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Bulava chief designer explains latest delay — failure to dredge canal

January 29th, 2011 Comments off

The December launch of the Bulava strategic rocket from the Yuri Dolgoruky submarine was delayed due to complicated weather conditions, Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology General Designer, Bulava developer Yuri Solomonov told Interfax-AVN.

“There was a certain combination of circumstances. The thickness of the ice was immaterial in contrast to the conditions under which the submarine was due to reach the launch zone. The state commission decided not to expose the Yuri Dolgoruky to the risk and delayed the launch until summer when the White Sea, the bay and the canal are free from the ice,” he said.

“The submarine leaves the bay through a very narrow canal, which is deepened every spring. The canal is not very deep, and the distance between the submarine keel and the canal bottom is only one meter. Under these improbable conditions, the submarine travels through the canal that is over 100 meters long,” Solomonov said.

“A icebreaker goes first, but the submarine also has to move the ice. The submarine weight and engine make this possible. However, when one ice block locks with another, the submarine could run aground,” he said.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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Sovcomflot rebuffs 4 pirate attacks on its ships in 2 month period

January 29th, 2011 Comments off

The Sovcomflot group of companies successfully suppressed four attempts made by sea pirates to seize its vessels in December and January, a Sovcomflot spokesman told Interfax.

“In November 2010, we introduced amendments into Sovcomflot’s security policy demanding that armed security guards be present on board vessels owned by the group sailing in dangerous areas,” the spokesman said.

Decisions to order armed security guards to step in are made based on risk and vessel vulnerability assessments, as well as analysis of the current situation, he said.

“We started to use armed security guards on certain occasions in 2009. Convoys of ships are usually escorted by groups of Russian marines. In July 2010, we began hiring privately owned firms, including foreign security companies employing former Russian servicemen and former special service officers,” the spokesman said.

At the moment, such security guards are present aboard three Sovcomflot vessels sailing in dangerous areas of the Indian Ocean.

The number of shipping companies around the world that hire armed security guards to protect their ships from pirates, including in the Suez Canal, has been growing.

The Danish Ship Owners’ Association called on Denmark’s government to simplify the procedure for deploying armed security guards on board cargo and commercial vessels traveling in dangerous regions.

However, experts have noted the high cost of placing armed security guards on board vessels, which could also create certain difficulties during entry into ports.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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Bribery scandal rocks Border Guards

December 26th, 2010 Comments off

Four Japanese companies fishing walleye pollack in Russia’s exclusive economic zone paid a total of \500 million in cash to Russian border guards for three years through last year to buy their tacit permission for catches exceeding quotas, it has been learned.

Taxation authorities have imposed back taxes on the four companies for trying to conceal part of their incomes by disguising the backdoor payments as legitimate expenses, sources said.

The four companies said they had to pay the illicit money to Russian officials to be allowed to catch more than they are allowed because the fishing quotas decided through bilateral Japan-Russia fishery negotiations have decreased in recent years. This year’s Japan catch quota of walleye pollack from Russian waters is 10,952 tons.

Observers warned that revelation of apparent bribes paid to Russian officials might negatively impact Japan-Russia relations.

According to the sources, the Sapporo and Sendai regional taxation bureaus accused Wakkanai Kaiyo in Wakkanai, Hokkaido; Kanai Gyogyo in Kushiro, Hokkaido; Kaiyo Gyogyo in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture; and Sato Gyogyo in Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture; of trying to conceal a portion of their incomes.

Penalty taxes, including heavy additional taxes, imposed on the companies totaled \150 million, though no heavy additional tax was imposed on Sato Gyogyo because it was in the red.

The four companies were quoted as telling the taxation authorities that they paid the cash to Russian border guards aboard their ships to have them overlook catches exceeding the official quotas. However, the taxation authorities considered the acts to be attempts by the companies to conceal part of their incomes because the firms disguised the use of the money during tax procedures by drawing up fictitious contract documents, the sources said.

The four companies operated deep-sea trawlers in the Bering Sea and other waters in the region to fish walleye pollack. One also operated other types of fishing boats in seas around the Russian-occupied northern territories. Russian border guards, dubbed “observers,” would board such Japanese ships to check adherence to fishing quotas.

Experts noted that bilateral fishery negotiations in recent years have resulted in reduced catch quotas in the seas concerned, because Tokyo has been extremely cautious not to negatively affect the northern territories issue.

Moreover, bribing foreign government officials might constitute a violation of the nation’s Unfair Competition Prevention Law, even if the money is paid abroad.

The president of Wakkanai Kaiyo told The Yomiuri Shimbun that the taxation authorities refused to accept his explanation of the issue, while Kanai Gyogyo’s president said he did not know anything. The head of Kaiyo Gyogyo declined comment to the Yomiuri and referred all questions on the issue to the taxation authorities, while Sato Gyogyo’s president said the taxation authorities told him about three years ago to pay the back taxes.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Russia’s Federal Security Service, which supervises the border patrol, told the Yomiuri that they understood the seriousness of the scandal. “We’ll have to contact prosecutors to launch [appropriate] investigations,” he added.

Source: here



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One more corruption case

December 17th, 2010 Comments off

A criminal case based on abuse of power charges has been opened against Russian Pacific Fleet Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Farit Zinnatullin, the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office said on its website on Friday.

Source: Interfax-AVN

Anyone have any details?

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Delta IV class SSBN “Novomoskovsk” returns to the fleet after overhaul and upgrade

December 13th, 2010 Comments off

The Novomoskovsk is the last SSBN built during the Soviet period. This overhaul extends the ships useful life another 10 years. The last of the Delta IV’s to go in for midlife overhaul, the Novomoskovsk will now carry Sineva missiles.

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Russia not planning to build aircraft carriers in next decade – ministry

December 11th, 2010 Comments off

Russia is not planning to start building a fleet of aircraft carriers over the next ten years, a high-ranking official from the Russian Defense Ministry told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

“The 2011-2020 governmental armament program does not involve the production of aircraft carriers,” he said.

The document only involves designing an aircraft carrier and determining what is needed to build a ship of such class, the official said.

“Only once the advanced project is ready will it be possible to consider the need for such an aircraft carrier,” the official said.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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Admiral Vinogradov to relieve Admiral Levchenko in Gulf of Aden

November 9th, 2010 Comments off

Russian warships will continue performing patrolling missions in the Gulf of Aden off the Horn of Africa.

“A naval task force of the Pacific Fleet, comprised of the large anti-submarine warfare ship, the Admiral Vinogradov, the tanker Pechenga and the rescue tugboat SB-511, will start a patrolling mission in December 2010,” a naval spokesman told Interfax-AVN.

“The Admiral Vinogradov will take over from the Northern Fleet’s large anti-submarine warfare ship, the Admiral Levchenko,” he said.

The Admiral Levchenko performed 13 escorting missions for 57 vessels of various classes with 231 Russian crewmembers aboard between July and November 2010, the spokesman said.

The Russian Navy has been on 43 escorting missions in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa since the beginning of the year. The patrolling was done at different times by the patrol vessel Neustrashimy of the Baltic Feet, the large anti-submarine warfare ship, the Admiral Chabanenko of the Northern Feet, and the large submarine chaser, the Marshal Shaposhnikov, of the Pacific Fleet.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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First phase trials of “Consul” Project 16811 deepwater submersible complete

November 9th, 2010 Comments off

The Admiralty Shipyards and the Navy have successfully completed the first phase of tests of a new deepwater bathyscaph Consul of Project 16811.

“The first phase of tests done in the Baltic Sea has been successful. The second phase will start next year in the Atlantic Ocean,” a representative of the Admiralty Shipyards told Interfax.

The tests verified “the operation of all systems of the bathyscaph,” he said.

The first test of the bathyscaph, which may work at the depth of 6,000 meters, took place last fall. The Navy will be the main client, while the Natural Resources and Ecology Ministry will have access to the bathyscaph as well.

Malakhit, which designed the bathyscaph, said that serial production of Consul and Rus apparatuses was not planned.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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Yantar wins Russian Navy tender for 3 new frigates

October 13th, 2010 Comments off

DATELINE: KALININGRAD. Oct 11

Kaliningrad Yantar to build three frigates for Russian Navy

The Yantar shipyard in the Kaliningrad region will build three frigates of Project 11356 for the Russian Navy, a shipyard representative told Interfax.

Results of the tender were announced late last week.

Yantar got the order because it had been building three similar frigates for India, the source said. “The order will not only start serial production at the shipyard but will also help its modernization,” the source said.

The shipyard and India signed a contract on building three frigates for $1.6 billion in July 2007. The delivery is due in 2011-2012.

Yantar is a component of the Western Shipbuilding Center, a subsidiary of the Unified Shipbuilding Corporation that operates the largest Russian shipyards in the west, northwest and center.

The shipyard produces civilian and military vessels of up to 10,000 tonnes and repairs ships. It has built over 100 large and about 400 small civilian ships and has repaired over 430 warships and civilian vessels.

The shipyard and India signed a contract on building three frigates for $1.6 billion in July 2007. The delivery is due in 2011-2012.

Yantar is a component of the Western Shipbuilding Center, a subsidiary of the Unified Shipbuilding Corporation that operates the largest Russian shipyards in the west, northwest and center.

The shipyard produces civilian and military vessels of up to 10,000 tonnes and repairs ships. It has built over 100 large and about 400 small civilian ships and has repaired over 430 warships and civilian vessels.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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Following successful test from Donskoi, Bulava launch from Yuri Dolgoruki set for December

October 13th, 2010 Comments off

DATELINE: MOSCOW. Oct 8
A Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile is expected to be test-launched from the new-generation strategic Yury Dolgoruky nuclear submarine before the end of the year, a high-ranking representative of the Russian Navy’s main staff told Interfax-AVN on Friday.

“The launch of a Bulava missile from the Yury Dolgoruky nuclear submarine is expected to take place in December,” he said.

The 14th test-launch of such a missile from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine is expected to be conducted in the first half of November, the representative said.

“Like all of the previous launches, it will take place from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine,” he said.

A final decision on whether to conduct the launch from the Yury Dolgoruky will depend on the success of the tests in November, he said.

The 13th test-launch of a Bulava missile from the Dmitry Donskoy submarine, which took place in the White Sea last Thursday, was successful.

The warheads of the missile reached the Kura firing range in Kamchatka around 20 minutes after the launch.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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