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Apr 2, 2017
China joins Russia in development of rocket-launched reconnaissance UAV
Russia’s Tecmash Research and Production Group has teamed up with China to continue carrying out experimental design to develop a reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is launched from inside a munition launched by the 9K58 Smerch multiple rocket system (MRS), Alexander Kochkin, the company’s deputy CEO, was quoted by the TASS news agency as saying on 30 March.

"Joint experimental design work with the Chinese side is under way," he said during the ArmHiTec-2018 defence exhibition in Armenia, adding that the co-operation “has been agreed with Russia’s Defence Ministry in accordance with the established procedure”.

According to TASS, MRS manufacturer Splav, a subsidiary of Tecmash, announced in February 2017 that it had developed a project “on its own initiative” to create a UAV that can be launched from inside a munition launched from the Smerch.

Russia Adopts the RPK-16 Light Machine Gun

At the end of the past month, we reported about the adoption of AK-12, AK-15, AEK-971, and AEK-973 rifles by the Russian military. Back then it was not clear if they are going to adopt the RPK-16 lightmachine gun, too. Today, Kalashnikov Concern and TASS news agency announced that the Kalashnikov Concern and the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation have signed a contract concerning the procurement of RPK-16 LMGs. In other words, Russia has adopted the RPK-16.

RPK-16 was first introduced during the ARMY 2016 arms exhibition. It is a modern light machine gunchambered in 5.45x39mm caliber. One of the key features of this LMG is the possibility of changing the barrel without a use of tools.

RPK-16 features a side folding and telescoping stock, ergonomic pistol grip with cleaning kit storagecompartment inside it, Krebs style safety selector and a new muzzle device. The top cover has two attachment points which makes it a more rigid platform for mounting optics on the built-in Picatinny rail. The aperture rear iron sight is placed at the rear of the top cover. It is windage and elevation adjustable just like other RPK rear sights.

RPK-16 has a polymer handguard with built-in top and bottom Picatinny rails. It is also possible to attach rails on the sides of the handguard. The gun is fed from standard 5.45x39mm AK magazines but there are also new 95-round drum magazines designed for this firearm.
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Russian Military to Get Several New S-400 Air Defense System Regiments

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Three new regiments of S-400 Triumf air defense systems will enter operational service of the Russian Aerospace Forces in 2018, Russian Aerospace Forces Commander Col. Gen. Sergei Surovikin said Sunday.

"Modern S-400 Triumf, S-300 Favorit air defense systems, Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile and gun systems are operational in anti-aircraft missile troops of the Russian Air Force. In 2017 only, four anti-aircraft missile regiments were re-equipped with S-400 Triumf. Another three S-400 will enter service of the Russian Aerospace Forces in 2018," Surovikin told reporters.

He added that a total of five anti-aircraft missile regiments equipped with S-400 systems were maintaining air defense of Moscow and Russia's central industrial district.

"The task of air defense of Moscow and the central industrial district of the country is assigned to the air and missile defense special operations unit of the Russian Aerospace Forces… At present, five anti-aircraft missile regiments, equipped with the latest S-400 Triumf air defense systems, are maintaining air defense of the area within this unit," Surovikin said.

The S-400 Triumph is Russia's next-generation mobile surface-to-air missile system and can carry three different types of missiles capable of destroying aerial targets at a short-to-extremely-long range. The weapon is designed to track and destroy various types of aerial targets, from reconnaissance aircraft to ballistic missiles
What, U.S. Worry? Russia Threatens Retaliation For Latest Sanctions
After Moscow seized Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014, the United States hit back hard, slapping Russian officials with asset freezes, and financial and travel restrictions.

Russia responded with threats -- "A response of Moscow will follow, and it will be painfully felt in Washington, D.C.," a top official said at the time -- but when it came, retaliation was mainly an embargo on food items from the West that stoked inflation and left Russian consumers scrambling for foreign delicacies like Parmesan cheese (plus a spate of sudden sanitary inspections of McDonald's restaurants in Moscow).

Four years later, Russia is again fuming and threatening harsh retaliation -- this time over U.S. sanctions that, in the short term, are turning out to be far more potent and damaging to the Russian economy.

The measures, announced on April 6, hit seven of Russia's wealthiest businessmen, along with 17 government officials. The move sent shock waves through the economy, with the ruble down 10 percent compared to the U.S. dollar as of April 10, and the main Russian stock index falling 13 percent. Forbes magazine estimated that the 50 richest Russians ...MORE

Trump says relations with Russia worse than during the Cold War
US President Donald Trump says US-Russia relations are "worse now" than they were during the Cold War due to Moscow's support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and escalating tensions over a suspected poison gas attack near the Syrian capital Damascus.

"Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this," Trump wrote Wednesday on Twitter.

"Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?" he wrote.

An alleged chemical weapons attack hit the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta region in the suburban area near Damascus late on Saturday, reportedly killing at least 60 people and wounding more than 1,000 others.

The alleged attack and subsequent airstrikes on a Syrian air base that Iranian, Syrian and Russian governments blamed on US ally Israel
have escalated tensions in the already volatile region.

Two Israeli F-15 warplanes carried out strikes from Lebanese air space on T-4 air base in Homs on Sunday that killed and wounded several people. Syrian air defense systems shot down five out of eight missiles fired. ...MORE
Russia launches 14th Project 03160 ‘Raptor’ patrol boat

Russian shipbuilder Pella Shipyards has launched the navy’s 14th Project 03160 high speed patrol boat.

Boat number 12 was commissioned into Russian Navy service with the Baltic Fleet in 2017, while the 13th vessel was launched in August 2017.

The boats are also referred to as “Raptors” and are the fastest vessels in the Russian Navy, capable of reaching of up to 50 knots, according to the shipbuilder.

All boats in the class are built by Pella Shipyards at its facility in Otradnoye, Leningrad region.

The 2200 hp, 17-meter ships are designed to navigate the coastal zone of seas, straits and mouths of rivers during ice-free periods. They can transport up to 20 persons and operate within 100 miles of the shore.

The boats are armed with a 14.5 millimeter gun with a remotely controlled with a gyro-stabilized electro-optical module (GOEM). They also have two 7.62 mm 6P41 “Pecheneg” machine guns.

Raptors are strikingly similar in design to the Swedish Combat Boat 90 (CB 90) which the Swedish shipbuilder Dockstavarvet has been delivering to the Swedish Navy since 1989. It has, however, never been confirmed that Project 03160 boats are licensed copies of the Swedish design.
U.S. To Hit Russia With Sanctions Over Support For Assad
The United States plans to announce new targeted sanctions against Russia over Moscow's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on U.S. television on April 15 that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would announce the new sanctions on April 16.

"They will go directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical-weapons use," Haley said.

"I think everyone is going to feel it at this point," she added. "I think everyone knows that we sent a strong message, and our hope is that they listen to it."

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that Moscow had been informed of the looming sanctions.

"I can really confirm that the sanctions are to be imposed on Russia without any link to reality," she said on Russian television. "If earlier they used to say they were punishing us for Ukraine, now the wording has been changed dramatically. Now they punish us for the mere ...MORE
Russia, Despite Military Ventures, Cut Defense Spending By Most In Decades
Western sanctions and a long recession forced Russia's military to slash spending by 20 percent last year, its first drop in nearly two decades, a closely followed think-tank report said.

Despite Russia's flexing of its military muscle around the world, with its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, its backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine, and its involvement in the Syrian civil war since 2015, Moscow has been forced to cut military spending in a way that throws future operations into question, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a report released late on May 1.

Russia's sharp military cutback occurred while military spending reached a post-Cold War high elsewhere around the world in 2017, led by higher spending in the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia, the report said.

While global military spending rose by 1 percent to $1.74 trillion, Russia's spending fell 20 percent to $66.3 billion, the report said. ...MORE
Putin Tries Adding Weight To Iran Conflict With U.S.
Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel have an ally in Russia. When it comes to Washington (and Tel Aviv’s) penchant for calling foul on the Iranian nuclear deal, the two largest economies in the eurozone can count on Vladimir Putin to stand in their corner.

Putin reiterated Russia’s position that the Iranian nuclear deal made by former president Barack Obama is “of paramount importance for ensuring international stability and security” and must be “strictly observed by all parties,” the Kommersant business daily reported on Tuesday.

Putin reportedly discussed the Iranian nuclear power deal with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who just hours before had come out with his own intelligence agency’s report alleging evidence that the Islamic Republic was indeed enriching uranium for military use and not just for energy use. The report said that Israel initiated the call.

Netanyahu accused Iran of lying about developing nuclear weapons yesterday, with the link masters over at the Drudge Report showing a picture of “Bibi” — as the Israeli Prime Minister is known — standing by what looks like a large slide slow presentation with the words “Iran lied” in bold type. The S&P 500 fell another half a percent on the news. Netanyahu claims Israeli has roughly 100,000 documents showing Iran’s breach of contract. Washington immediately gave the documents its blessing of authenticity ...MORE
Take the below item with a grain of salt; it's from TASS ;)
Mig-31 with "carrier killer" missile now total 10 examples...
Ten MiG-31 fighter jets (NATO reporting name: Foxhound) fitted with the air-launched Kinzhal (Dagger) hypersonic missile are on test combat duty, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said in an interview published on the Zvezda TV channel website on Saturday.

"It is a cutting-edge weapon, namely a hypersonic long-range missile capable of overcoming air and missile defenses. It is invincible, having serious combat might and potential. The MIG-31 is its carrier as the jet is the most fitted for accelerating this missile to required speeds," he said.

"In support that it is not something exotic, [I’ll say] today ten jets have gone on test combat duty and are ready for use depending on the situation," Borisov said.

The project of the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic missile platform was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly on March 1.

According to the Russian president, the Kinzhal missile flying at more than 10 times the speed of the sound is capable of maneuvering and overcoming existing and future air defense and anti-ballistic missile defense systems. Since December 1, 2017, Kinzhal hypersonic missile systems have been on experimental and combat duty.
Initially, the MiG-31BM was named as the aircraft to carry Kinzhal hypersonic missile systems. Later, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the MiG-31K had been picked as a carrier for Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.
Borisov also said that Peresvet laser combat system is likely to be shown at a Victory Day parade in Moscow in a span of two or three years, as now it is being upgraded.
"I think it is possible in two or three years, since the work is underway to upgrade the complex. If today it requires rather many support vehicles, it will be quite compact soon. Perhaps, we will show it to the public, too," Borisov said when asked if the laser system would be presented during the Victory Day parade.
Putin Starts New Term After Protests, Amid Tension With West
Vladimir Putin has been sworn in to a new six-year term as Russian president, vowing to "serve the people" and improve their lives while protecting what he called a country of "great victories and feats."

Putin took the oath of office in a midday ceremony in an ornate Kremlin hall on May 7, with his right hand on a red-bound copy of the Russian Constitution.
As head of state, I will do everything in my power to increase the might, prosperity, and glory of Russia," Putin said in a speech, telling Russians, "The goal of my life and work will be, as before, to serve the people and our fatherland."

A Kremlin statement shortly after the ceremony said Putin nominated Dmitry Medvedev to stay on as prime minister, signaling continuity despite his repeated calls for an economic "breakthrough." ...MORE
Putin Hits Out At U.S. In Red Square Parade Speech
Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued veiled criticism of the United States in a speech before a Red Square parade marking the anniversary of Germany's defeat in World War II, listing "pretentions to exceptionalism" as a factor that drove Nazi aggression and saying such attitudes remain a threat to global security today.

As former Soviet republics marked May 9 in starkly different ways or not at all, meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called Russia an aggressor and likened Kyiv's conflict with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine to the defense against the Nazi onslaught decades ago.

Putin spoke on Moscow's Red Square, addressing an annual Victory Day military parade two days after he was sworn in for a fourth presidential term.
Thousands of troops marched, and heavy weapons such as Iskander missile launchers rolled across the cobblestone square in a show of might at the start of a six-year term that comes amid severe tension with the West over Moscow's military action in Ukraine and Syria, among other issues. Warplanes screamed overhead.

"War is always a challenge to life itself, to all the best in it. We remember the tragedies of two world wars, the lessons of history -- they do not let us shut our eyes," Putin said.

"Behind new threats stand the same ugly, old traits: egoism and intolerance, aggressive nationalism and pretentions to ...MORE
Russian shipbuilder Pella has launched the Project 22800 second serial missile corvette Shkval.

The launching ceremony took place at Pella’s new shipbuilding complex on May 5, 2018.

With a length of 67 meters and a width of 11 meters, the fast attack craft was designed to combat operations in the near sea zone, fulfilling both military and humanitarian tasks.

The 800-ton ship can reach a speed of up to 30 knots and has a cruising range of 2,500 nautical miles.

Project 22800 corvettes were designed by Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau. They are armed with Kalibr cruise missiles, a 76.2 mm AK-176MA naval gun, two 30 mm cannons and a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun.

The Project 22800 Karakurt-class corvettes are being built in order to renew the Russian Navy’s fleet. The project encompasses a total of eighteen corvettes ordered or planned to be ordered from several shipyards in Russia.
Russian Navy’s Project 11711 landing ship Ivan Gren has successfully completed sea trials, shipbuilder Yantar said in a statement.

As informed, the seaborne part of the trials of the large amphibious assault ship Ivan Gren was completed on May 3. The newbuild was tested in the Baltic Sea.

The trials for the landing ship were aborted in late 2017 after it had been discovered that the ship was not able to run astern.

By March 2018, the technical issues were resolved, allowing the vessel to complete tests.

Ivan Gren is currently located in the shipyard’s harbor and will undergo technical review and finishing work.

Yantar added that the ship is expected to be delivered to the Russian Navy by the end of May.

Ivan Gren is the lead ship of a new class of Russian Navy landing ships built to replace the old Project 1171 Alligator-class LSTs. The second ship in the class, Peter Morgunov, is scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2018.

Project 11711 ships displace between 5,000 and 6,000 tons and carry up to 13 main battle tanks or 36 armored personnel carriers.
The Russian Navy is scheduled to commission its sixth Project 21631 corvette ‘Vyshny Volochyok’ by the end of this month, the Russian defense ministry announced on Tuesday.

Vyshny Volochyok is part of the Buyan-M class of corvettes, an upgraded version of the three Project 21630 (Buyan) vessels which were built for Russia’s Caspian Fleet between 2004 and 2012.

Vyshny Volochyok is currently in the final stage of state trials in the city of Novorossiysk and is to be commissioned by the Russian Navy this month.

The corvette will become the first in its class to join the Black Sea fleet.

The upgraded Project 21631 small missile ships have increased displacement and armament which includes the Russian long-range cruise missile system Kalibr-NK. They are built at the Zelenodolsk Shipyard under a contract signed in 2010.

According to the Russian Navy, the Buyan-M corvettes displace about 1,000 tons, reach a maximum speed of 23 knots and have a crew of over 50 sailors.
Ok, I have to post this article here. It's from pro-Kremlin source. In short, in light of sanctions and break off relations with Ukraine, Russia is not capable at the moment to produce vessels for blue navy. Everything is essentially coastal defense. the range of the above ships at sea with no-resupply is just 10 days.

"Shallow waters" navy as it called now by Russian experts. Once again, from loyal to Kremlin source.
MI5 Chief: Russia Has Unleashed A 'Fog Of Lies' And Risks Becoming An 'Isolated Pariah'
Russia is seeking to undermine European democracies and sow doubt in the West through malign activities and a "fog of lies," the head of Britain's domestic spy agency has told European intelligence chiefs.

In a May 14 address in Berlin, MI5 chief Andrew Parker said that Russia was carrying out "aggressive and pernicious actions" and risks becoming an "isolated pariah."

Parker's address to the gathering hosted by Germany's BfV domestic intelligence service was the first public speech outside Britain by a serving head of the agency.

Parker said that a March nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his dauLondon has blamed Moscow for the poisoning of Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence operative who became an informant for Britain's MI6 foreign spy service, in the first use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War II.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia was a "deliberate and targeted malign activity" on British soil, and one of Moscow's "flagrant breaches of international rules." Skripal and his daughter were both found unconscious on a bench in the English city of Salisbury on March 4. Moscow has repeatedly rejected the accusation that it was behind the attack.

Parker also condemned what he called a disinformation campaign mounted by Russia following the attack.

He said there was a need "to shine a light through the fog of lies, half-truths, and obfuscation that pours out of their propaganda ...MORE
The Russian Navy has shared a video of its lead Borei-class submarine Yuriy Dolgorukiy firing a salvo of four RSM-56 Bulava submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM).

The test took place on May 22 and saw the Project 955 submarine launch the SLBMs towards the Kura testing range from a submerged position in the White Sea.

The Russian Navy says this is the first time the Yuriy Dolgorukiy has launched this number of missiles in a salvo since entering service in January 2013.

This is, however, not the first time we are witnessing the Borei-class submarine perform Bulava SLBM tests. In June 2017, the Russian defense ministry shared video footage of the Yuriy Dolgorukiy launching a single missile from the Barents Sea towards the Kamchatka peninsula. The 2017 test was deemed a success, according to the defense ministry which said the data showed that the SLBM completed its full flight cycle and successfully hit the targets at the test site.

Yuriy Dolgorukiy is the lead ship of a new class of submarines intended to replace the Delta III, Delta IV and Typhoon classes in Russian Navy service. The submarine was laid down in November 1996 and commissioned in January 2013.

The 170-meter-long boat carries 16 missile tubes and is capable of housing 160 nuclear warheads.
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The Russian Navy’s second Project 11711 landing ship ‘Petr Morgunov’ was launched in the Baltic Sea city of Kaliningrad on May 25.

The ceremony was held at the main shipyard of the Yantar shipyard

The launch of Peter Morgunov comes shortly after the Russian Navy announced that the lead ship in the class, Ivan Gren completed sea trials earlier this month.

Designed by the Nevsky Design Bureau, Petr Morgunov is built under a September 2014 contract between the shipbuilder and the Russian defense ministry. The ship was laid in June 2015.

Ivan Gren-class landing ships are built to replace the old Project 1171 Alligator-class LSTs. Overall six ships in the class were planned for construction but the number was later reduced to just two ships.

Project 11711 ships displace between 5,000 and 6,000 tons, and carry up to 13 main battle tanks or 36 armoured personnel carriers.
Moscow Court Sentences Ukrainian Journalist To 12 Years In Prison For Espionage
A Russian court has sentenced Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko to 12 years in prison after convicting him of spying in a case that Kyiv and rights activists say is politically motivated.

At a June 4 hearing, the Moscow City Court found Sushchenko guilty of espionage and sentenced him to 12 years in a strict-regime prison.

The verdict and sentence are likely to add to international scrutiny on Russia ahead of the 2018 soccer World Cup, which it is hosting from June 14 to July 15. A lawyer for Sushchenko, Mark Feigin, said he would appeal the verdict.

Kyiv, human rights activists, and Western governments say Russia has jailed several Ukrainians on trumped-up, politically motivated charges since Moscow seized the Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and threw its support behind armed separatists in eastern Ukraine ...MORE

Russia's Putin signs US counter-sanctions legislation
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a counter-sanctions bill in response to the US' latest sanctions against the country.

The Monday signed legislation will be applied to any state or person for "hostile actions" against Russia and permits authorities to halt international cooperation with foreign states, and to impose import and export restrictions and other measures

The new measures, designed to safeguard "economic interests and security," was drafted by State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and the heads of all four parliamentary caucuses in mid-April and approved by Russian lawmakers by the end of May.

On April 6, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the fresh sanctions on the Russian Oligarchs and 12 companies they own, 17 senior Russian officials and a state-owned arms export firm, over a range of activities, including Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. ...MORE

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