Russia has embarked on a massive naval re-armament unveiling plans to build scores of warships by the end of decade.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a total of 51 surface warships and 24 submarines, including 16 nuclear submarines, will enter into service in the Russian Navy by 2020.
This year, the Russian Navy will induct 15 warships, almost as many as have been built over the past two decades.
The Navy will get almost a quarter of a $600-odd-billion budget the Kremlin has allocated to re-equip the armed forces till the year 2020.
“We proceed from the need to maintain and consolidate our status as a leading global naval power,” Mr Putin said after attending the ceremony of launching the construction of a Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.
The Russian leader said the Navy’s top priority is to upgrade its strategic nuclear forces in order “to maintain global parity” – a clear reference to the United States.
Mr Putin stressed the role of the Navy in upholding Russia’s economic interests in the energy-rich Arctic, where Moscow seeks to enlarge its exclusive economic rights zone.
The Prince Vladimir submarine, which was laid at the Sevmash shipyard in the presence of Mr Putin, belongs to the fourth generation of nuclear strategic missile-carriers, will be built under the modernized Borei A project.
It will carry 20 Bulava inter-continental ballistic missiles as compared to 16 carried by earlier built Borei-class submarines, the Yury Dolgoruky and Alexander Nevsky, entering service this year.
Russia will build a total of eight Borei-class submarines, which will become the mainstay of the Russian Navy.