The Russian navy is back in the shipbuilding business. Just in time, as Russian shipyards have stayed in business since the Cold War ended by building for export. The Russian navy was broke during the 1990s, unable to spend much money on building or maintaining its huge fleet. But now the Russian navy has more money, thanks to a growing economy and higher oil prices (Russia’s main export).
The first new project will be ten 4,000 ton frigates of the Dozorny class. The ships will cost about $200 million each. The navy actually wanted to start building these ships three years ago, but the money was not there. Now, the design will be reviewed, and updated. These ships may be similar to the American LCS (Littoral Combat Ships) of about the same size and cost. In addition, the navy is resuming, or speeding up work on submarine building projects, and doing a lot more refurbishing and upgrades on existing ships.
But the Russian navy has a lot of work to do. Lack of money in the early 1990s left most of the once mighty fleet (for years, the second largest in the world) tied up and falling apart from lack of maintenance. Aside from a few submarines and small patrol boats, Russia has done nothing to replace its rapidly aging fleet. Over a hundred billion dollars will be required in the next decade or so to build new ships and upgrade existing ones.