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Streetwise Professor

November 25, 2012

Where Are the Tugboats?

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 9:33 am

In any world crisis, it is said that the first question any American President asks is: “Where are the carriers?”

In Russia, it is: “Where are the tugboats?”

The decrepitude of the Russian navy is so pronounced that every deployment is accompanied by a salvage tug, just in case (and the case is quite likely) the sortied combat ships break down at sea.

Two examples.  A Russian anti-piracy deployment in the Gulf of Aden:

Led by the Udaloy class destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, the task force also includes the Irkut tanker and the Alatau rescue tug boat.

And it’s not just the Navy that needs help:

Salvage tug SB-36, a part of the squadron of the Russian Navy in the Gulf of Aden, met in the open ocean in distress schooner famous Russian traveler Fyodor Konyukhov and now accompanies her to the port of Salalah in Oman. On Wednesday reported RIA Novosti news agency, citing the press service of Defense Ministry.

Second example: the totally-totally!-benign deployment of Russian ships to Gaza:

“The detachment of combat ships of the Black Sea Fleet, including the Guards missile cruiser Moskva, the patrol ship Smetliviy, large landing ships Novocherkassk and Saratov, the sea tug MB-304 and the big sea tanker Ivan Bubnov, got the order to remain in the designated area of the Eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens from the area of the Gaza strip in case of escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”, the spokesperson said.

I swear to God, every freaking time I read a headline about deployment of Russian Navy vessels, I ask: “Is there a salvage tug bobbing along after the cruiser or destroyer or whatever?”  And every freaking time I click the link, the answer is: “YES!”

Sorry.  It just cracks me up.

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10 Comments »

  1. Salvage tug SB-36, a part of the squadron of the Russian Navy in the Gulf of Aden, met in the open ocean in distress schooner famous Russian traveler Fyodor Konyukhov and now accompanies her to the port of Salalah in Oman.

    Somebody’s made a howler in the translation: Russian ships are always “he”.

    Comment by Tim Newman — November 25, 2012 @ 9:50 am

  2. @Tim. LOL. They just have to be different, don’t they?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 25, 2012 @ 10:00 am

  3. To be fair, it’s because the Russian word for “ship” is a masculine noun…so it does make sense.

    Comment by Tim Newman — November 26, 2012 @ 1:27 am

  4. @Tim. What is this “fair”? Not familiar with the concept.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 26, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

  5. To be fair, lots of stupid Russian women married Arabs. During the Lebanon war, lots of them (and their miscegenated progeny) were airlifted to Russia.

    In other naval news, China Strong!
    http://www.informationdissemination.net/2012/11/first-flight-of-j-15-off-liaoning.html

    Comment by So? — November 26, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

  6. @SWP: LOL!

    Comment by Tim Newman — November 26, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

  7. New nickname: Fleet Admiral Anitov = “Tugboat Annie”

    Comment by Sotos — November 27, 2012 @ 9:48 am

  8. @SWP: When looking at Russian Navy deployments, look for the name “Nikolay Chiker” among the deployers. He’s the go-to vessel for major tug needs. I believe the Kuznetsov never leaves home without him.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_Russian_Navy_ships#Auxiliary_vessels
    http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/shipdetails.aspx?MMSI=273543910
    http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=163728

    Comment by Armed with Inkstick — November 27, 2012 @ 11:40 am

  9. @Armed. I’m familiar with the Chiker. Yup, the Kuznetsov’s constant consort.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 27, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

  10. Whatever Russia destroys it may need a tug to haul the cripples into port.
    No doubt in my mind that if anyone tangles with the Moskva they will end up severely wounded or on the bottom.

    Comment by Jack Harper — November 30, 2012 @ 1:44 am

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