Arms For Sale.

Rosoboronexport signed the first contract–the country is not disclosed yet–for newest Pantsir S1M (in Russian), which is a further development of now legendary S1s and this one has an increased range or targets’ “intercept” of 30 kilometers and elevation of 18. But among news pouring in about Russia producing nothing (wink, wink), this one stands apart–the signing of contract for the new batch of S-400s between Russia and Turkey is expected by the end of this year (in Russian).  If that wasn’t enough, Russia offered Turkey help in developing the fifth generation fighter. I don’t need to elaborate on geopolitical significance of this news, since Turkey, being a NATO member, looks increasingly interested in military cooperation with Russia for obvious reasons. Same as Egypt, whose political “top” was “impressed” by the fate of Libya and, obviously, doesn’t want to repeat the fate of her Arab neighbor. 

Two days ago, Vladimir Putin gave a start for the construction of six new ships for Russia’s Navy, among them two newest Borey A SSBNs, two latest Project 636 SSKs and two corvettes, one of project 20380, another of the ocean-going variety of project 20385, capable of carrying 3M22 Zircon. All that bounty is for Russia’s Pacific Fleet with the exception of the Boreys, because it is unclear if both of them will join Pacific Fleet or only one. But here is one ship which caught my attention: 

 

This is the newest project 15310 cable-laying ship Volga, which, without much fanfare, was launched at Kerch shipyard Zaliv few days ago. It is a beautiful, 10,000 ton of displacement, modern vessel (the second one of the class is also nearing the completion at the same shipyard) which is yet another proof of a major boost in Russia’s shipbuilding industry which many Western “experts” buried just few years ago. These two particular auxiliaries will operate as Russian Navy’s ships and the next big thing from Kerch are, of course, those two amphibious assault ships, which will be four times heavier and larger than Volga and her sister-ship Vyatka. And I am not even talking about SSK Zvezda at Far East which is extremely busy building giant Aframax class vessels and this:

 

The first multifunctional supply vessel Ice breaker 7 – «Кaterina Velikaya» was launched from the slipway at  Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex. This is the lead vessel of a series of four vessels for Rosneft. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin took part in its keel laying on the slipway. In parallel, three other vessels of the series are under construction at the shipyard. 

Russia builds those ice-breakers (their different iterations) like there is no tomorrow and most of it is related to the obvious economic dynamics of the emerging Eurasian market, which will need a lot of energy, the type of energy EU wants to forbid to use and thus complete its descent into the economic and geopolitical obscurity.