- Russian development of a new cruise missile and submarine forays into NATO waters have elicited complaints from Washington Russia has violated a key arms control agreement (the INF Treaty), and could cause the U.S. to redeploy cruise missiles in Europe. Russia has been feeding concerns with the re-introduction of nuclear missile trains and a new export cruise missile that can fit hidden in a shipping container.
- War Is Boring doesn’t buy the Russian chest beating regarding their increased naval activity, principally because they too are facing major ship retirement trends.
- Russia ended, as expected, the program where the U.S. helped arrange and fund the dismantling of Russian nuclear weapons and sub reactors. Assurances that the work will continue have been met with skepticism.
- A poll conducted by French newspaper La Tribune shows a good majority of the French support the sale of two expeditionary warfare ships to Russia. The two ships’ delivery has been famously delayed due to the optics of appearing to support Russia’s capacity to conduct operations such as its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. For their part, the poll respondents’ reasons for support appear to be more about domestic jobs than geopolitical considerations.
- Friction between Turkey and western allies continues as the NATO member denies access to air bases for targeting ISIS. Turkey deems the U.S. and other western nations’ tolerance of Syria’s Assad an egregious misalignment of priorities.
- Poland is to acquire three new submarines, although the timeframe is slipping. A key consideration in vendor selection is the independence that would be granted to Poland in the use of ballistic missiles provided. France has already publicly stated it wouldn’t put any restrictions on Poland if it were to select the DCNS-built Scorpène submarines.
- Meanwhile, Saab and Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group are looking to work together to meet expected international market needs for submarine replacements.
- Russia’s largest – and somewhat impractical – nuclear test from 1961: the Tsar Bomba: