Monday, January 26, 2015

Sanctions, collapse of oil prices taking toll on Russian shipbuilding

Two authorities on naval fleets say crippling sanctions by Europe and the U.S. imposed on Russia for its Ukraine incursion and the collapse of oil prices driven by U.S. ally Saudi Arabia are accelerating a decline in Russia's defense industry.
That's what I surmise from an article in Defense News over the weekend.
 "Putin doesn't have that much money. And with the drop in oil prices, they have very bad problems," according to naval analyst and author Norman Friedman,
The shipyards have lost much of their submarine-building expertise.
"A lot of people quit the yards" when construction all but ended, he said. "If they lost a lot of their smarter people, there's a difficulty in recreating what they had. Coming back 15 years later and trying to recreate it is kind of dubious."
development," said Bryan Clark, a former U.S. Navy submariner and strategist, now an analyst with the Center for
Bryan Clark, former U.S. Navy submarine strategist and analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, agrees.
"Their industrial base is weakened from two decades of not being used. You've got a significant reduction in the number of skilled engineers, the aging out of people who otherwise would be part of the Russian design base.
"While Russian engineering and technology development is top-notch, they don't necessarily have the people to be able to do all the legwork necessary to take an idea into a reality. That's why you see things like submarines taking 10 or more years to construct, because they just don't have the design and construction base to support high-rate production."

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