To counter recent predictions of the fleet’s demise, a BSF staff source today told RIA Novosti 3-4 frigates and a similar number of diesel-electric submarines would meet the fleet’s needs in the coming five years. He pointed to the Admiral Gorshkov class frigate at Northern Wharf and proyekt 677 submarine Sevastopol at Admiralty.
The source said:
“In the course of the next five years, new class frigates and diesel-electric submarines will be included in the order-of-battle of the Black Sea Fleet. The need to replenish the BSF order-of-battle is caused by the decommissioning of obsolete ships of various classes.”
He said new ships would also support the fleet’s full participation in exercises with NATO and Ukraine, and also exercises and long-distance cruises planned by the RF Navy’s command. He noted that the renewal of the BSF’s ships in no way would contradict the provisions of Russia’s basing agreement in Ukraine. He called Russia’s plans transparent and a subject for discussion in the sessions of the Russian-Ukrainian BSF sub-commission.
These hopes are basically the same as those expressed back in February when another source said 2 frigates and 3 submarines.
Other media today reported the possibility that Moscow could get a base agreement extension in return for higher rent payments or lower gas prices for Kyiv.