Putin’s bathtub force


The image above is a summary provided by the US Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence in their new report, the first made publicly available since 1991.

Here’s their account of the Black Sea Fleet:

4 submarines
1 cruiser
1 destroyer
2 frigates

That’s it. That’s what Putin seized Crimea for. 8 warships.

Here’s how the US Navy defines a single Carrier Strike Group:

* a carrier — The carrier provides a wide range of options to the U.S. government from simply showing the flag to attacks on airborne, afloat and ashore targets. Because carriers operate in international waters, its aircraft do not need to secure landing rights on foreign soil. These ships also engage in sustained operations in support of other forces.
* a guided missile cruiser — multi-mission surface combatant. Equipped with Tomahawks for long-range strike capability.
* two guided missile destroyers — multi-mission surface combatants, used primarily for anti-air warfare (AAW)
* an attack submarine — in a direct support role seeking out and destroying hostile surface ships and submarines
* a combined ammunition, oiler, and supply ship — provides logistic support enabling the Navy’s forward presence; on station, ready to respond

So, the Black Sea Fleet is roughly equivalent to one US Carrier Strike Group. Minus the carrier, of course.

And, um, oh yes, the US has… ten of them.

Now think about what that says of Putin’s thinking regarding the readiness and utility of his other forces.