Special Report

The Most Common Ships and Submarines in the Russian Navy

Russia controls the world’s second largest navy, according to the World Directory of Modern Military Warships. With 265 warships and submarines, the country ranks below China, which has 417 naval vessels. (While the U.S. has fewer vessels than both, it ranks first in WDMMW’s global naval powers ranking.) 

As the war continues to rage in Ukraine, Russia’s military might, and in particular that of its Navy, have come under scrutiny. In April, Ukrainian forces sank the Moskva, the country’s flagship warship patrolling the Black Sea. The destruction of the warship dealt a significant blow to the country’s naval strength in the region – not to mention a major morale boost for the Ukrainians.

Yet Russia’s Navy remains a formidable force, albeit with a rapidly aging fleet. To identify the 44 classes of vessels that make up the ships and submarines of the Russian Navy, 24/7 Wall St. referenced military data site World Directory of Modern Military Warships’ directory of all active ships in Russia. The ship and submarine classes are ranked in order of the number of vessels currently in active use by the Russian navy, according to WDMMW. Any ships on order were excluded.

WDMMW’s count of vessels in active service excludes smaller patrol vessels, auxiliary/survey ships, replenishment, and historical ceremonial types. Of the 265 ships, 83 are corvettes, which are smaller warships, a class below frigate. The Russian navy operates 58 submarines (both conventional and nuclear powered), 48 mine warfare vessels, 27 offshore patrol ships, 21 amphibious assault boats, 12 destroyers, 11 frigates, four cruisers, and one aircraft carrier. Does its Navy make Russia one of the world’s 20 strongest military powers?

The WDMMW notes that the Russian navy’s sole aircraft carrier is more than 30 years old and unlikely to perform on a modern ocean battlefield. The newest cruiser is 23 years old, while the destroyer class has units nearing 30 years of service. Some of the submarines are past “optimal operating ages.” Yet the country has updated its frigate fleet with newer units and is doing the same with the corvette class. WDMMW estimates the median hull age of all ships at 29 years. (To compare, these are the U.S. Navy’s newest ships and submarines.)

Click here to see the most common ships and submarines in the Russian Navy.

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