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Russia's Baltic Fleet to receive SSK boost

Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, announced on 18 May that the Baltic Fleet is to receive additional diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) to “correspond to the volume of tasks facing the fleet”.

The announcement was made as part of the admiral's congratulatory telegram sent to all the fleet personnel on the annual ‘Day of the Baltic Fleet'.

In the telegram, Adm Evmenov stated, “The Baltic Fleet must be balanced in its forces and resources in order to maximally fulfil the tasks entrusted to it. This is a requirement of the times and of the situation that is taking shape in the new direction.”

“The Baltic Fleet remains the most important instrument for ensuring Russia's security in the western direction. The role of the Baltic Fleet is now becoming even more important in connection with the new challenges and threats arising in connection with the expansion of NATO's presence in the Baltic region, in close proximity to the borders of the Russian Federation,” he added.

The class of SSKs is not mentioned in the telegram, although an industry source told Russian media outlet Interfax that the Baltic Fleet could commission either or both the Project 636.3 Kilo-class and the Project 677 Lada-class SSKs, but that “the decision is up to the fleet” as to what combination of boats would be received.

The Baltic Fleet operates Project 877EKM Kilo-class boat, Dmitrov , commissioned in 1986 as B-806, and upgraded in 2017. This Kilo class is of the older type constructed in Soviet times, and was part of a larger fleet that has now been sold to other countries such as China and India.


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