Russia’s Coastal Ships Again Being Outfitted for Offensive Military Action, ‘NVO’ Says
June 22 – Until very recently, ships in Russia’s coast guard fleet lost much of
the offensive capability they had represented earlier; but now Moscow has
changed course by rearming them and thus positioning these ships to support the
regular Russian navy in wartime, Aleksandr Mozgovoy says.
Novoye voennoye obozreniye, the independent journalist said that was symbolized
by something that happened a year ago but that was little noted at the time:
the coastal ships for the first time in years were not part of the June 30th
Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg (nvo.ng.ru/realty/2018-06-22/1_1001_vmf.html).
to Soviet and Russian doctrine, the coastal defense ships were intended for
transfer to the regular fleet during wartime. As a result, they were more heavily
armed than they would have to be for coast guard duties. But as recently as a
year ago, it appears they were no longer intended to support the navy. Now that appears to have changed.
to Mozgovoy, that shift reflected a worldwide pattern over the last 25 years;
but it appears likely that Moscow has decided to go back to the Cold War model
and arm these coastal ships so that they can support naval operations at sea
and especially against land targets.
He provides a detailed discussion of the ships in this
class in support of his contention.
Russian military analyst is correct, that means that many of the Russian coast
guard-type vessels in the Sea of Azov which Ukrainian and Western analysts
generally have viewed as something other than an offensive threat may now be
carrying the kind of weapons that would allow them to support a landing on the
Russians should want to recover this capacity for their coastal ships, Mozgovoy
says, is no surprise. Western analysts are calling for a similar rearmament of
their coast guard vessels. And so “undoubtedly” the new vessels for the FSB coastal
service will carry far more weaponry that their immediate predecessors.