It is by nature that many informations about military bases concerning dimensions and facilities are outdated or not complete. My feeling is that the data provided by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies are reasonably well investigated. The same holds for the Bellona Foundation. I used - amongst many others - their Websites for background information.
The Russian Navy is divided into the Strategic Nuclear Forces and General Purpose Forces. It consists of the following branches:
- Submarine Force
- Surface Ships Force
- Naval Air Force
- Marines and
- Coastal Defense Troops.
The fleets are
- the Black Sea Fleet
- the Pacific Fleet
- the Northern Fleet
- the Baltic Fleet
- the Caspian Sea Flotilla
For many years Navy Headquarters were in Kremlin Buildings in Moscow. Since October 2012 the Russian Navy ensign waves again on the Old Admirality in St. Petersburg - after years of a dispute. Whether parts of the huge organisation were left behind is not clear.
For the moment, I assume, that most communication facilities of callsign RIW still are operating from several transmitter sites near Moscow; but as there are so many in this region, RIW cannot be pinpointed easely.
"Bronzovy" in Alabushevo at 56N 37E6.3 may belong to RIW, other sources suggest "Manikhino" at 55N53.0 36E57.0. For Far Eastern contacts RIW will be relayed by unidentified stations.
Frequencies of RIW are: 7664, 9145//11000//14556, 17468 kHz and many others.
RIW is a function, not a location and that's why RIW operators use several callsigns from the same desk.
In certain cases RIW becomes RJE56 (see 3. Special Purpose Callsigns ) or RAA. RIW, RJE56 and RAA are used by the very same RIW operators - notably when they mix-up callsigns in dense traffic periods.
Headquarter in Severomorsk (Murmansk Oblast), callsign RIT.
The transmitter site "Kortik" is possibly at 69N3.5 33E19.3 or 68N51.3 32E59.1. There are more RDF and radar stations in the vicinity as well as the receiving center "Bukhta".
Main Naval Bases and shipyards in Gremikha, Ura Guba, Zapadnaya Litsa, Severodvinsk (Arkhangelsk Oblast) and Polyarni.
The largest submarine base is located in the Gulf of Litsa with four facilities, the newest, Nerpychia, being the home port of Typhoon class submarines. Seven DELTA IV class SSBN submarines are located in Gadzhiyevo.
Flagship of the NF is "Pyotr Velickiy", a Guided Missiles Cruiser of the Kirov Class. The sole Aircraft Carrier in the CIS Navy, "Admiral Kuznetsov", the Udaloy II Class large ASW ship "Admiral Chabanenko" and the Sovremenny Class destroyer "Gremyashchy" are other important ships of the NF. The global trend towards an increasing importance of Asia has a strong impact on the NF. Most of the new ships being under construction will be deployed in the Far East region.
Frequencies of RIT: 5343, 7467, 11155, 15812 kHz and many others.
RIT uses the collective callsigns RLO, RKZ, RKS and others for its fleet or for a certain task force.
|Northern Fleet Facilities||Zapadnaya Litsa, partial view. Submarines classes are "Kilo", "Victor III" and "Oscar II".||Small submarine base of Ara.||"Typhoon" class submarine in Severodvinsk.||Aircraft Carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov" in Murmansk.||Severomorsk|
Headquarters are in Kaliningrad, callsign is RMP. The transmitter sites "Yakar" in Kaliningrad and "Lot" in Baltiysk are not identified; there are a few possibilities.
Main Naval Base is Baltiysk with small, partly abandond facilities in Kronshtadt and St. Petersburg.
Flagship of the BF is the Sovremenny Class destroyer "Nastoychivy". The BF - as a relativly small unit - mostly include Frigates and Corvettes, only one or two Lada Class conventional submarines remain in Baltiysk.
Frequencies of RMP: 4051, 6873, 9373, 11418 kHz and others.
RMP uses the collective callsigns REO, RMU, RKZ and others for its fleet or for a certain task force.
|Russian Enclave of Kaliningrad||Kaliningrad||Kronshtadt Naval Base, mostly abandoned today.||Baltiysk Naval Base.|
Headquarters in Sevastopol UKR, callsign RCV.
The transmitter site "Magnit" is at 44N33 33E33.7, the receiving site "Lafet" has not been identified so far. Ary Boender for UDXF mentioned a huge radio site on Karabi plateau at 44N55,2 34E27,7 as home of Sevastopol Navy Beacon "D". Looks like there are more Navy transmitters up there.
Small facilities in Ochakov, Chernomorskoe, Novoozernii, Feodosiya (all UKR) and Novorossijsk (RUS). Logistic supply base in Port of Tartus (SYR) (See here: Mediterranean Eskadra ).
After the desintegration of the Sovjet Union 1990 a series of agreements settled the partition of the Black Sea Fleet between Russia and the Ukraine in the relation 50:50. 2008, only 18,5 % of the ships sail under Ukrainian flag. Russia will rent all Crimea based facilities until at least 2025, including lighthouses and MARS-75 Radio Navigation stations. The modernization work of Novorossijsk port have started 2012, according to several press releases.
The Treaty of Montreux of 1936, which gives Turkey control of the passage of the Bosporus, allows NATO ships to enter the Black Sea. This has led to tensions, as Russia regards the Black Sea within their sphere of influence.
Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania and Turkey are members of the Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group. A small Romanian unit is responsible for the lower course of the Danube with its home port Tulcea.
Flagship of the BSF is the Slava Class Guided Missile Cruiser "Moskva". Other ships are the Kashin Class Destroyer "Smetlivy", Krivak Class Frigates and Grisha Class Corvettes. It is assumed, only the "Alrosa" , a conventional Kilo Class Submarine, is operational.
Around 2010/2011 some changes must have happened around RCV; its fieldstrength has decreased drastically. Depending of the hour many messages hardly can be decoded; rotatable antennas, less power?
Frequencies of RCV: Primary 10543, others are 4055, 5224, 5312, 11688 kHz.
RCV uses the collective callsigns RKZ, RKS, RJV, RIP90, RBE86, RGX94 and others for its fleet or for a certain task force.
|Black Sea||BSF communications facilities?||Sevastopol||Novorossiysk, oil port on the right.|
|Sevastopol: Submarine pens.||Sevastopol: BSF Headquarters||The formerly closed town of Balaklava.|
Headquarters in Vladivostok, callsign RJS.
Transmitter centers "Zenit" and "Udar" and receiving site "Angar" have not bee identified so far. There are several possibilities, some, including a RDF facility, seem to be abandoned, others may serve for Broadcasters.
Naval Bases in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy possibly uses callsign RCC, but transmitter site "Yadvo" and receiver "Bizon" have not been identified. More facilities are in Magadan (mostly abandoned), Kamchatka (Shipyards), Rybachiy (Submarine Base), Pavlovsk and Razboynik.
A new, and so far largest Submarine Base in the Far East, will be erected in Vilyuchinsky, in the Avacha Gulf, close to Rybachiy Submarine Base. The new "Borei" class submarines will be stationed there. This reflects Russias doctrine setting priorities in the Far East to the debit of the Northern Fleet.
Flagship of the PF is Slava Class Guided Missile Cruiser "Varyag". Other important ships are 5 Sovremenny Class and Udaloy Class destroyers. There is a whole series of nuclear powered and conventional submarines. It is not clear, how many still are operational. Contrary to all what's been waffled since 1991, both the Northern - and Pacific Fleet still have a frightening fire-power.
Frequencies of RJS: 4048, 10203, 13636, 7632 kHz.
Unfortunately RJS rarely is intercepted in Western Europe, there is little known about traffic, callsigns etc. RJS might be relayed, but that too is not confirmed.
|Pacific Fleet Facilities||Vladivostok.||Pavlovsk Naval Base.||Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy||Rybachiy Submarine Base, in Avacha Gulf (Krasheninnikov Bay). This is the HQ of the 16th Squadron of Submarines.|
|Terebilovka (Vladivostok), submarines.|
Headquarters in Astrakhan RUS, callsign RKN
Naval bases in Aktau KAZ, Fort Shevchenko and Aral planned.
Frequencies: 5400.5 kHz, call sign RJD5 (unconfirmed)
Command and facilities are shared with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Communications on shortwaves are rarely reported (weather bulletins and Nautical Warnings).
Russia has beefed up its Caspian military presence recently. The flotilla now (2008) includes 2 frigates, 12 patrol ships and a variety of small vessels for coastal defense, waterway patrol and littoral warfare. In 2004 the 500 tons diplacement Buyan Class Corvette "Astrakhan" and the stealth technology Gepard Class Frigate "Tatarstan" have been launched.
|Frigate "Tatarstan".||The "Astrakhan".||Naval pier in Astrakhan.||Kaspiysk, patrol boats (left), the incredible "Ekranoplan" (right).|
The 720th Logistics Support Point in Tartus (SYR) since the 1970s.
The Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991 and the powerful 5th Soviet Eskadra with its flagships callsign UAHY withdrew from the Mediterranean. In 1996 battle ships, guided missile cruisers and auxiliary vessels for the first time again deployed in the Mediterranean to show flag. Since then units of the CIS Navy, mostly of the Black Sea Fleet, take part in naval exercises and anti-terrorist campaigns. Late in 2007 Russia announced it would resume its regular patrols in the Northern Atlantic and in the Mediterranean Sea.
In June 2006 Russian sources made public, that Russia wants to expand Naval presence in the two Syrian ports of Tartus and Latakia. The fully-fledged bases should help to redeploy the naval and supply ships leaving Sevastopol. The bases are to be protected by the Mobile Coastal Missile System (MCMS) BASTION and anti-ship missiles Yakhont. World Arms Trade Analytic Centre (WATAC) Director in September 2010: "To speak plainly, modern shipborne air defense cannot intercept these missiles."
New docks are reported from Latakia (April 2008).
The long range cruise of an interfleet task force around ACC Admiral Kuznetsov from Severomorsk into the Mediterranean Sea from Dec. 2011 until Feb. 2012 with port visits in several countries, including Tartus, spurred many speculations around Russias support for Syria and its tyrannical president Assad. In any case Tartus base IS very important for Russia's Navy.