Russian naval build-up towers over Canadian shipbuilding
By Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau
Friday, August 3, 2012 4:58:42 EDT PM
OTTAWA - Moscow's plans to spend $137 billion by 2020 on beefing up its navy will dwarf Canada's $33 billion shipbuilding program and should be a concern for federal officials, experts say.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the navy will also have an increased presence "in regions like the Arctic" and with Russian bomber patrols still reaching the edge of, and possibly crossing into, Canadian airspace, University of Calgary military analyst Rob Huebert said he sees any Russian naval build-up as a concern, especially because it includes amphibious assault vessels.
"That suggests a far more aggressive capability," he said. "That inevitably is going to have challenges for Canada."
But Royal Military College and Queen's University professor Christian Leuprecht said he thinks China is the bigger worry for the Russians.
"Given that the Chinese have shown up with research vessels in what Canada considers the Arctic, I think the Russians are probably, to some extent, concerned," Leuprecht said. "They want to be able to hold their own against Chinese assertions."
Huebert agrees Russia has to think about China, but notes Canadian forces are "still the ones that are bumping up against the Russians in the north."............http://www.saultstar.com/2012/08/03/rus ... ipbuilding