with its move to St. Petersburg.  This means the Navy Main Staff building on Bolshoy Kozlovskiy.  The representative said 200 admirals and other officers have to head for the northern capital by the end of the month.
 
The source couldn’t say who will occupy the Main Staff’s old digs.  But other Navy Glavkomat buildings in Moscow aren’t being emptied yet.  These include the Navy Armaments Staff on Bolshoy Zlatoustinskiy, the Naval Aviation Staff in Skakovaya Alley, and the Rear Services Staff on Spartakovskaya Square.
 
RIA Novosti notes the back-and-forth, on-again / off-again nature of talk about moving the Navy’s headquarters to Piter.  Admiralty’s had a sign for several years saying it’s the home of the Navy Main Staff and Navy CINC.

The wire service failed to mention that Defense Minister Serdyukov has been solid all along, saying the transfer would happen eventually and gradually, even if his deputies or senior uniformed officers sometimes wavered on the issue.

Careful How You Read

Be careful what you read, but be even more careful how you read it (or who translates it).

The Russians won’t put both SLBMs and SLCMs on their fifth generation submarines.  Would that really make military sense?  What they apparently intend is to build a multipurpose hull to fit out as either SSBN or SSN.  Now does that raise interesting arms control verification issues?

Several days ago, in advance of March 19 – the 105th anniversary of Nikolay II’s designation of the submarine as an Imperial Navy ship class (i.e. Submariner’s Day since 1996) – a “highly-placed RF Navy Main Staff representative” elected to tell RIA Novosti about work on Russia’s fifth generation submarine.

Production of the fourth generation proyekt 955 SSBNs and proyekt 885 SSNs is just really now reaching the ramp-up stage.  But design and development of fifth generation submarines is included in the State Program of Armaments, 2011-2020, according to RIA Novosti’s Navy Main Staff source.

When you Google “Russian fifth generation submarine,” you get a string of English-language news and blog items that say things like:

“. . . a high-level Russian navy insider said a future ballistic-missile submarine would also carry cruise missiles.”

“Russia is planning to equip its fifth-generation nuclear submarines with both ballistic and cruise missiles, a media report said.”

Even RIA Novosti’s own English-language site bollixed it:

“Russia’s proposed fifth-generation nuclear submarines will be armed with both ballistic and cruise missiles, a senior Navy source told RIA Novosti on Saturday.”

RIA Novosti actually wrote:

“The fifth generation submarine will be standardized for ballistic as well as for cruise missiles.” 

And RIA Novosti’s unnamed admiral actually said:

“The concept for creating a new nuclear submarine (APL or АПЛ) envisages a unified hull both for multirole [i.e. attack] as well as for strategic submarines, therefore design bureaus Rubin and Malakhit which today specialize in designing strategic and multirole submarines respectively are working on its development.” 

Rusnavy.com got it right.  

As always said about new submarines, the unknown admiral said the fifth generation will be distinguished for its lowered noise, automated control systems, reactor safety, and long-range weapons.  But he added:

“I’m not talking about ballistic missiles, we’re talking long-range cruise missiles and torpedoes.”

Navy Still Not Moving to Piter (Yet)

A highly placed Defense Ministry source tells RIA Novosti there’s no final decision on moving the Navy Main Staff (NMS) from Moscow to St. Petersburg.  It’s been, of course, 3-1/2 years since the issue was first raised.

The press agency source says:

“There are two approaches.  The first is the Navy Main Staff remains in Moscow, and here the efficiency of resolving issues and tasks with the RF Defense Ministry wins and the second is the Navy Main Staff, with significantly reduced personnel, transfers to Saint Petersburg, where the scientific and shipbuilding base of the fleet is concentrated.”

According to this source, the pluses and minuses of both approaches are being calculated in the final phase of forming the command and control system of the Armed Forces.  The question of the NMS location is approached from the point of view that even temporary weakening in the command and control system for naval strategic nuclear forces (MSYaS or МСЯС) is unacceptable:

“The focus is placed on the effectiveness of the functioning of this system.  Whether the Navy Main Staff as just one attribute [of this system] transfers authoritative functions to St. Petersburg or remains in Moscow is not so important.  It’s important that the deployment location should be defended in a corresponding manner and not allow confusion in the general system of Armed Forces command and control.”

There is, according to the source, no doubt it’s essential to preserve the unitary structure of strategic nuclear forces command and control in the future:

“It follows that the Navy command in the form of the Navy Main Staff or, let’s say, a Navy department [департамент] is essential for coordinating the strategy of using the Navy in cooperation with the new regional commands [OSKs].”

He adds that, while OSKs West, South, Center, and East are complete, it still remains to distribute precisely the command and control functions for general purpose forces and strategic nuclear forces.

RIA Novosti’s interlocutor makes all this sound like the main issue may be less the move itself, and more one of figuring out the relationship and responsibilities of the now stronger and more significant MDs / OSKs and the somewhat diminished service main commands (Glavkomaty).  Perhaps the Navy Glavkomat is arguing with OSK West and OSK East over what is part of the strategic Navy, or supports strategic naval operations.

And Interfaks also has an item today saying that the Defense Ministry has ordered the NMS to prepare to move to St. Petersburg.  This came from an informed source in the Navy Glavkomat.  The written order contains no precise date for the move, but the source thinks the “active phase” of relocating will begin in July.

What Serdyukov Said About Piter

Late, but worth capturing for future reference . . . .

By way of recap, on 3 September, Vice-Admiral Burtsev told the press the Navy headquarters move to St. Petersburg was off, and this was decided over a year ago.  But later the same day, he claimed he’d been misunderstood.

Then, on 8 September, Defense Minister Serdyukov took up the issue . . . whether he was asked or just elected to address this, we don’t know.

ITAR-TASS claims he put an end to recent media speculation about the Main Staff’s eventual move to Piter.

Serdyukov said:

 “No one has cancelled the decision to transfer the Navy Main Staff.  The planned work is on-going.  We said from the beginning that we didn’t intend to do this in the course of any short period of time, for example, in a year.  This is happening not quickly, but according to readiness.  At Admiralty in St. Petersburg, the place where the Main Staff will be located, renovation is on-going.  Within the limits of the work’s completion, we will move.     

“As far as the Command and Control Post (KPU or КПУ) goes, it won’t be transferred quickly, not even in the coming one-two years.  We will outfit it with absolutely new equipment, new resources.  There will be an absolutely new KPU.  The old KPU, most likely, will be mothballed.  Transferring it wouldn’t make any sense.  So there aren’t any changes in our plans.”

Be all this as it may, it seems like a sign that the Defense Ministry, Serdyukov, or someone else, and the Navy were (or are) still at odds over moving its headquarters to the northern capital.

Flip-Flopping on Navy Move to Piter

Late Friday, First Deputy Chief of the Navy Main Staff, Vice-Admiral Burtsev claimed the entire Russian media misinterpreted his remarks about the cancellation of the Navy headquarters move to St. Petersburg. 

That’s quite a feat . . . making everyone misunderstand what you’ve said . . . and this from a guy who’s pretty much an official Navy spokesman.  It sounds more like the flip-flopping on this issue continues . . . ‘bulldogs still fighting under the rug,’ so to speak.  And someone made Burtsev retract his comments by way of claiming no one managed to understand what he was saying.

According to ITAR-TASS, Burtsev now says:

“I believe it’s necessary to make several substantial adjustments in information linked to me disseminated yesterday about the terms of the transfer of the Navy Main Staff to St. Petersburg.  There has not been any suspension of the decision on such a transfer.”

“The mass media incorrectly interpreted my words about work toward the full transfer of the Navy Main Staff not being completed in 2010.”

He says the transfer:

“. . . is happening on schedule, a number of structural sub-units and units of the Main Command are already fully working in St. Petersburg.”

“First of all, these are the auxiliary command and control post, supporting peacetime command and control of forces, and also sub-units of military acceptance [voyenpredy], shipbuilding and radioelectronic warfare, and a number of organs of the naval scientific committee.”

“The full-scale transfer of the Main Command to St. Petersburg requires establishment of a qualitatively new infrastructural foundation, which is being laid down at the present time.  This concerns primarily sub-units responsible for command and control of naval strategic nuclear forces, groupings at sea, but also some other operational sub-units which, incidentally, are located not just in Moscow, but in other territorial components of the RF.”

“I want to note again:  the transfer of the Navy Main Command to St. Petersburg is occurring on schedule, in accordance with decisions taken earlier, in the bounds of the plan for reform of Russia’s Armed Forces.”