Russia’s Black Sea Fleet: Toward a Multiregional Force
Author: Igor Delanoe | Deputy-Head, French-Russian Analytical Center Observo (Moscow)
In this CNA Occasional Paper, Dr. Igor Delanoe, Deputy-Head, French-Russian Analytical Center Observo (Moscow), examines the development of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet since the 2000s. Dr. Delanoe traces the origins of structural changes that affected the fleet through the State Armaments Program beginning in 2011, the Ukrainian crisis and Moscow’s renewed emphasis on Black Sea defense. He examines the Fleet in the context of Russia’s renewed presence in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, and discusses new concepts and technologies of growing importance to Russia’s forward operating naval squadrons. Today, the Black Sea Fleet appears to be a more flexible and multipurpose naval formation. Its area of responsibility has evolved and is focused on the greater Mediterranean region, tasked with the protection of Russia’s southern flank, from the
Caspian region to the Levant. Dr. Delanoe also discusses transition from the quality naval procurement of the 2011-2020 plan to mass production in a context of financial pressure and sanctions, arguing that the modernization plan of the Black Sea Fleet has proved more resilient in the face of these challenges.