Key point: Moscow just can’t afford the cost of keeping up with Washington. Moreover, Russia is predominantly a land power and does not have experience succesfully building supercarriers.
Russia’s Navy is falling behind the U.S. Navy in combat power, according to Russian defense press.
The Russian Navy’s combat capability was just 45 percent of the U.S. Navy’s according to an analysis by flot.com, a Russian defense Web site [English translation here]. This is down from 47 percent in 2017 and 52 percent in 2014.
Exactly how these metrics were calculated isn’t clear, but it appears the United States is ahead in the rankings because it is building bigger ships than Russia is. In theory, 2018 should have been a good year for the Russian Navy, which received seven ships, including the powerful frigate Admiral Gorshkov. “Compared to the almost failed year of 2017, when the Russian Navy received two warships and an icebreaker, the past year was productive for domestic shipbuilding,” flot.com noted.
The problem is that other than the Admiral Gorshkov, the other new vessels were smaller craft including a corvette, a patrol ship and a gunboat. “One would expect that the position of the Russian Navy in the ranking will be strengthened,” flot.com said. “However, instead, the result was 2 percent less than last year. This is due to the fact that most of the new ships of the Russian Navy, with the exception of the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, belong to the class of small rocket ships and coastal ships, which have a [statistical] weight coefficient of 1 unit. Meanwhile, the U.S. shipbuilding industry last year transferred to the fleet two missile destroyers of the Arleigh Burke-class (a [statistical] factor of 3 units) and a pair of multi-purpose Virginia-class nuclear submarines (a factor of 5 units).”
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