Thursday, April 4, 2024

Russia has Little Hope of Building 100+ Ships a Year over the Next Decade Unless Kremlin Restores State Planning over Entire Branch, Dvinsky Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 1 – Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has called for Russian shipyards to build 1700 ships over the next 13 years, a goal, Konstantin Dvinsky says, will be almost impossible for it to meet unless the entire shipbuilding branch is put under a restored system of state planning.

            The Moscow commentator says that the branch has not collapsed but suffers from three major sets of problems and suggests that none of these will be overcome, whatever some may think, by simply throwing more money at each of them. If that is what is done, Mishustin’s goal will never be reached (

            According to Dvinsky, the first problem is that Russian yards take far longer to build ships of any size than do foreign yards. The second is that the costs of building a ship in Russia are much higher than those elsewhere. And the third is that Russian industry doesn’t produce the component instruments Russian ships need and can’t get under the current sanctions regime.

            The only way out, the Moscow writer says, is to restore state planning for the entire sector to ensure that the various parts shipbuilders need are available so that construction can take place more rapidly and without the current cost overruns that often kill projects when they are only partially completed.

            Dvinsky’s comments are especially significant because Russia must replace ships lost in its Ukrainian war or that have outlived their service lifespan and because it highlights a problem, the lack of effective markets that can organize production and the belief many in Moscow still have, despite Soviet experience, that central planning is a panacea.

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