ITAR-TASS reported Navy CINC Vladimir Vysotskiy’s remarks at a military-historical conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of long-time Soviet Navy CINC Sergey Gorshkov. Vysotskiy said:
“For the first time in history Russia threw down the gauntlet to old naval powers. Having achieved nuclear parity with the U.S. Navy, the [Soviet] Navy became a strategic service of the armed forces. Thanks to this we are developing many of the most serious goals to ensure keeping this parity, and we are correcting all approaches which were laid down in the ‘unforgettable’ 1990s. Russia is the inheritor of a great state that has to possess an oceanic fleet capable of defending national interests wherever they are. And they are everywhere in the world’s oceans.”
In Vysotskiy’s estimation, “putting the fleet into operationally important areas of the world’s oceans allows us to look with certainty into the future, with the support of the Supreme CINC.”
Vysotskiy pointed to Gorshkov’s emphasis on nuclear weapons, submarines, and naval aviation, and noted that, “The memory of Gorshkov allows us to stand not on a crude defense, but to move forward.”
RIA Novosti’s account quoted Vysotskiy on space and aircraft carriers:
“Without air supremacy it’s impossible to conquer space. The one who understands this is on the right path.”
He observed that space and air forces are the main danger even for submarines. And submarines have to rely on space-based comms. Vysotskiy said it’s essential for Russia to build ‘aviation-carrying systems’ which are very similar to space systems in their own way.
“Today it’s necessary to understand the significance of these systems, it’s necessary to do this today, this must be a collective work of the state.”
In other words, he wants the state to see things the same way and pay for it.
He said today 9 countries have ‘aviation-carrying fleets,’ and 14 will by 2014.
“If China intends to have one, this is understood, and if even Thailand intends to have one, then we also need to understand this in Russia today.”
He also noted that costly investment in [naval] construction is justified even in a time of crisis since 90 percent of the world’s cargo is delivered by ships which need to be protected. But one wonders how much of Russia’s is. All in all, a weak justification.