The Russian Fleet is in dire straits. In ten years it may no longer (for practical purposes) exist.
The NVO report does not pull any punches: "The Russian Navy is on the verge of irreversible collapse. Within ten years there will be in the entire navy less than 50 vessels still capable of operations, which would be a number not even the size of one of our 'lesser fleets' like the Baltic Fleet or the Black Sea Fleet."The end of the Russian Navy will mean their further decline as a super power. There is nothing like 70 years of socialist/communist mismanagement to run a country with abundant physical and human capital into the ground.
The report rates the navy's situation as the worst in almost a century and concludes "this present catastrophe is comparable to what happened in the course of the [post-1917 Bolshevik Revolution] Civil War years when the fleet was left in ruins. If during the oil and gas boom of the 2000s the Russian Navy received practically no funding, now today during a period of difficult [economic] crisis the fleet will--without a doubt--have to die within the next few years. This is not merely a possibility, it is a fact."
Those warships still left in useable condition have seen their level of operations scaled back in order to preserve their service life. This is particularly true in the case of the submarine fleet, which has seen its Cold War high tempo of patrols drop off to almost nothing. Last November's joint naval exercises with the Venezuelan Navy off the coast of South America amounted to a little more than symbolic participation by only four Russian vessels that made the trans-Atlantic crossing.
And going in the opposite direction is the US Navy. If the US Navy's investment in Polywell Fusion pays off it will mean much lower operational costs for the US Fleet (much lower oil consumption). Such an advance will leave the rest of the competing navies of the world in the dust. We Will Know In Two Years. I'm optimistic.
The American Thinker has a good article up on the Polywell Fusion Reactor with the basics.
Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?
Cross Posted at Classical Values