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Hypersonic Missiles and Robots: Russia Ready to Push for Naval Superiority

Using high technologies is of paramount importance to the creation of an effective and combat-capable navy, a Russian military expert told Sputnik; according to him, a comprehensive approach is needed, rather than a focus on any particular kind of force, such as submarines or surface ships.

On July 20, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the Basics of Russia's State Navy Policy for the Period Until 2030.

The document stipulates the Russian Navy being armed with high-precision long-range and hypersonic missiles, robotic systems and unmanned submarines.

According to the doctrine, Moscow will not allow any substantial superiority of other states' navies over the Russian Navy.

"The existing threats to Russian national security in the world ocean remain, while new ones emerge, … [including] the ambition of a range of countries, primarily the United States and its allies, to dominate in the world ocean including the Arctic, as well as to achieve overwhelming superiority of their naval forces," the document reads.

In this vein, Admiral Vyacheslav Popov, Russian military expert and former commander of the country's Northern Fleet, said in an interview with Sputnik that "in the past, a whole squadron was needed to resolve an important task which now can be solved by two or three ships with good information support and radio electronic protection."

"Nowadays all the elements related to high technologies, including intelligence, target designation, electronic warfare systems and high-precision missile weapons, are of great significance," Popov said.

He added that he is convinced that in order to create a truly effective and combat-capable navy, a comprehensive approach is needed, not a focus on any particular kind of force, such as submarines or surface ships.

Air Defense Aircraft Carriers
Right now, the Russian Navy includes a spate of surface ships and submarines for various goals, such as aircraft carriers, multipurpose, rocket-artillery, landing and mine-sweeping ships, as well as strategic missile submarines and multipurpose submarines.

Predicting the alignment of forces at sea in the next 15 years, Popov suggested that it would be difficult for Russia to do without the aircraft carriers that he said would be tasked with providing air defense at Russia's sea borders.
This will harmoniously fit them into Russia's military defensive doctrine, according to Popov.

"We need universal aircraft carriers in the Northern and Pacific Fleets. These ships will perform air defense missions on a priority basis, as well as will be capable of launching strikes on sea and coastal targets," he said.

According to him, the implementation of Russia's state naval doctrine until 2030 is quite feasible, especially given that Russia is second only to the United States in terms of fleet capabilities, and in some respects, including a nuclear marine component, even maintains parity with America.

Focus on Hypersonic Weapons

According to the state naval doctrine, another threat is "the existence of foreign countries' territorial claims to Russia with respect to coastal territories and adjacent water areas." In this regard, Russia will have to grapple with terrorists, pirates and poachers, as well as arms and drug trafficking.

In order to tackle all this, Russia needs to create a powerful navy, capable of causing critical damage to enemies with both conventional and nuclear weapons.

Speaking to Sputnik, Russian political analyst Oleg Ponomarenko remained upbeat in this vein about prospects pertaining to the creation of hypersonic weapons for the Russian Navy, though adding that this may not be enough.

"If we talk about the technical side of the issue, this task can be implemented. On the other hand, creating hypersonic missiles is just one of the tasks. In this sense, equipment that will come in the middle of the next decade will not be mass produced given its complexity," Ponomarenko said.

As for the development of hypersonic weapons, Russia is on a par with the world’s leading high-tech countries. The tests of the Russian hypersonic sea-launched missile 3M22 Zircon, due to be put in serial production in the near future, are currently underway.

Touting the Russian Navy as one of the most powerful fleets in the world, Ponomarenko also called for a shift from Soviet legacy to new developments, pointing to the growing clout of the Chinese Navy, which "is coming on [competitors'] heels."

Russian Forces host China, India and 20 other militaries for international army games
by Damien Sharkov

Troops from 22 countries have arrived in Russia for what is becoming an Olympic-style annual spectacle in military posturing: Russia’s International Army Games.

Around 1,200 troops from China, India, Iran and a handful of nations, either allied to Russia or neutral, are expected to take part, Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced on Monday. Russia is once again expected to win, as it has for the past two years.

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The 14-day event, which kicks off Friday, is the third annual installment of the games, wherein a series of military competitions are turned into a spectator sport. The tank biathlon—an obstacle course race with a shooting accuracy round—is one of the most popular disciplines. Others include Aviadarts, a flight tricks competition, and an off-road military truck race called the Military Rally.

Russia hosted previous installments of the games and dominated the so-called medals league table, though this year, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China and Kazakhstan will also share hosting duties across 22 event sites for 28 competition events.

Not all participants take part in all disciplines, and few provide their own equipment. For the sake of fair competition, troops often use the same equipment within the same event. So for the Marine Landing round, troops from Venezuela, Iran, China and Russia will all compete using different vessels from Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

The games are not only an opportunity for Russia’s troops to show off some of their capabilities on state television, they also allow participant militaries to test one another’s equipment. In preparation for the Safe Environment radio and biochemical recon event, Russian troops have already tested China’s FZC02B system for the first time, the Russian Defense Ministry also announced Monday.

Russian paratroopers also conducted jumps from Chinese Changhe Z-8KA helicopters alongside Iranian, Kazakh, Moroccan and United Arab Emirates troops over Chinese territory, above the Yin Mountains.

Meanwhile, as part of preparation for the Depth diving event, Russia hosted Venezuelan, Iranian and United Arab Emirates troops in the waters off the coast of Sevastopol, one of the main ports on the Crimean peninsula which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

In total, Russia is sending 67 items of military kit overseas for the competitions, and has already flown 36 aircraft above China in preparation for the event.

Russia says forces deployed to police Syria safe zones
The Times of Israel

Senior commander says Israel informed of military police checkpoints and observation posts as close as 13 kilometers from Golan border.

Moscow — Russia has deployed military police to monitor two safe zones being established in Syria, the defense ministry in Moscow said Monday.

Senior commander Sergei Rudskoi said Russian forces had set up checkpoints and observation posts around a zone in the south-west and in another one covering Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus.

The two areas are part of a broader Moscow-backed plan to create four “de-escalation zones” in rebel-held parts of Syria.

The announcement marks the first deployment of foreign troops to bolster the safe zones as Moscow seeks to pacify Syria after its military intervention swung the six-year conflict in favor of President Bashar Assad.

Rudskoi said Russian personnel on July 21 and 22 established two checkpoints and 10 observation posts along the boundaries dividing rebel forces and government troops in the southern zone.

Earlier this month Russia, the United States and Jordan struck a deal to fix the boundaries of this zone and impose a ceasefire in the area.

Moscow has also informed Israel of its deployment and that the nearest Russian position is 13 kilometers from the demarcation line between Israeli and Syrian troops in the Golan Heights, Rudskoi said.

Under a second deal Moscow said it struck with “moderate” rebels over the weekend in Egypt, Russian forces on Monday also set up two checkpoints and four observation posts in the area covering conflict-ravaged Eastern Ghouta, he added.

The Syrian army on Saturday announced a halt in fighting for parts of Eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held region on the outskirts of the capital, but a London-based monitor said regime war planes still carried out raids.

Assad’s forces have surrounded the Eastern Ghouta region for more than four years, and regime forces have regularly targeted the area.
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