Saturday, February 23, 2013

INS Vikramaditya to control Indian Ocean from Nov 2013

Russia will hand over the much-delayed INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier to India in November, giving the country's navy a strategic advantage in the Indian Ocean region. 

The Vikramaditya aircraft carrier is to be handed over to the Indian Navy in November 2013, head of the Russian Federal Service, Alexander Fomin said yesterday. "The ship is to be put in a dock in April, go on sea trials in June and be officially handed over some time in November," he said. 

( Image Courtesy - )

The Vikramaditya, was supposed to have been handed over on December 4, 2012, but sea trials in September revealed the ship's boilers were not fully functional.

The Vikramaditya then returned to the shipyard to fix the problems that were detected during the sea trials. The ship demonstrated excellent seaworthiness, speed of 27.9 knots (about 52 kilometres per hour) and maneuverability during the three-month sea trials. The ship sailed for more than 12,000 miles, with 517 flights performed from its deck by aircraft and helicopters.

News Courtesy -

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Russian Missile Trains: Being restored back to Full Glory

“Russia has made the decision to start the development of a military railroad missile complex for the Strategic Missile Forces,” said Igor Korotchenko, director of the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade (CAWAT). “By that time, the European Missile Defense System will be able to intercept Russian ICBMs, thanks to new versions of its SM-3 anti-BM missile. Under the circumstances, Moscow has been forced to take adequate countermeasures,” Korotchenko said.

The Soviet Union began testing a missile train armed with the RT-23 solid-fuel missile in February 1983. The train was able to travel more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) per day without being discovered and could launch missiles from any point along its route. A missile train regiment included a train consisting of three locomotives and 17 rail cars, with nine platforms carrying missile launchers. Missile trains were expected to become the core of the counter strike group because of their improved durability and their ability to withstand a first enemy strike.

RT-23 'Molodets' Missile Train ( Image Courtesy - )

The first regiment armed with the RT-23 Molodets missile went on combat duty in October 1987. By 1999 there were three missile divisions with four regiments each — that is, 36 launchers in total. The trains were kept in stationary shelters located four kilometers apart. When on combat duty, they were dispersed. The Molodets only performed one live launch throughout its entire history, during a military exercise. A missile fired from the Kostroma region hit a target at Kamchatka. The Americans were unable to track down the train’s coordinates before or after the launch.

Incidentally, according to Zaitsev, the Americans feared missile trains even more than the famous “Satan” missile — the RS-20 ICBM — and did all they could to make them disappear from the Strategic Missile Forces. START II spelled the end of missile trains. Under the treaty, all RT-23 were to be scrapped. However, after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, Moscow declared the START II null and void, especially since it was never ratified.

Nevertheless, a decision was made shortly afterward to decommission missile trains and gradually dismantle them. The first strategic train was disassembled in June 2003. Two years later, the last train was taken off combat duty and sent to a recycling yard, after spending a year at a storage base.

RT-23 'Molodets' Intercontinental Ballistic Missile ( Image Courtesy - )

The fact that Russia has accumulated experience operating missile trains, in addition to a highly developed railway network, make the decision to restore a military railroad missile complex to Russia’s nuclear missile arsenal a logical one. According to official information from the Ministry of Defense, military railroad missile complexes are currently under development - so a new and much more advanced version of Missile Trains will re-appear in Russia by 2020.

Once deployed, Russia’s missile trains would make it extremely cumbersome, for American technical reconnaissance to determine their location. “Besides mobile surface-based complexes, Russian Federation will receive additional potential to launch an effective counter strike,” said Korotchenko.

News Courtesy -

Friday, February 8, 2013

Delta Class Russian SSBN Verkhoturye returns to service

The Russian Navy ballistic-missile submarine Verkhoturye has returned to service with the Northern Fleet after completing a refit, Fleet Spokesman Captain First Rank Vadim Serga said on Wednesday.

SSBN Verkhoturye at ceremony after refit ( Image Courtesy - )

The Verkhoturye is the second Northern Fleet Project 667 class boat to be refitted, he said.

“In August 2012, the Northern Fleet was reinforced with the Novomoskovsk submarine, which also underwent repairs and upgrade at the Severodvinsk defense shipyard,” he said.

SSBN Verkhoturye arrives at Gadzhiyevo naval base ( Image Courtesy - )

Project 667 class boats displace 12,000 tons, have a maximum diving depth of 400 meters, a cruising speed of 24 knots and a crew of 140 men. They are armed with 16 Sineva intercontinental ballistic missiles.

News Courtesy -