Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 432

Arctic Yearbook 2014 432 naval and air bases on the Kola Peninsula and along the coasts of the Barents and White seas - the fleet includes nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), which operate in the Arctic area (including under the ice) and are protected by surface ships (including Russia’s sole aircraft carrier), nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft - Flagship of the Russian Navy “Pyotr Velikiy” nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser - 10 nuclear powered submarines with ballistic missiles - The Kuznetsov Class heavy aircraft carrying cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov”, which was launched in 1985 - a thick icebreaking capacity with the large icebreaker “50 Let Pobedy” - 4 small Project 97 icebreakers, capable of breaking thin ice - the Border Guard Service operates 3 Project 97P large armed icebreaking OPVs in the Northern Fleet area - over 20 civilian icebreakers, including several former navy ships - Russian SSBNs have become more active and in 2009 restarted operations near or under the Arctic ice. In 2009 SSBN launched a ballistic missile after breaking though the Arctic ice. Several older SSBNs are being modernized and new SSBNs are being built. It is likely that this larger and more active SSBN fleet will lead to an increase in surface ships and aircraft - need for escorts and patrol aircraft - while announced plans or visions that foresee several aircraft carriers and large numbers of submarines and escort and support ships are unlikely to be realized due to their high costs, a substantial increase in the Northern Fleet escort capabilities is likely - in addition, power-projection capabilities will increase with the introduction of new amphibious ships - 2 Mistral class amphibious assault/helicopter carrier The US - while not specifically adapted to ice conditions, the many US aircraft carriers, other major combat ships and amphibious warfare ships are generally capable of operating in northern weather conditions, but none of them are permanently or partly located in the Arctic - the annual large Northern Edge and Alaska Shield summer exercises included an aircraft carrier group in 2004 and 2009. - The US Navy’s only surface ship specifically adapted to Arcti