The Increasing Capabilities of the Soviet Navy
OPERATIONAL RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS ESTABLISHMENT OTTAWA (ONTARIO)
Pagination or Media Count:
It is possible to explain the building programs of the Soviet Navy between 1938 and 1975 in terms of the threats perceived by them in distinct periods. A plan to possess a large ocean-going fleet was frustrated by World War II, resurrected when victory was in sight, and abandoned in the later 1940s for a force designed against amphibious assault on the Soviet coast. This threat was supplanted by nuclear strike by Western carrier-borne aircraft, and subsequently by submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The Soviet forces emphasized antiship cruise missiles, and then antisubmarine warfare, in both cases at increasing ranges from the home ports of the USSR. Finally, preservation of an assured Soviet nuclear capability to threaten Western population and cities assumed high priority, able to be kept intact during the proces of a conventional or even a limited nuclear war. This required the building of large Soviet ships, aircraft, and submarines able to defend the SSBNs in protected bastions adjacent to USSR. This last requirement may provide adequate explantation for the Kiev class VTOL carriers and the Backfire bomber. But the lastest cruiser the nuclear-powered Kirov, destroyers Udaloy and Sovremenny, SSBN Typhoon, and SSGN Oscar are so much larger than any of their predecessors as to suggest a sharp discontinuity in purpose.
- Naval Surface Warfare