Admiral Gorshkov Frigate Reveals Serious Shortcomings in Russia’s Naval Modernization Program
March 10, 2016
Since 2008, as part of its ongoing military reform, Moscow has embarked on a large-scale program of naval expansion intended to recapitalize its ailing shipbuilding industry and rebuild and modernize its fleet. Despite substantial efforts to make good on its naval modernization plans, including significant state spending, what has been delivered thus far has fallen well short of expectations. While official Russian rhetoric routinely proclaims that the fleet is undergoing a major renaissance, in reality Russia’s shipbuilding programs have been severely hampered by enduring problems, including budget shortfalls, underinvestment in naval R&D, poor design, obsolescence in its shipbuilding industry, system-integration challenges, reduced access to foreign technology, and widespread corruption, among other problems, all of which have led to long-standing delays in several naval programs and outright cancellation of others. A particularly important case in point is the seemingly endless project to build a new blue-water ship: the Admiral Gorshkov–class frigate.