Russia’s Pacific Fleet. Short Note.

Larchmonter445 asked me to expound on the “operational” exercises of Russia’s Pacific Fleet which started before the Geneva “summit” and I start with fresh Zvezda report (in Russian) on the exercise of…sinking a Carrier Battle Group. Pay attention that in this short video the firing solution for anti-shipping missiles is calculated at 422 kilometers which is a routine over-the-horizon launch for missiles of P-800 Oniks or 3M54 Kalibr variety and the location of the exercise, which is  “in an area located 2.5 thousand miles (approximately 4.6 thousand kilometers) south-east of the Kuril Islands.”

This is easily within the striking distance of Pearl by 3M14 of older versions and, depending on the positioning of the Strike-Search Group (KPUG) within the area, to San Diego by latest version of 3M14M whose range is stated above 4,500 kilometers. This all is about surface group, what is under the surface we can only guess. 

It is a little bit of a demonstration of the flag by a relatively modest size task force, which, nonetheless, packs a rather massive punch, plus good ol’ combat training in the remote ocean zones is always a good idea. Considering the fact that Zircon (3M22) carrier, fully modernized Marshal Shaposhnikov, is in business at these maneuvers, one can start confidently calculate what size salvo Russia’s Pacific Fleet will be able to get into the area when Admiral Nakhimov and “calibrized” Pacific pr. 949AM (Oscar IIs) such as Irkutsk, together with new Yasen-class SSGNs, starting from Novosibirsk, which is undergoing sea trials now, and follow-on of similar Krasnoyarsk, will join in. With the other two Yasens following in 2024 and 2027. All of them are carriers of 3M22 Zircons together with newest corvettes of pr. 20385 most of which are bound for the Pacific Fleet. Together with additional three pr. 22350 Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates. This is what will appear by 2025-2027, not to mention other forces.

So, as you can see, all this is a warm-up for for a much more aggressive Ocean-denial—> Ocean-control posture by Russian Navy in the Pacific, especially when Pacific Fleet’s salvo will triple by 2025. There is also no doubt that such a fleet will make appearances in the Chinese ports as it has been done before and under the new circumstances all that becomes extremely significant. Especially considering a totally expected growth of the tempo of Russian-Chinese joint naval maneuvers. 

So, this return of Russia’s Pacific Fleet to the ocean fits perfectly into the strategic realities of a de facto Russian-Chinese alliance and of restoration of Russia’s presence in the blue waters of the ocean. So, here it is.