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A Revolution In Russian Military Affairs Part Two

Moscow and Beijing have settled disagreements that could lead to conflict. The two countries have no current territorial claims against each other and are not divided by ideology. They have signed the relevant bilateral documents and maintain partner-like, friendly and almost allied relations. Although current relations are good, nobody knows what could happen in the next 20 to 30 years after younger and more unpredictable Chinese leaders, not concerned with a cordial bilateral relationship, take over.
by Nikita Petrov
Moscow (UPI) Oct 22, 2008
The Russian navy has 14 strategic missile submarines, including six Project 667-BDRM submarines with 92 R-29RM Sineva (NATO designation SSN-24) submarine-launched ballistic missiles and two Project 667-BDR submarines operated by the Northern Fleet. The Pacific Fleet has four more Project 667-BDR submarines.

The six Project 667-BDR submarines carry 81 R-29R Skif (NATO designation SSN-23) submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

The Russian air force has 15 Tupolev Tu-160 (NATO designation Blackjack) and 64 Tupolev Tu-95MS (NATO designation Bear) strategic bombers carrying 884 nuclear-tipped X-55 cruise missiles -- ALCMs.

However, ballistic and cruise missiles cannot be used against such adventurist and aggressive governments as the incumbent Georgian leadership. Reinforced general-purpose and rapid-deployment brigades are the most effective option for repelling conventional invasions and fighting insurgents and international terrorist units.

Russia also faces other threats, including those posed by al-Qaida and the Taliban movement. U.S., NATO and Afghan units continue to fight them more or less effectively. But the Taliban could move to the north, if they seize power in Kabul and Islamabad, as was almost the case at the beginning of the century.

In this scenario, operational rapid-deployment brigades of the Central Asian states, members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization now holding regular exercises, could effectively repel their aggression with the help of other brigades that would be transferred to the region.

Military analysts are also worried about the long-term strategy on the Russian-Chinese border.

Moscow and Beijing have settled disagreements that could lead to conflict. The two countries have no current territorial claims against each other and are not divided by ideology. They have signed the relevant bilateral documents and maintain partner-like, friendly and almost allied relations.

Although current relations are good, nobody knows what could happen in the next 20 to 30 years after younger and more unpredictable Chinese leaders, not concerned with a cordial bilateral relationship, take over.

Under this concern, Russia would have to deploy strategic nuclear weapons and large military formations in order to counter a hypothetical Chinese threat. Military analysts do not like plans to disband divisions and armies because it would be very hard to reinstate them in case of crisis and because Russia could suffer grievously if attacked.

Moscow should assess all possible consequences and find ways of coping with future problems.

Analysts say Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov's reforms were not approved by the Russian Security Council, the State Duma or the Federation Council -- the lower and upper houses of the Russian parliament -- and that there was no prior discussion involving the military and the public at large.

Although Serdyukov claims that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev supports the reforms, such crucial decisions should not be adopted at the departmental level. Defense ministers come and go, but the future of long-term army reform should not depend on their whims.

(Nikita Petrov is a Russian military commentator. This article is reprinted by permission of RIA Novosti. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.)

(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

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Raytheon Awarded Contract For Light And Heavyweight Torpedoes
Tewksbury MA (SPX) Oct 22, 2008
Raytheon has been awarded a $165 million U.S. Navy contract to provide MK54 lightweight and MK48 heavyweight torpedo hardware, engineering and support services.







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