February 16, 2010
Friend and/or foe
In case anyone thinks France selling Mistral-class assault ships to Russia is no big deal, Russia's naval chief begs to disagree.
One region affected is the Baltic, where Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, NATO’s most vulnerable members, are still waiting to see concrete plans for the alliance to defend them in a crisis. The other is the Black Sea. The Mistrals could matter in any conflict over Crimea in Ukraine, where Russia is due to give up a naval base in 2017. Russia’s naval chief, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, says that with such ships Russia would have won the 2008 war against Georgia “in 40 minutes instead of 26 hours”.
Hyperbole? Perhaps. Salt to taste but the man has a point, if only in terms of Russian expectations and consequent Russian behaviour.
Related: The United States faces the loss of maritime supremacy in the South China Sea. And, I might add, the Pacific Ocean.
More bad news: The aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk will not be sold to the Indian Navy.
This puts to rest all reports of the decommissioned carrier being offered to India, which, at one stage, expressed interest in the vessel.
At 82,000 tonne Kitty Hawk is twice the size of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov that the Indian Navy has bought from Russia and which is expected to be inducted in 2012 after undergoing an extensive refit. This apart, the keel of India's first indegenous carrier was laid at the Cochin Shipyard last year.
Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 16, 2010 08:28 AM
Well, she didn't earn the name "Shitty Kitty" for no reason. Perhaps its for the best that the Indians learn to build their own.