Friday, May 30, 2008

First Look - 30 May 2008

France Visits Baltiysk Ahead of BALTOPS-2008

A French minehunter and the tender “Loire” visit Baltiysk. There is opening footage of a damage control demonstration. French squadron commander discusses mine hunting technology, using a remote TV camera to locate a WWII wreck. During similar exercises in Lithuania a few years ago, they found four WWII mines. There is a shot of the French tender “Loire”, which has already served for over five decades. There is a tour of the on board workshop. A shot of the crew’s mess where the crew eats on tables they made themselves. The reporter notes that the French ship’s next port is Sweeden and has already spent 10 days in port in Gdynia and will remain in the Baltic for BALTOPS-2008, to which the Russians plan on sending the Large Landing Ship “Kaliningrad” and the Escort Ship “Neustrashimyy” (maybe).

“There Shouldn’t Be a Race” to Deploy the Bulava: Navy CinC

Testing of the new solid-fueled SLBM “Bulava”, designed for use on the new project 955 SSBNs will continue this year, according to the Commander in Chief of the Russian Navy Admiral Vysotskiy. “We will accept it when we are absolutely sure. Russia has invested a colossal amount of resources in the development of this new strategic weapon…”, the Admiral said. “There shouldn’t be a race. We will not accept a half-tested weapon into service.”

How much testing is enough? See the Soviet Era Documentary on SLBM trials and testing. The Bulava isn’t even close to that level of trials and testing yet.

Navy CinC: Russia Could Increase the Number of Ships at Sevastopol’

“The basing agreement allows us to base up to a hundred ships in the Black Sea Fleet and we have thirty five. We can have up to 25,000 sailors based there and we have 11,000. The question arises – what is keeping us from increasing numbers up to what we are allowed”, he explained to journalists in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. For Russia, he adds, it is not a question of preserving the Black Sea Fleet, but of developing it because of its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and because of its role of maintaining Moscow’s interests in the world oceans.

The Japanese Ship “Tsugaru” Arrives on Sakhalin for a Friendly Visit.

During the three day visit in Korsakov, the Japanese sailors will pay an official call on local officials, make a courtesy call on the Japanese General Council in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and participate in a cultural program.

The port visit is being conducted in honor of the 90th anniversary of the Border Guard Service in Russia and the 60th anniversary of the Japanese Maritime Safety Directorate. On 13 May, Sakhalin Border Guards paid a visit to the Japanese port of Yakogame.


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