In the fight against Daesh in Syria, Russia has demonstrated its state-of-the-art naval prowess. According to a new Pentagon report, the proven effectiveness of the Kremlin’s fleet has Washington worried.
In October, the Russian military launched 18 Kalibr-M cruise missiles from warships stationed in the Caspian Sea. Travelling over 1,500 miles, these projectiles struck terrorist targets in Syria, destroying key components of Daesh, also known as ISIL/the Islamic State.
While this action was clearly aimed at sending a strong message to terrorist groups in Syria, the demonstration appears to have also had an impact on the Pentagon. In a new report from the US Navy’s intelligence branch, the US military expresses concerns of a “newly awakened” Russian navy.
“Russia has begun, and over the next decade will make large strides in fielding a 21st century navy capable of a dependable national defense [and] an impressive but limited presence in more distant global areas of interests…” reads the report, entitled “The Russian Navy: A Historic Transition.”
The report is authored by George Fedoroff, the US Office of Naval Intelligence’s top expert on Russia, and based on the Kremlin’s growing fleet of ships and submarines, which currently includes 186 vessels. Fedoroff also took the Russian Navy’s state-of-the-art weaponry into consideration, as well as the resolve of Russian sailors.
According to Fedoroff, the United States has underestimated Russian military capabilities since the end of the Cold War. Now, for the first time in 24 years, the Pentagon is beginning to take notice.
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