More than a year after the sinking of the RFS Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, questions remain about the future of naval warfare. Throughout the 20th century, experts predicted the end of surface ships, but the facts proved otherwise.
However, the circumstances of the Moskva sinking were exceptional, leading us to question its applicability to modern fleets. It is necessary to avoid hasty conclusions based on technological changes.
The resilience of surface warships
In World War II, Japanese naval aviation seemed to have demonstrated the vulnerability of surface ships, but the following years evidenced its ability to confront the aviation of the time effectively.
The answer for the future surface fleet lies not simply in upgrading and better handling these vessels but in their versatility and adaptability. Although they are vulnerable to attack by air, submarines, missiles and other ships, their visible presence and role in maritime control are essential.
The continuing role of surface warships
China, Japan, South Korea, the United States, and the major European navies continue to build surface warships. There is even a trend towards larger vessels capable of protecting themselves and resisting attacks.
These ships continue to be tools of influence and significantly impact trade and countermeasure development. Let’s not underestimate the power of surface ships to face their adversaries.
An uncertain future for Russia
With an aging and poorly maintained fleet, the troubled Russian military ship industry appears to have no bright future except for submarines. However, Russia’s misfortune at sea does not mean that the rest of the world can rest on the obsolescence of surface warships.
The demands of building and maintaining capable fleets are significant, as are the costs of doing without them. Let’s not forget that surface ships can be a torment for those looking to attack them. Despite the challenges, these ships continue to play a crucial role in today’s naval warfare.