August 3, 2007: The head of
Russia's navy announced a new building plan that would, in twenty years, make
the Russian fleet the world's second largest navy. Apparently a force of about
a hundred ships is being planned, to include forty or more nuclear subs, six
aircraft carriers and at least fifty newly built surface ships. To that end,
$46 billion has been allocated for ship building over the next eight years.
It's only in the last few years that many warship building projects have been
resumed. New ship designs are being prepared for construction. Unlike Soviet
era ships, the new ones will not be specialized, but, like most Western ships,
will be multipurpose.
A large part of reviving old
Soviet era building programs, is replacing ship building facilities that were
lost to Russia when the Soviet Union broke up. As part of that process,
whatever factories, military bases or weapons were in one of the 14 parts of
the Soviet Union that became new countries, became a possession of the new
country. Thus Ukraine inherited substantial warship building facilities, as
well as factories that produced many warship components. Russia has built new
yards and factories to provide all the components and shipbuilding facilities
needed for this new building program. At the same time, most of these ship
building yards are dual-purpose, and can produce civilian ships as well.