Russia to Base Subs with Cruise Missiles at NovorossiyskRussia | September 24, 2014, Wednesday // 10:11| views
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a welcome ceremony in front of the `Vice-Admiral Kulakov` large anti-submarine ship in the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, Russia, 23 September 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Russia plans to deploy submarines carrying cruise missiles with a range of over 1,500 km in the port of Novorossiysk, the Black Sea Fleet commander has said.
With NATO ships permanently present in the Black Sea since the outbreak of Ukraine crisis there are plans to create a submarine base in Novorossiysk to avoid concentration of all vessels in one base - a situation observed in February and March in Sevastopol, in Crimea, ITAR-TASS quoted Alexander Vitko as saying to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.
Putin, commander in chief of Russia’s armed forces, arrived in Novorossiysk earlier the same day for a conference on the port’s modernization.
Vitko informed him that stationing submarines with cruise missiles on board at Novorossiysk will have the added advantage of much easier maintaining of the secrecy of a submarine leaving the port on a mission compared to Sevastopol.
Moscow plans to use Novorossiysk as a back-up base for its Black Sea Fleet which has its principal base in Sevastopol.
According to Vitko, there are plans for stationing seven submarines at Novorossiysk, with piers to be able to accommodate up to eight vessels. Currently, the base is home port to 51 ships and 10 more are to be added by 2020.
Vitko added that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet plans to have 206 combat and support vessels by 2020, compared to 173 now. He also said that construction of the base is planned to be completed in 2016.
Russia said earlier this year it plans to invest more than USD 2.5 B in the Black Sea Fleet by 2020.