Russia’s ‘Marines’ Might Not Match America’s (But They Are Plannng for the Future)

    Michael Peck

    Security, Europe

    The Severnoye Design Bureau is designing a large amphibious assault ship for the Russian Navy, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.

    Russia is beefing up its amphibious assault capabilities with new ships and possibly even new armored vehicles.

    The Severnoye Design Bureau is designing a large amphibious assault ship for the Russian Navy, according to Russia’s Tass news agency.

    “The effort envisages starting work from scratch to create a large amphibious assault ship with a displacement of around eight thousand tons rather than developing some existing project,” Tass said, citing an anonymous defense official.

    The first modern large Russian amphibious assault ship, the six-thousand-ton Ivan Gren, was laid down in 2004. Because of technical problems, it is only now being accepted by the Russian Navy this month.

    Meanwhile, the Russian Naval Infantry may—or may not—receive a new amphibious assault vehicle. The Naval Infantry is an amphibious assault force that is a rough counterpart of the U.S. Marine Corps, and like the Marines, is also part of the navy (though at just twelve thousand members, it’s not a mini-army like the 182,000-strong U.S. Marines).

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    The problem is that while existing Russian BMP and BTR armored troop carriers have some amphibious capability, it’s not sufficient for a specialized amphibious force like the Naval Infantry. Russian doctrine calls for launching vehicles from ten to twenty-five miles offshore, with the vehicles themselves sufficiently armed to provide covering fire for the troops.

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