Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Russia Wants The Same Amphibious Capability As The US Marine Corps
In 2014, Russia was on its way to filling a major capacity gap that emerged during the 2008 Russo-Georgia conflict; namely, a significant lack of amphibious assault capability.
During the short conflict, Russia deployed three ancient landing ships with a combined displacement of over 8,000 tons to the Black Sea, landing troops in the uncontested port of Ochamchire in the Russia-friendly breakaway province Abkhazia. Not only was it an unopposed landing, but their ground vehicles arrived by rail, indicating minimal capabilities to move them by landing ship.
In the decade since, Russia has made several moves to remedy this inability to deploy little green men and little green tanks ashore with minimal success. Russia originally planned on using for two sweet French Mistral Amphibious Assault ships purchased back in 2011 to fill this gap, the deal was so far along that Russia sent naval crews to France for training on the new vessels. But following a bout of Russian aggression in eastern Europe, France opted to not sell warships to the newly-aggressive Moscow, leaving the latter without an efficient way to invade small countries by sea despite examining several alternatives.
Despite this setback, Russian shipbuilding player Nevskoye Design — known for designing the Kirov-class nuclear-powered battlecruiser among other things — has recently laid out a proposal to build a universal landing ship (UHL) for the Russian navy, a major step towards actually laying down a keel for a mobile drydock.
This helicopter carrier, which will be able to service a pile of helos, air cushioned hovercraft, and traditional landing ships, will also be able to facilitate the transport of a metric fuckton of Russian troops to shore while handling the logistics of keeping those little green men going until Victory Day. Extrapolating from Universal Landing Ships of similar size, it would be able to haul around 500 troops and their tanks, APCs, and weaponized donkeys. Not too shabby.
A model of the Lavina proposal for a UHL for the Russian Navy.Russian Social Media
Details on the final design for the new vessel are scant, and the images released so far are either models of the Lavina UHL or derived from a Soviet-era UHL proposal. Both of those mockup designs do share similarities, and the recent UHL proposal may end up resembling a slightly larger version of the Japanese Defense Forces’ Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer, boasting a displacement of 30,000 tons versus the Hyūga’s 19,000.
Either way, the new UHL appears to be designed to work in conjunction with the smaller, brand-spanking new Ivan Gren landing ships that displace 6,600 tons. The combination of the Ivan Grens and the proposed UHL would give the Russian navy a significant expeditionary amphibious capability, one that was not present when the Russian navy blockaded tiny Georgia in 2008.
The amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney and the Russian navy landing ship Kaliningrad are underway in formation on the second day of Baltic Operations exercise 2010.Dept Of Defense
With Russia’s recent overseas adventurism heating up, it seems like a prime time for the Russian ministry of defense to invest in transport capacity. The only thing holding Russia back from building the shiny new surface vessels has been the tenuous economic position it finds itself in thanks to said overseas adventurism. Since 2014, Russia has had trouble accessing certain energy markets, which is a huge blow to the gas-powered Russian economy. The country has also been blocked from using global financial markets under new sanctions, sanctions which caused Moscow’s defense budget to contract by 17% from last year.
Despite sanctions and budget cuts, Russia has steamed ahead with its military modernization program, which has included massive upgrades and refits for surface vessels, and the launch of new surface combatants like the stealthy Gorshkov-class frigate. It’s easy to write this proposal off as a pipe-dream, but an amphibious assault ship has been a huge priority for the Russian navy for about a decade, and something has to transport those ancient T-72s to the Middle East.
A enlisted thinktank brought to you by Task & Purpose
Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal officially endorsed Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) for president on July 18. A former Marine infantry officer who deployed to Iraq four times, Moulton joined McChrystal on MSNBC to discuss the endorsement, and whether he's bothered that he hasn't found a spot on the crowded Democratic debates so far.
The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer shot down an Iranian drone Thursday in the Strait of Hormuz, President Donald Trump announced.
"The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone which had closed into a very, very near distance – approximately 1,000 yards – ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew," Trump said during a White House ceremony. "The drone was immediately destroyed."
"This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters," he continued. "The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities, our interests and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran's attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce. I also call on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the Strait and to work with us in the future."
The Army may be celebrating its prized Army Futures Command (AFC) reaching full operational capability, but the organization's leaders still have quite a to-do list in front of them.
AFC commander Gen. John Murray briefed reporters on Thursday alongside Bruce Jette, the Army's Assistant Secretary of Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, on the progress of the Army's modernization roadmap and what's coming down the pipe to help soldiers soldiers win the conflicts of the future.
But while that lawmakers skirted questions on the war in Afghanistan during former Secretary of the Army Mark Esper's confirmation hearing for defense secretary this week, AFC's top priority remains, first and foremost, the soldiers fighting in conflict zones right now.
The official trailer for Top Gun: Maverick is here, and if you were praying to God there would be another volleyball scene, you are in luck.
Slated to hit theaters in 2020, the sequel to 1986 classic features Tom Cruise back in the role of Maverick, only this time he's a Navy captain behind the stick of an F/A-18 Hornet.
The two-minute trailer features a number of throwbacks to the original Top Gun: There's Maverick pulling the cover off his motorcycle and driving down the flight line, a shirtless volleyballer (there was no way you would have escaped this), and a piano-playing scene with Great Balls of Fire, my man.
Directed by Joseph Kosinski, the film also stars Jon Hamm, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, and Ed Harris. The film hits theaters on June 26, 2020.
Watch the trailer below:
Top Gun: Maverick - Official Trailer (2020) - Paramount Pictures www.youtube.com