The Naval command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has unveiled its development strategy for the Navy until 2035, which will enable it to oppose Russian aggression at sea.
“The Naval Command believes that one of the primary tasks in the restoration of the fleet is to lay the foundations for the systematic and reliable development of the Navy as a form of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian Navy posted on its official Facebook page.
Virtually everyone employed in the security sector will work on the Navy’s development strategy: soldiers, civilians, scientists, analysts, representatives of partner states and volunteer organizations.
“We understand clearly that the threats from the sea direction are real, and the situation in the Black and Azov seas has a tendency to escalate. Russia has not renounced its aggressive intentions, and is waging a coordinated hybrid war against Ukraine, even at sea. Its groups in Crimea are increasing, the capabilities of the Black Sea Fleet are growing quantitatively and qualitatively, and the naval groups of the FSB border service have been reinforced repeatedly,” the statement reads.
The Naval Command emphasizes that all Russian military drills at sea are of a patently offensive character.
“Most of our exclusive economic (sea) zone is effectively occupied by Russia, Ukrainian sea resources are being robbed. As a hidden element of the blockade, ships using Ukraine’s ports are being artificially detained at the Kerch strait and in the Sea of Azov. Russian aggression in the Black and Azov seas is a reality,” the Ukrainian Navy states.
The Command understands that the ability to respond adequately to Russia’s naval aggression is extremely limited by financial resources, the state of the economy, and time, and so the decision was made to focus efforts on gradual restoration of the Navy.
“We are constructing a balanced Navy, which will be capable of dealing with all tasks our government assigns. In the first stage this will be a coastal fleet, in the second – a mosquito fleet, and in the third – a balanced one,” the report states.
The first stage will be to restore the coastal zone’s defenses (there are already coastal artillery, marines and small armored boats; next – assault landing boats), the second stage is the defense of the near zone (missile boats, coastal missile systems and patrol planes are being developed), the third is the protection of the distant zone, i.e. all the waters of the Black Sea (corvettes, submarines and strike aircraft will be needed).
“The road to the restoration of the fleet is long and hard, but it needs to be taken in order to ensure Ukraine’s security and to protect its interests at sea. And we will take it, because there is no other choice,” the Navy pledged.