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Dock route: Russia fortifies the main naval base of the Baltic Fleet

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The Russian Navy is modernizing the naval base in Baltiysk. The berths have already been completely repaired, communications have been replaced, and treatment facilities have been built. After the completion of the work, large ships, including cruise missile carriers: corvettes, frigates, destroyers and others, will be able to deploy at the main basing point of the Baltic Fleet. According to experts, this will, if necessary, create a serious grouping with impressive firepower in a strategically important region.

In any weather

It is planned to complete the first stage of reconstruction of the naval base in Baltiysk by the end of the year, sources told Izvestia. In 2021, the infrastructure will be finalized: new communication systems, storage, repair and maintenance facilities will be created. The total length of the rebuilt berth here is 3 km.

Earlier, the Ministry of Defense reported that the new berthing infrastructure of the base includes treatment facilities, so that the ships will not cause serious damage to the environment. In addition, as a result of the modernization, the dependence on hydrometeorological conditions will decrease and the safety of anchorage and basing of ships will increase.

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In the harbors of the base, communications were replaced, a major overhaul of the berth was carried out, work on anti-corrosion protection was carried out, access roads are being repaired, the military department reported.

After repairs at the naval base in Baltiysk, it will be possible to service modern ships of the second and first rank: patrol ships, corvettes, frigates and destroyers. For example, the carriers of the Kalibr cruise missiles are Project 20385 corvettes or Project 22350 frigates armed with Zircons.

Corvettes and frigates

Corvettes of project 20385 are made using stealth technologies. They are intended primarily for operations in the near sea zone, for combating enemy surface and underwater equipment, as well as for artillery support of amphibious assault forces. The ships are armed with Caliber cruise missiles. The head corvette “Thundering” is now being tested.

The ships of the project 22350 or, as they are called in the navy, the frigates of the admiral’s series are capable of performing a wide range of tasks in the far sea zone. They are intended for the protection of ships, communications, counter-terrorism and peacekeeping operations. The armament of the frigates makes it possible to provide air defense for other ships, support the landing force, as well as deliver strikes against various land and sea targets.

Now the Navy includes two representatives of the series: “Admiral Gorshkov” and “Admiral Kasatonov”. The third and fourth – “Admiral Golovko” and “Admiral Isakov” – should join the Navy in the next two years. The ships of this series are among the most powerful in the Navy. The new universal shipborne firing system (UKSK) 3S-14 allows them to use the Kalibr cruise missiles, the Onyx anti-ship missiles and the Zircon hypersonic missiles.

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Russia has long been strengthening the grouping of ships in the Baltic, and the balance of forces has already formed in its favor, the vice-president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Colonel Vladimir Anokhin told Izvestia.

“And now we are focusing on the material and technical support of the naval forces,” the expert explained. – Now we will have another full-fledged naval base, which has not been paid attention to for many years. This means that we have the opportunity to bring our strike forces closer to the borders of NATO. In addition, conditions are being created to provide the Navy with everything necessary for effective strikes against sea and land targets.

The modernization of the ground infrastructure of the fleet has great prospects, the specialist believes.

– The latest events in Crimea, when three B-52 reconnaissance aircraft were sent to us, indicate that these guys are serious. And we must treat this adequately, – concluded Vladimir Anokhin.

Dangerous maneuvers

Recently, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that NATO used to send mostly reconnaissance aircraft and drones to the Russian borders. And recently, regular flights have begun with training and imitation of the delivery of missile strikes.

In June, during the exercise BALTOPS-2020, a pair of US strategic bombers B-52H, in collaboration with British Typhoon and French Mirage fighters, flew over Riga, Tallinn and the Estonian island of Vindlo in the Gulf of Finland, less than 200 km from St. Petersburg.

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Since 2015, the scenarios for NATO’s annual regional exercise BALTOPS have changed dramatically. Previously, they had an anti-terrorist orientation, and Russian sailors regularly took part in them. Now the alliance is practicing full-scale combat operations using the fleet and aircraft. And every year their scope increases.

Only this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the block’s Baltic maneuvers took place in a reduced composition and without practicing ground actions: 28 ships and the same number of aircraft from 19 countries took part in them. Last year, the exercises were larger, they involved 50 surface combat units, two submarines, 36 aircraft and almost 9 thousand troops.

In order to reduce tensions in the Baltic, the Ministry of Defense since 2016 has been inviting foreign colleagues to work out the “rules of the game” in the region. On the Russian initiative, military aircraft should fly here only with transponders turned on in order to be clearly visible even on civilian radars. The surface ships of the Russian Federation and NATO are invited to establish the minimum distance at which they have the right to approach. Until now, this initiative has been rejected by the leadership of the alliance.

In recent years, the Ministry of Defense has been actively modernizing the coastal infrastructure of the Russian fleet. So, in 2017, it was decided to build a military port in the Dagestan Kaspiysk. It became the main naval base of the Caspian Flotilla. The headquarters of the association was transferred there from Astrakhan.

Last year, the construction of shelters for strategic missile submarines began at the base in Vilyuchinsk in Kamchatka. The reinforced concrete structure reaches a height of 50 m. Such a shelter will reliably protect equipment not only from the attacks of a potential enemy, but also from natural disasters. The facilities will be equipped with water, electricity and steam supply systems.

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