Russia will strengthen its force projection capabilities

Although having a high seas fleet smaller than that of NATO, the Soviet Union always had a large fleet intended for force projection actions. Assault ships have long served as logistics ships in the Russian fleet since the Soviet collapse, but in recent years there has been a significant effort to rebuild this capability.

This was the objective of the purchase of Mistral-class Projection and Command Buildings from France, a contract suspended and then canceled by the French authorities following the annexation of Crimea and Russian support for insurgent forces in the Donbass. Despite the Russian media ranting, and some French henchmen, the cancellation of the delivery of French ships had significant consequences on the reconstruction of the Russian navy. 

Despite the ambitions displayed, and declarations concerning a possible transfer of French skills to Russian shipyards, they have still not managed to design a building similar to the French BPCs. 

In the absence of Mistral, Russian shipyards have launched a type of vessel that they know well, the LST (for Landing Ship Tank), with the Ivan Gren class. Work on the lead ship began in 2004, and it was not until 2012 that the building was finally launched. In addition, numerous difficulties and malfunctions marred the sea tests started in 2016, the building being particularly unstable on the high seas.

Regardless, the Ivan Gren was finally admitted to active service this summer, and its sistership, the Peter Morgunov, should join the Russian navy in 2019. The construction of 2 additional buildingswas announced, a modified version of the Ivan Gren, in order to strengthen Russian projection capabilities

The Russian doctrine of naval force projection differs significantly from Western doctrines. It favors actions to bypass opposing lines to deal a severe blow to opposing supply lines and disrupt its logistics chain, and not to constitute an offensive bridgehead, the main mission of the American MAUs. 

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