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Kremlin demands explanation why UK special forces have been tasked with countering Russian special operations
June 16, 2019

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The British ministries of defense and foreign affairs must explain publicly the reports in the British media that the UK special forces have been retasked with countering Russian special operations, said the spokesperson of the Russian Embassy in the UK.

“As far as we understand, these are still drafts that will be presented for approval by the political leadership. We would like to hope that the relevant politicians will not allow the soldiers and special forces to implement their dangerous ideas,” he said.

The Russian diplomat said that such publications are alarming.

“If it is actually true, then such a decision appears, firstly, mistaken, and secondly, questionable with respect to London’s compliance with its international legal obligations,” he concluded.

Recently BBC published an article claiming that a plan has been drafted to reassign the UK Special Forces from the fight against terrorism to the countering of foreign governments, especially Russia, which is believed to be conducting secret operations in the Baltic states and in Africa. If the plan is approved by the relevant leaders, the internal special forces divisions will be restructured, and several of them will start to cooperate more actively with the foreign intelligence service, MI6

 

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Shoygu promises Russian army completely new laser energy weapon
June 20, 2019


The Russian army will soon receive a completely new kind of weapon which utilizes laser and hypersonic technology, said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, as cited by TASS.

“In the near future, the army and the fleet will receive a completely new, unprecedented type of weapon, based on hypersonic and laser energy technology,” the minister said during a scientific conference attended by Russia’s military leaders.

He claimed that the first prototypes of the new weapon have already been delivered for trial use, but did not provide any specifics.

This is not the first time that the Russian government has talked about laser and hypersonic weapons being developed for the armed forces.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about “Peresvet” laser systems in March 2018 during his address to the Federal Assembly. At the time, he said that the systems would become operational in December 2018. Putin also mentioned the development of the “Sarmat” intercontinental strategic missile, a nuclear-powered cruise missile, and underwater drones. The president also unveiled the new “Tsirkon” hypersonic missile, which supposedly has a top speed of Mach 10 and a range greater than 1,000 km.

The defense minister later described these weapons as “unattainably effective”.

Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov later claimed that the first laser systems capable of destroying targets had been adopted into Russia’s armament in 2017.

According to the Russian president, it is precisely the laser weapons which will determine the Russian army and navy’s potential for “virtually the entire 21st century”.

In April 2019, Putin announced that “Kinzhal” hypersonic aerial missile systems were ready for use.

At the end of 2018, Colonel General Sergey Karakaev, commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces, said that rearmament of the forces with Sarmat missile systems would begin in 2021, and that the Dombarov division would receive the first prototypes of the hypersonic “Avant-garde” missile system in 2019.

 

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Congress wants the US military to challenge Russia with a new Arctic port
By: David B. Larter
22 June 2019

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Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Abney stands low-visibility watch on the forecastle of the destroyer Farragut in the Arctic Circle in 2018. The U.S. Navy is looking to have a more frequent presence in the high north. (MC2 Cameron Stoner/U.S. Navy)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military’s annual authorization working its way through the Senate directs the armed services and the Maritime Administration to identify and designated a new strategic port in the Arctic, a move meant to counter Russia’s presence at the top of the world.

The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that emerged from the Senate Armed Services Committee directs the defense secretary to work with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration to submit a report to Congress that evaluates potential sites for the port. It then requires the defense secretary designate one or more of the sites as “Department of Defense Strategic Arctic Ports” within 90 days.

The Senate is expected to vote on the NDAA next week.

A U.S. port in the Arctic would serve as a counter to recent Russian activity in the region, including the construction of its “Northern Clover” military base which features missiles, radars and military personnel.

Congress has been increasingly concerned over melting ice caps opening the potential for new northern trade routes, highlighting the U.S. shortfalls in, among other things, icebreakers. The U.S. has two icebreakers, but only one that barely works while the other serves as a parts locker. Meanwhile Russia has dozens of icebreakers including nuclear-powered ones.

Russia, with 7,000 miles of Arctic coast, sees the region as both a security liability and a key to its long-term economic success. Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2017 put estimates of the mineral wealth in the region at $30 trillion.

The U.S. Coast Guard in April awarded VT Halter a $750 million contract for detailed design and long-lead materials for a new icebreaker, the first of what the Coast Guard aims to be a small fleet of six icebreakers to meet rising needs in the high north.

Some see an American Arctic base as essential to addressing the melting ice and the potential for new trade routes there, but others see it as a throwback to Cold War-era symmetry policies that don’t take Russia’s vastly different security and economic needs fully into account.

Dan Goure, a former Bush administration defense official and analyst at the Lexington Institute, said that if the U.S. sees Russia as a competitor, as the former claims, then it has no choice but to start offsetting Russian activity in the Arctic. Furthermore, even a modest investment can have big yields, he said.

“They [the Russian government] see the Arctic as a vulnerable long flank — potentially the most vulnerable flank for air and missiles,” Goure said. “The plus side of putting a port up in [the Arctic] is that you don’t have to do a whole hell of a lot to force the Russians to put a lot of resources up there to counter it. The cost of maintaining, say, an airbase in the Arctic is enormous. And those are resources that could be used otherwise to threaten, for example, countries in Europe.”

Warmed-over Cold War?
Bryan Clark, a retired submarine officer and analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said thinking of Arctic bases the way people thought about missiles in the Cold War is unrealistic.

“We [the U.S.] have a coastline on the Arctic, but it’s not exactly the sea route that the northern sea route is,” Clark said, referring to a trade route that runs along Russia’s Arctic coast.

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The Russian military base dubbed "Northern Clover" is based on the island of Kotelny, beyond the Arctic Circle. (Maxime Popov/AFP via Getty Images)

“We don’t use the Arctic the same way the Russians do. We don’t have the same exposure as the Russians do. They’ve got 7,000 miles of coastline, it’s difficult to patrol and they’re somewhat neurotic about homeland defense anyway. It’s a perceived vulnerability on the part of Russia and has been for a long time, so they’ve always put a lot of money into the ability to break ice, maintain access.”

For all those reasons, one-for-one comparisons with Russia’s Arctic capabilities are misguided, he said. “Comparing our Arctic capabilities to theirs, it’s kind of off base because you are comparing two very different countries on things that they need in different amounts.”

The far end of the logistics chain’
Still, operating in the high north, given the changing conditions, is a good idea, Clark said, and having the military study it is worthwhile.

The problem, however, is when the fleet in the high north needs repair. Coast Guard ships would need to travel to somewhere like Kodiak, Alaska, and the Navy might need to transit back to Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state to get help.

Alternatively, the Navy could set up a forward way station of sorts somewhere like Nome, Alaska, which is along the state’s central-western coastline near the Bering Strait, where the fleet could receive support during months when the area is accessible. But putting something in a place on Alaska’s north slope, like Prudhoe Bay, could be ill-suited because melting permafrost will turn that area into a marshland.

“I think the idea of putting a base up in the far north is a bad idea,” Clark said. “It’s too expensive, and then you’ll build it and not be able to use it for a large part of the year. It becomes a white elephant. What might be a better idea would be to make a waypoint in Nome and use your afloat forward staging base for operations in the far north during the times of year when that is viable.”

Supporting ships in the Arctic from a logistics standpoint was identified as a risk area by U.S. Sixth Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti in a January interview with Defense News.

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group operated in the Norwegian Sea during the Trident Juncture exercise in October, and working through logistics challenges was a key takeaway from the drill, Franchetti said.
“Operating at the far end of the logistics chain, it was really important for us to see how we could do that, how it would work, and we took a lot of lessons from that,” she said.

 

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Russian Military to Commission Cutting Edge 'Sosna' Air Defence System - Source
24 June 2019

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Defence Ministry will introduce the nation's newest anti-aircraft missile system "Sosna" into service, according to a source in the press service of the holding Vysokotochnye Kompleksy, part of the state corporation Rostec.

"Cross-branch tests of the Strela-10ML anti-aircraft missile system (called Sosna anti-aircraft missile system when made for export) were successfully completed in May 2019. The Russian Defence Ministry has decided to introduce the system into service. Machine delivery is planned for 2022", the source said.

The Sosna missile system was designed to protect troops from aircraft attacks and aerial reconnaissance.

This system is capable of operating at any time of the day or night and in conditions of reduced visibility. Targets can be identified both manually and in autonomous mode.

The system is armed with 12 Sosna-R anti-aircraft guided missiles that can hit targets at a distance of up to 6 miles and at an altitude of 3 miles.

A modernised version of the missile system will be presented at an upcoming edition of the Army Forum.

The 5th International Military-Technical Forum Army-2019 will be held from 25 June to 30 June at the Patriot Convention and Exhibition Centre, at the Kubinka air base just outside Moscow. Currently, 62 nations have confirmed their participation in the event.

The system was first presented at the 2018 edition of the annual Army International Military-Technical Forum.

 

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Russia to Conduct Observation Flight Over US Territory 24-29 June
24 June 2019
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A group of Russian military observers will conduct observation flights over US and Swedish territory by 29 June, the official newspaper of the Russian Armed Forces, Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star), reported on Monday.

"One of them [the flights] will be conducted over the territory of the United States by Russia's Tu-154MLK-1 aircraft in the period from June 24-29, from the Open Skies Treaty airfield in Great Falls, with a maximum range of 5,130 kilometres [3,188 miles]. The other one will be conducted over Swedish territory by Russia's An-30B observation aircraft in the period from June 24-28, from the Open Skies Treaty airfield in Uppsala, with a maximum range of 1,700 kilometres", the newspaper reported.

The flights will be carried out under the international Open Skies Treaty.

The routes have been coordinated with the United States and Sweden, and US and Swedish experts on board of the Russian aircraft will control the use of surveillance equipment and compliance with the treaty, the newspaper added.

A French-German mission plans to conduct an observation flight over Russian territory aboard a French observation aircraft from 24-28 June.

 

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Russian Military Undergoing Op Readiness Check Amid Existing Terrorism-Related Threats
24 June 2019

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Sputnik / Pavel Gerasimov

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - An unexpected operational readiness check has begun in the troops and forces from the Russian Central Military District upon order of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.

"An unexpected check of troops and forces of the Central Military District started today according to the decision of the supreme commander of the Russian Armed Forces [Putin]", Shoigu said at a meeting with the leadership of the Russian Armed Forces.

He added that military officials from the Central Military District, as well as certain troops and forces from the Southern and the Eastern Military Districts and certain units from Russia's Airborne Troops and aviation, had been ordered to ensure the highest operational readiness.
Russian military to commission cutting edge 'Sosna' air defence system, source says Russian Military to Commission Cutting Edge 'Sosna' Air Defence System - Source pic.twitter.com/mEOfsc4j3c
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) June 24, 2019
According to Shoigu, the checks are aimed at assessing the Armed Forces' capability to ensure security in Central Asia, given existing terrorism-related threats.

Another aim of the checks is to assess the level of the troops' and forces' readiness for the upcoming military drills, dubbed Centre.

 

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Putin: US is not ready for dialogue with Russia

Monday, June 24, 2019


Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with NTV TV channel said that Russia is ready to develop relations with the United States as soon as they are ready for the dialogue.

According to the Russian President, the US understands that it wouldn't be possible to "push" Russia on any international issues like the situation in Iran or Venezuela, so the dialogue is necessary.

"I don't think that someone is trying to push us in resolving any issues. It seems that everyone understands that this is almost impossible. However, dialogue is needed. They have their idea of how to solve these or other issues, but we have our ideas. However, there can be no resolution without dialogue. Therefore, as soon as they are ready, we would be happy to develop these relations" — said the President.

Speaking about the US President Donald Trump, Putin noted that he makes decisions himself, but the current US system hampers him.

"We see that the current system in the United States limits him from doing many things that he would like to do. Though, many of his decisions depend on the political determination," he added.

According to President Putin, further development of relations of Russia with the United States depends on their side.

"I don't know what will happen next, but they will have to decide whether they need to develop relations with Russia or not. Therefore, if they need a dialogue, we are ready for it. If they don't need the dialogue, then we will wait until they are ready," he added.

 

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Russia Tests New Missile Defense System
The Russian Defense Ministry has published a video of a new test launch of the Russian anti-missile defense system (PRO). The launch took place at the Sary-Shagan test site in Kazakhstan. It is reported that the conditional goal was successfully hit. The missile defense system is in service with the Aerospace Forces, and is designed to protect against aerospace attacks.

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Russian MoD to receive BTR-82AT APCs
Dmitry Fediushko, Kubinka
25 June 2019


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The Russian MoD is set to receive its first BTR-82AT APCs, one of which is displayed at Army 2019. Source: Dmitry Fediushko

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is set to receive the first BTR-82AT armoured personnel carriers (APCs) this year, a military source told Jane's on the first day of the Army 2019 defence exhibition being held in Kubinka near Moscow between 25-30 June.

In early April Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed the MoD's intention to procure the upgraded APCs. "Starting in 2019, all BTR-82As will receive an upgraded fire-control system with a thermal imager and additional ballistic protection," Shoigu said at an MoD board meeting.

Military-Industrial Company (VPK) general director Alexander Krasovitskiy told Jane'sat Army 2019 on 25 June that the BTR-82AT had already completed trials. "The APC upgraded to the BTR-82AT standard is ready for production and delivery. We are waiting for a contract to be issued by the MoD," he said.

Unlike the baseline BTR-82A, the BTR-82AT is fitted with the TKN-4GA sighting system with a thermal imager and stabilised field of view. The APC carries a 9K129 tripod-mounted anti-tank guided missile system for the 9M133 Kornet missile in its troop compartment.

 

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U.S. Navy tracking movement of advanced Russian frigate in Cuba
The Admiral Gorshkov arrived in Havana on Monday, with the U.S. Northern Command confirming Wednesday it is tracking the frigate and two support vessels.
June 26, 2019
By Ed Adamczyk
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The USS Jason Dunham, pictured, is tracking the Admiral Gorshkov, an advanced Russian frigate, as the Russian ship arrived on Monday in Havana. Photo by MCS Spec. Tommy Lankin/U.S. Navy

June 26 (UPI) -- A U.S. Northern Command tweet confirmed on Wednesday that it is tracking a new and advanced Russian vessel as it travels near Cuba.

The Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command [NORAD] "are taking steps to actively track" a convoy of three ships led by the frigate Admiral Gorshkov as it arrived in Havana on Monday, a statement on Wednesday said.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham was about 50 nautical miles north of Havana on Tuesday tracking the Russian ships, which are believed to be heading to Venezuela.

The Admiral Gorshkov left its home port of Severomorsk, in the Arctic's Barents Sea, in February, for its first around-the-world voyage.

The first of its class of ships, Gorshkov employs stealth technology and a naval version of an electro-optic countermeasure system which fires a beam similar to a strobe light that makes it difficult for enemy combatants to aim weapons. The ship also carries conventional anti-ship and land-attack missiles.


The Russian Navy said only that the convoy's visit to Cuba is to "perform tasks in accordance with the long-range cruise plan and make business calls to the ports of some island states in the region."

Moscow has explained that "maintenance technicians" have been sent to Venezuela under preexisting military treaties with Caracas.

The arrival of the Admiral Gorshkov in Havana prompted a complaint from Elliott Abrams, U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela.

Abrams noted "a very troubling dichotomy where the United States is bringing humanitarian aid, bringing doctors and medicine and the Russian government, guided missile frigates, and military personnel to Venezuela."

"That speaks to some of the hypocrisy that we've seen with both Russia and Venezuela where they've said they don't want foreign troops in Venezuela," he added. "There aren't any U.S. foreign troops there, but there are certainly Russian foreign troops there. Right now, the USS Comfort hospital ship is heading into the Caribbean and South America, and will dock at a number of ports to bring medical care to Venezuelan refugees and locals, while Russia is sending its warship, the Gorshkov, and more military technicians to Venezuela."

The USS Comfort embarked on a visit to several Caribbean countries, to aid Venezuelan refugees, in June.

 

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Russia Demos High Altitude Reconnaissance Drone At Army 2019
29 June 2019

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Roselectronics holding company has demonstrated “Korsar” reconnaissance drone system capable of flying at high altitudes, in excess of 5000 meters, at the ongoing Army-2019 Forum being held in Kubinka, near Moscow.

The drone system can fly at altitudes exceeding 5000 meters, which places it out of the range of small arms and many types of man-portable air-defense systems, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The Korsar drone system consists of several separate UAVs and a control station. The UAV is designed for all-weather aerial terrain reconnaissance, patrol and observation flights, and aerial photography.

It weighs 200 kg, has a wingspan of 6.5 meters and fuselage length of 4.2 meters. Its engine allows the drone to make a continuous flight of up to 8 hours. The information gathered by the drone is processed and transmitted to the ground systems in real time.

In addition to military use, Korsar can be used to perform civilian tasks such as environmental, traffic and infrastructure monitoring, forest fire prevention and emergency search and rescue operations.

 

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Belarus plans to buy Russian Su-30SM fighter jets
29 June 2019

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Belarussian Minister of Defense Andrei Ravkov said that Belarus plans to purchase several Su-30SM fighter jets from Russia, reports Interfax.

"The contract is concluded, and it is confirmed. I know that these four aircraft are manufactured now, and are almost ready, so if President Lukashenko makes a decision, they will be purchased in the prescribed manner," he said.

The Minister noted that there are no specific delivery dates. "The contract was made on suspensive terms, linked to the availability of funding. As soon as the decision is made on financing, they will be purchased," Ravkov stressed.

In the summer of 2017, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported that Belarus signed a contract for the purchase of a batch of Su-30SM fighters from Russia to upgrade its combat aircraft fleet. The original plan was to buy 12 aircraft. The contract price was not specified. In early 2019, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu said that Belarusian armed forces will receive the first batch of Su-30SM fighters this year.

 

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Russia Orders 76 Su-57 Stealth Jets
29 June 2019
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Russia has placed an order for 76 Su-57 multi-role, stealth-capable, fifth-generation fighters at the ongoing Army 2019 event in the capital, Moscow.

“We’ve ordered 76 Sukhoi Su-57 fighters. They will be delivered to us by 2028,” Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said at the Forum.

The other mega-deal is the one for two Yasen-M nuclear-powered cruise-missile submarine for the Russian Navy.

In May 2019, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said that manufacturers reduced prices for both the aircraft and the equipment by 20%, which provided the opportunity to purchase more of these jets.

"We have agreed to purchase 76 fighters without the increase in prices in the same period of time," Russian President Vladimir Putin, said.

"In the nearest future we will sign a package contract to supply 76 such jets equipped with modern weapons of destruction and provided with the necessary land infrastructure," Putin asserted.
 

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Russian Navy To Get 2 New Yasen-M Nuclear-Powered Submarines
29 June 2019


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Yasen-class nuclear-powered submarine

Moscow has inked a deal for 2 new Yasen-M multipurpose nuclear-powered, cruise missile submarine for its navy at the Army-2019 event held in the capital between June 25-30, Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said Thursday.

"Today we have signed a number of large-scale deals. One of the contracts is for two new Yasen-class submarines. These are substantial volumes and a very significant contract," TASS reported quoting the minister as saying.

The Russian navy currently operates two types of cruise missile submarines - Project 949A Antey and Project 885 Yasen (and its modernized version Project 885M Yasen-M).

The Project 885 and Project 885M submarines have been developed by the St. Petersburg-based Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau. The Project 885M Yasen-M's lead submarine, Kazan, is undergoing sea trials while five more are being built.

Based on the Akula-class and Alfa-class, it is projected to replace Russia's Soviet-era nuclear attack submarines. They are presumed to be armed with land-attack cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, anti-submarine missiles including the P-800 Oniks, Kalibr, etc.

Yasen-class submarines are the first Russian SSNs/SSGNs to be equipped with a fourth-generation nuclear reactor. The reactor will reportedly have a 25-30 year core life and will not have to be refuelled.
 

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Russia put Project 133RA hydrofoil cruise missile gunboat on international market 01 JULY 2019
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A model of Project 133RA cruise missile gunboat, also called Antares RA

Russia is offering the world’s first hydrofoil gunboat armed with sea-launched cruise missiles to prospective buyers on the international naval hardware market, CEO and Chief Designer of Radar MMS Research and Production Company Georgy Antsev told TASS at the Army-2019 international military and technical forum on Friday, June 28.

The new Project 133RA gunboat has been named the Antares RA while Club missiles (the export version of Kalibr cruise missiles) have been chosen as its main armament, the chief executive said.

"We have offered a solution with Kalibr missiles to a certain market segment. This is an interesting solution, considering that the gunboat is quite a speedy vessel and features good seaworthy characteristics," Antsev noted.

Radar MMS and Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport (part of the state hi-tech corporation Rostec) are offering the Antares RA to various potential foreign customers, the chief executive said.

"This gunboat can be quite quickly packed with missile and artillery armament capable of striking both ground and naval targets," he said. The Antares-RA is an optimal solution for countries with limited defence spending and with an especially essential task to protect the water area, the chief executive pointed out.

"This is a ship for small states, which count their money," Antsev added, noting that the negotiations on the ship’s delivery were already underway. He did not specify, however, the countries, with which the company was holding negotiations.

As the Radar MMS head said, the Antares-RA gunboat has received modern communications and radar equipment. "An unmanned aerial vehicle can be attached to the gunboat for target acquisition."

The Project 133RA hydrofoil missile gunboat has been developed by the Alekseyev Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau (a strategic partner of Radar MMS). The gunboat displaces 226 tonnes and can develop a maximum speed of 60 knots. The ship is armed with four Club/Kalibr cruise missiles.

https://www.navyrecognition.com/ind...-missile-gunboat-on-international-market.html
 

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