As Russia and China continue to develop militarily, it is suggested that the Russian navy may benefit with a large and powerful destroyer in the near future. Pravda reports that the primary objective of this vessel will be to create a so-called ‘umbrella’ above the sea.
Russian ‘Leader’ looms
This project is already underway, with the Russian destroyer referred to internally as the “Leader”, being produced under the secretive Project 23560. It is expected to be the most expensive Russian vessel for over two decades once it is made available to the Russian state, and will truly provide Russia with state-of-the-art naval technology.
This will be considered significant by United States government agencies, as the Washington authorities continue to monitor the build-up of Russian military power. While the US military unquestionably remains the most powerful on the planet, both Russia and China have been working expediently on improving their capabilities in this department.
In addition to the fact that both Russia and China have massively improved their technological capabilities, it is also important to note that the two Eastern nations have collaborated strongly in recent years. Although it is not quite appropriate to view their military machinery as a collective entity, at the same time there is little doubt that the two countries would cooperate in any military endeavors.
Early data related to this Russian vessel suggests that it will feature an ammunition-based around dozens of long-range anti-aircraft missiles. It is also suggested that the new flagship Russian ship will carry a combination of anti-aircraft missiles, cruise missiles and anti-submarine torpedo tubes. American analysts will already be considering the extent to which this could change the global naval paradigm.
While the United States continues to enjoy a position of military supremacy, the attempts by Russia to develop and build this super vessel indicate that the oil and gas superpower is attempting to close the gap with other nation’s fleets. The vessel is predicted to be 18,000-tonnes in weight by the time that it is constructed, and it will also certainly be nuclear-powered.
Reduced Radar Visibility
Pravda also reports that the design of the ship includes reduced radar visibility technology. This may particularly concern that the United States government, as it suggests a surprise element to the vessel that will naturally be of concern. Although precise data on the Russian destroyer is not available at the time of writing, it is known that missiles will be launched by the ship vertically, and can even turn where necessary. Information is seeping out of Russia also suggesting that the new destroyer will be equipped with gas turbine engines, suggesting that it will be powered by conventional fuel.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of this new Russian destroyer is the suggestion that its entire fuel policy has been dictated by the need to include 3D printers on board. It is predicted that 3D printing will be a common occurrence on board combat vessels in the foreseeable future, with printers utilized to produce plastic transport reconnaissance vehicles to engage in activities away from vessels. This may sound like a science-fiction future, but it is probably only a few years away. At this point in time, 3D printing remains an expensive technology, but the cost is coming down and will soon no longer be prohibitively priced.
Regardless of any gaps in information, the model of the Russian ‘Leader’ already exists and it seems certain that the new vessel will go live in the foreseeable future. The attempts of Russia to produce this incredibly hi-tech vessel suggests that the powerful country will make a huge effort to improve its military capabilities in the coming years.
The war goes on
This is just part of an overall rivalry between Russia, China and the United States. While military manoeuvres are an obviously tangible facet of this process, in reality this is a multifaceted conflict. Perhaps more important than the military capabilities of the nations is the economic battle that is currently taking place between two competing power blocs.
Both China and Russia form prominent aspects of the so-called BRIC nations, a relatively formal grouping of countries including India, Brazil and South Africa. This new prominent force in the world is challenging the Anglo-American consensus that has been built up over several decades, with the BRIC nations demanding a more pronounced role in international economic affairs.
In particular, the BRIC nations belief that they should be more readily represented in major global economic institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. These have been typically dominated by Western representatives in the 20th century and early years of the 21st century, as the institutions which were formed as part of the Breton Woods agreement continue to command world trade.
With the United States in particular extremely unreceptive to arguments that China and Russia should become more prominent in such institutions, the BRICS have even threatened to form their own central bank to challenge the existing economic hierarchy.
The manufacturing of this Russian destroyer is merely part of this process, as the great nations attempt to seriously rival the United States and craft a new world order that is more multi-polar in nature.