Special guest for this episode is defence and international affairs analyst Dr. James Bosbotinis who is a regular contributor to WARSHIPS IFR magazine. He possesses deep insights into Russia’s naval capabilities, along with the maritime strategy and long-range strike capabilities of Moscow’s surface warships and submarines.
Topics discussed with podcast host Iain Ballantyne include the purpose of Russia deploying task groups to seas off Ireland, in the Mediterranean, and elsewhere as the Ukraine Crisis simmers; the capabilities of missiles in Russia’s ships and submarines at sea; whether or not the Russian Navy of today can sustain its global presence at the current pace; how Russia is creating a potent mix of new submarines and vessels alongside regenerated Cold War-era units.
Also touched on: what may or may not happen in the Black Sea should President Vladimir Putin decide on war with Ukraine; how Russia’s naval forces would contribute via sea-based cruise missile attacks; Russia’s wider use of its naval forces to challenge the West; NATO’ s response to Moscow’s moves at sea, including the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group of the US Navy in the Mediterranean.
The purpose of Russia assembling an amphibious assault fleet in the Black Sea is weighed up. Is it just a distraction while the Kremlin acts elsewhere, or is it actually to stage an attack from the sea against Odessa and or in the Sea of Azov? Iain and James also ponder how NATO will need to respond to Russia beyond the Ukraine Crisis, in what is shaping up as a new Cold War at sea.
• Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine.
Iain Ballantyne on Twitter @IBallantyn