Военно-морской флот России
Voyenno-morskoy flot Rossii
Ensign of the Russian Navy (top) and Naval jack
|Active||January 17, 1992 – present|
|Country||Russian Federation (earlier – Soviet Union)|
|Size||142,000 active service personnel (2006), 233 ships.|
|Anniversaries||Navy Day (last Sunday in July)|
The Russian Navy or VMF (Russian: Военно-Морской Флот (ВМФ) России- Voyenno-Morskoy Flot Rossii (VMF) or literally Military Maritime Fleet of Russia) is the naval arm of the Russian Armed Forces. The international designation of Russian naval vessels is RFS—”Russian Federation Ship”.
The regular Russian Navy was originally established by Peter the Great (Peter I) in October of 1696. Ascribed to Peter I is the oft quoted statement: “A ruler that has but an army has one hand, but he who has a navy has both.” The symbols of the Russian Navy, the St. Andrew‘s flag and ensign (seen to the right), and most of its traditions were established personally by Peter I.
The Russian Navy possesses the vast majority of the former Soviet naval forces, and currently comprises the Northern Fleet, the Russian Pacific Fleet, the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Baltic Fleet, the Russian Caspian Flotilla, Naval Aviation, and the Russian Coastal Troops (consisting of the Naval Infantry (Marines) and Coastal Missile and Artillery Troops).
Recently approved, a rearmament program until 2015 puts, for the first time in Soviet and Russian history, the development of the navy on an equal footing with strategic nuclear forces. The program covering the period until 2015 is expected to replace 45% of the military inventory in the army and navy. Out of 4.9 trillion rubles ($192.16 billion) allocated for military rearmament, 25% will go into building new ships. “We are already building practically as many ships as we did in Soviet times,” First Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov said during a visit to Severodvinsk in July 2007, “The problem now is not lack of money, but how to optimize production so that the navy can get new ships three, not five, years after laying them down.”