“Ukraine was, is and will be a maritime state”

P.Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, August 24, 2014


Ukraine’s past, its present, and future are closely connected with the sea. The Naval Forces of Ukraine begin their history from the time of Kievan Rus. Cossack’s naval campaigns belong to the most glorious pages of our national history. At the beginning of the XXth century, at the time of the Ukrainian People’s Republic creation, the Black Sea Fleet of Ukraine again made a stand to defend people and maritime interests of the state.

The modern independent Ukrainian state has 2,759 km of the seacoast and more than 72 thousand square kilometres of exclusive (maritime) economic zone. More than a quarter of the national GDP is generated by regions, economies of which are connected to the Black and the Azov Seas. Tasks to secure and to protect the coast and the maritime industry of Ukraine were assigned to the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In 2014, the Russian Federation violated international agreements and regulations, and through hybrid aggression has established control over Crimea. Ukraine has lost most of its Navy, including 75% of personnel, 70% of ships and key infrastructure. The aggressor has seized and has been actively exploiting population and the territory of the peninsula, a significant part of the sovereign waters and assets of the Ukrainian economy.

By construction of the Kerch Bridge, the Russian Federation has substantially restricted the passage of vessels and continues to obstruct navigation in the Sea of Azov, aiming to destroy the Ukrainian economy and to cause social tensions among the region’s population.

The Russian military grouping has significantly increased in Crimea. The maritime direction has become the most vulnerable for defence of Ukraine. The aggressive ambitions of the Russian Federation will continue threatening Ukraine at sea in the future.

The system of national security of Ukraine should react to these challenges, clearly arrange the interaction between the defence and security forces of Ukraine to protect national interests at sea. Today, Ukrainian navy sailors actively participate in combat actions protecting our country in the East, execute tasks in the Black and the Azov Seas. New challenges and lessons learned require elaboration of the Strategy of the Naval Forces of Ukraine 2035.

The main task of the Navy reform is a restoration of the naval capabilities of Ukraine, reliable defence of the homeland and an ability to defeat a stronger enemy. This will require new thinking, certain amount of time and considerable resources. Ukraine, together with its strategic partners, are investing a lot of efforts to restore the naval potential. Reforms are conducted in line with the NATO standards, principles and values.

Strategy of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine 2035 is the first attempt to look into the future. This document was developed by the Naval Forces Command, together with Ukrainian and foreign experts, according to the Law on National Security of Ukraine, the National Security Strategy of Ukraine, and in support of implementation of the Strategic Defence Bulletin of Ukraine, taking into account experience of NATO the European Union member states.

The goal of this Strategy is to create a vision for the development of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by 2035. It is envisaged to gradually build up Navy capabilities, including force generation, their education and training for naval and joint operations, the provision with armaments, military equipment, other materiel and assets, taking into account forecasted threats, economic possibilities and development priorities.

Development of existing and future capabilities of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will influence protection of economic interests, ensure sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine at sea and facilitate return of the temporarily occupied territories.

The people of Ukraine and their future, human life and dignity, democratic values and conditions for sustainable development of society, territorial integrity and inviolability of the state must be protected from threats from the sea. The General Staff, the Ministry of Defence, the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine should provide necessary resources for development of the Naval Forces as a constituent part of the national security system of the state.

Commander of the Naval Forces

of the Armed Forces of Ukraine                                                                  

Admiral                                Igor Voronchenko


A clear definition of its mission, vision, and values is a basis of any strategy, the directions of organization’s future development. The ability to identify these categories is a sign of maturity of the strategic leadership, the most valuable and useful of its qualities. Understanding of the mission, vision, and values of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is necessary for the Navy Strategy 2035 implementation.


The Mission of the Ukrainian Navy is stated based on specific provisions of the Constitution, laws and regulations of Ukraine. The term “mission” answers the question: “Why does my organization exist now?”

The mission of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is: deterrence of aggression, protection of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, ensuring maritime security, economic growth and international stability, in co-operation with national defence and security forces, strategic partners, at sea and from the sea.

In the course of operations (combat actions) at sea to defend the state, the main purposes of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine employment should be Sea Denial and, subsequently, Sea Control. This can be achieved by conducting air defence, anti-boat and anti-submarine defence, mining and counter-mining actions, electronic warfare, missile and artillery strikes, naval landings, and special actions at sea, and on the rivers.
The mission of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is: deterrence of aggression, protection of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, ensuring maritime security, economic growth and international stability, in co-operation with national defence and security forces, strategic partners, at sea and from the sea.

Complex of maritime security measures includes possession of maritime awareness, ensuring safetyof navigation, fight against terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction at sea, protection of critical maritime infrastructure, participation in international naval operations and exercises led by NATO, the European Union, the UN, and participation in other activities of military cooperation with partner nations and organizations.

Ukraine’s aspiration to join NATO and the European Union defines a set of its main strategic partners, lines of reforms and development of national defence and security forces. Reaching a high level of interoperability of the Ukrainian Navy with Alliance’s units will increase their efficiency in accomplishing the assigned tasks.


The term “vision” answers the question: “Where do I see my organization in the future?”. This is something that should inspire and guide sailors to implement the future plans.

The vision of the Ukrainian Navy 2035 is: modern, agile and innovative Navy, capable to protect people of Ukraine and national interests in the maritime and coastal domain, conducting asymmetric and decisive operations, with highly-motivated and professional personnel, who are determined to win.

Implementation of this vision is possible due to gradual and balanced development of combat potential of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with progressive build-up of tasks and capabilities. Below, there are three components of combat potential, which are formed in accordance with NATO standards and principles: physical, conceptual, and moral. All of them are closely interconnected and should be developed in harmony.


Mission: to deter aggression, to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, to ensure maritime security, economic prosperity and international peace, in co-operation with national defence and security forces, and strategic partners, at sea and from the sea

Vision: modern, agile and innovative Navy, capable to protect people of Ukraine and national interests in maritime and coastal domain, conducting asymmetric and decisive operations, with highly-motivated and professional personnel, who are determined to win.

Figure 1. Vision of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine development by 2035

The physical component is defined as means of conducting an armed struggle. It consists of five elements: personnel, armaments and military equipment, units’ cohesion, combat readiness and logistics (all-out sustainment). This component involves establishment of the combat organization of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a system of command, training, sustainment, acquisition of modern naval armaments and equipment, which are fully interoperable with NATO.

In order to defeat a stronger aggressor, the physical component should be used proactively, asymmetrically and agile, first of all against the most vulnerable enemy’s sites. This leads to the second component – conceptual.

The conceptual component offers a structure of thinking, an intellectual basis for troops, provides commanders with an ability to understand a situation in difficult environment, through creativity, resourcefulness and initiative. Development of the conceptual component is possible only through the mastery of the NATO principles, standards, and values during education, force generation and employment of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The moral component is generated by people and it is a basis of combat power. It focuses on such issues as legitimacy of forces, ethical principles, enthusiasm and readiness to fight, promotion of offensive spirit, initiative and decisiveness in execution of combat missions. The moral condition and combat spirit of the Navy servicemen, their determination to  win are fundamental factors of success. It requires formation of moral  qualities,  team  building  and leadership education based on common values.

Figure 2. Components of Combat Potential


Values are moral examples, concepts, requirements that form a psychological atmosphere in the team, they are a basis of teams’ cohesion and efficiency. The substance of three main values of the Ukrainian Navy, which are to become landmarks of the development are: Loyalty, Courage, Strength.

Loyalty – is a duty or commitment, a person’s support of the state or the institution. This value is reflected in the sailors’ loyalty to the Ukrainian people, patriotism and national military traditions. Loyalty is related to the notions of respect and honesty, understanding, and confidence that security of each citizen will be protected by the Ukrainian military forces.

Courage – is a virtue, which means moral strength to overcome fear, an ability to endure suffering and physical pain. It is a synonymous with human moral firmness. This value is embodied through courageous behaviour in combat, inspiration for mastering the trade of war, valour to fight till victory.

Strength – it is physical and spiritual energy of a person, a manifestation of mental, spiritual properties; power, control, and authority. This value is manifested in the strength of physical development, creative intelligence, moral power, strong will, respect from colleagues, leadership qualities, ability to work in a team, readiness for cooperation.

Mission, Vision and Values of the Navy provide the basis for understanding the strategic environment and capabilities required for the implementation of the Navy Strategy 2035.

Figure 3. Values of the Ukrainian Navy


The forecast of the strategic environment involves studying and making assumptions regarding development of many elements of the  world  around Ukraine in the future: political, economic, military, security, scientific and technological, social, etc. Threats to military security and possible scenarios for their implementation are reflected in the Military Doctrine of Ukraine. This section provides an assessment of these military threats and challenges in the context of their impact on the Navy’s missions in four main areas: innovation and the war of the future; factor of the Russian Federation; influence of economic development; partnership and cooperation.

Innovation and War of the Future

Rapid development of technology and society will have a significant impact on the methods of warfare. Innovations create both a wide range of own opportunities and challenges from potential adversaries. Due to the intensive advancement of automated unmanned armed systems capable of carrying out group attacks in the air, on the surface and under water, the quantity and quality of weapons on the battlefield will increase.

The speed of aircrafts and ships will increase, a modular principle of their construction will develop, which will make them more functional and effective. Hypersonic cruise missiles will appear, as well as laser, electromagnetic and other weapons based on new physical principles will spread.

More important, the use of new capabilities in detection equipment and electronic warfare assets will ensure the operational advantage. The cyber-attacks and information operations will be much more effective. The need to protect critical information will be a challenge both in a military and in civilian sectors of the state functioning (economic, legislative, etc.). The widespread use of 3D printing technologies will create new opportunities and additional challenges.

New technologies will simplify logistic support, which will allow executing tasks in remote areas where logistic support is not possible today. At the same time, it will allow other actors, including extremist non-state entities, to produce large number of cheap and high-precision weapons. The development  of new means of warfare may require new legislation.

Rapid development of technologies will require from the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to ensure constant technological and conceptual adaptation and flexibility to implement innovations   in favour of developing own combat potential, in the conditions of limited resources and countering    a much stronger enemy.

Figure 4. Rapid development of technology will have a substantial impact on the theory of warfare

The Russian Federation Factor

The Russian Federation is a very unpredictable and aggressive neighbour. Its imperial ambitions are the main threat and the greatest danger to the sovereignty and state integrity of Ukraine. Russia’s comprehensive employment of all components of the so-called “hybrid warfare” (its military, including private military companies, economic, informational and diplomatic components) leads to radical changes in the military-political situation in the world and the Black Sea region in particular.

On the global level, influence of the international security organizations and institutions on the Russia’s aggressive behaviour by means of international law will be more difficult to implement. Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, blocks all initiatives that contradict its intentions. In order to implement its ambitions, Russia will neglect and manipulate existing international agreements. One of the key elements is a confrontation of the Russian Federation with the NATO member states, which tends to strengthen. Ukraine remains in the centre of this confrontation.

On the regional level, Russia places stakes on military dominance, strengthens its position in the    Black Sea region and the eastern Mediterranean. This is due to the seizure of Crimea, the actual control over most of the Black and the Azov Seas, and a restoration of the Russian bases in Syria. Russia continues militarization, technical re-equipment of its armed forces, and increases a number    of strike missile weapons platforms. Over the next five years, a significant increase in the Russian  Black Sea Fleet is expected, as well as creation of the Russian strike battle groups on the borders with Ukraine. Domination of Russia in the air and at sea, as well as its ability to establish Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2 / AD) will grow, unless it is deterred.

Russia will continue creeping aggression against our state from the sea by using insufficient naval potential of Ukraine. Restriction of access to the Black Sea of the naval ships of the non-Black Sea countries, established by the Montreux Convention, will contribute to this. Possible actions against Ukraine at sea will include (but are not limited to) sea blockade, striking coastal facilities and landing operations.

Russia will continue to act in a “hybrid” way: to exhaust the Ukrainian economy, to slow down the internal reforms, to hinder access to Western technologies, including military, and weapons, to influence the level of support from partners and neighbouring states to create a negative image of Ukraine. It is expected continuation of the campaign of further uncertainty of the maritime borders and creation of conditions for manipulating the international legal status of the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait. This will also influence the Naval Forces.

In these circumstances, the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine should clearly define their future strategy, tasks, development priorities, and concentrate national resources and international assistance on the development of specific, most important naval capabilities. It is very important to create conditions for stable interaction between the central authorities, the components of defence and security sector of Ukraine with the Ukrainian Naval Forces Command, in order to ensure continuity of competence in maritime affairs, with a purpose to consolidate the national position and international support for the restoration of the naval potential and in the process of counteraction to Russia.

Influence of Economy

In the long-term perspective, the importance of the sea for the Ukrainian economy will grow. Ukraine has favourable conditions for the development of maritime activity. There are 13 sea trade ports on the coast of the Black and the Azov Seas, with a total length of the berthing front of about 40km. There are seven large shipbuilding plants in Ukraine, nine shipbuilding machinery and engineering enterprises, several dozen small and medium-sized shipbuilding and ship repair plants, fifteen research and development institutes and design bureaus.

Significant mineral deposits are explored on the Ukrainian shelf of the Black and the Azov Seas, in particular, approximately 1 583.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 409.8 million tons of crude oil, which is more than 30 percent of the total hydrocarbon reserves of Ukraine. Herewith, only 4 percent of them have been extracted, unlike from the coastal deposits, where up to 70 percent of explored hydrocarbon reserves have been extracted.

A significant increase in number of maritime economic activities in territorial waters and in the exclusive (maritime) economic zone of Ukraine is expected, as well as increase in the volume of sea freight shipping. In the context of growing competition between nations for maritime resources, the threat of use of force against the rights and jurisdiction of Ukraine at sea and from the sea will remain and will likely increase.

The growth of the national economy in cities located by the sea will increase the concentration and number of population, increase the volume of critical and environmentally dangerous infrastructure. The Naval Forces should be prepared to

provide humanitarian assistance in case of natural disasters, man-made disasters or sabotage, in co-operation with other agencies, government and non-government organizations.

Increase of number of terrorist and cyber-attacks on the country’s maritime economic infrastructure is possible. Herewith the physical and geographical conditions of the coastal area will contribute to the actions of sabotage groups and creation of mine danger. The ability of the Navy to ensure access       to maritime resources and water transport routes, including rivers, as well as their protection, will be important for ensuring the national prosperity of Ukraine and achieving strategic advance over the enemy.

Partnership and Cooperation

Support of Ukraine by partners in 2014 contributed to preserving its sovereignty and will be needed   in the future. The importance of Ukraine’s cooperation with international organizations, allies and partners will grow in the course of development, restoration of sovereignty, territorial integrity and implementation of reforms in our state.

Ukraine sees membership in NATO and the European Union as a priority of its life for the future. Shifting away from the mentality of the Soviet past, with formation and acquisition of the maturity of the Ukrainian society, with readiness of our Western partners to help reforming Ukraine and share their values, more and more Ukrainians support this choice. The number of our citizens who get education and necessary professional experience abroad is increasing. This is very essential for consolidating the processes of European and Euro-Atlantic integration in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Navy should make maximum use of all opportunities of international partnership for   its restoration and support our partners by own contribution to multinational maritime operations (including humanitarian missions) both in the Black Sea region (including rivers) and beyond.


Building of the naval capabilities is based on a requirement to neutralize (minimize the impact) of existing challenges and threats from the sea, and to react on them in a timely manner in the future.

The following will remain relevant: challenges for adaptation of the latest technologies in the military area, threats from the Russian Federation, protection of the functioning of the maritime industry and use of the benefits of cooperation with international part ners.

Restoration of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine requires considerable resources and time. Development of the fleet will be carried out in stages. The balance between maintaining current operations and readiness to future challenges is a guarantee of sustainable development.

Navy Strategy 2035 includes three stages. At each stage, taking into account the challenges and tasks, the specific priorities of the capabilities of all branches of Naval Forces have been determined: surface forces, marines, naval aviation, and under conditions of support by other services of the Armed Forces, law enforcement and other government agencies of Ukraine. Stages, in turn, are chosen taking into account the requirements of the legislation on the defence review and the need to adjust the calls that are time-consuming.

Figure 6. Stages and priorities of the Navy development by 2035

First stage, the period by 2025, aimed at developing capabilities to establish control over territorial waters and beyond, approximately up to 40 nautical miles from the coast of Ukraine. Control over territorial waters requires surveillance and carrying out enhanced actions outside of the 12-mile zone.

Second stage, the period from 2025 to 2030, aimed at ensuring recovering and development of capabilities to protect Ukraine’s national interests at sea within the exclusive (maritime) economic zone of Ukraine, up to 200 nautical miles from the coast.

Third stage, the period from 2030 to 2035, aimed at further development of the capabilities of the first and the second stages, their build up in order to protect the national interests of Ukraine in the world ocean.

In the end of each stage, the Navy will evaluate results achieved, will review strategic environment challenges and, if required, will adjust the priorities and ways of implementation within the framework of this Strategy.


At the first stage, the main priority is to establish efficient maritime domain awareness and reconnaissance system in the coastal zone (ISR/MDA). Building surveillance capabilities will ensure timely detection of the enemy’s intentions and real-time information transmission to all components  of the defence and security forces. Information exchange with NATO and partner countries is taken place.

The  second  priority  is to build-up Sea Denial capabilities, meaning to prevent enemy’s actions in     any areas of the coastal zone. Implementation of the second priority involves building-up capabilities for mine-barriers installation, electronic warfare, defending the littoral zone with all available coastal weapon systems.

The third priority is to achieve Sea Control, which is to provide effective control over littoral waters, rivers, and protection of Ukrainian ports. The implementation of this priority involves build-up of ranger, convoy and patrol boat capabilities to ensure navigation in the littoral zone and in the estuaries, establish an effective system of port infrastructure protection through development of counter mining, counter sabotage, search and rescue capabilities.


The second stage (2025 – 2030) envisages development of already built capabilities and expanding their effect up to the entire exclusive (maritime) economic zone of Ukraine, to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov (up to 200 nautical miles from the coast).

The main priority remains the maritime domain awareness and reconnaissance system. Capabilities for constant surveillance of surface, underwater and air situation within the Black and the Azov Seas will be enhanced, with a capacity to transmit situation data not only to national users but also to partner countries.

The second priority is Sea Control, which means ensuring effective control over any zone of the above-mentioned areas within the required time. Herein, control will be exercised in air, surface and underwater domains. For the most part, the capabilities of boat tactical groups will be enhanced.

The third priority of the second stage is shaping Strike capabilities to be able to destroy enemy assets within the long range. Whereby, preference will be given to the long-range high-precision weapons (anti-ship missile systems) of the ship, land and airborne-basing. This will ensure strikes against enemy landing units, service ships and vessels, and will be a deterrence factor of countering possible aggression against Ukraine.


The third stage (2030 – 2035) envisages build-up of the Navy capabilities needed for protection of the national interests of Ukraine beyond the Black Sea, contributing to peace and stability in the world. At this stage, priority will be given to ensuring self-sustainability of forces beyond the national logistic support systems and their return to actions within international security initiatives.

The main priority of this stage is Sea Control – ensuring effective control over a specific sea zone in  the area of the Ukraine’s interests, in conjunction with the naval forces of the NATO member-states and partners, in underwater, surface and air domains.

The  second  priority  – Strike, enhancing capabilities to conduct strikes against enemy assets at sea   and on land. It is planned to increase the number of anti-ship missiles for strikes on surface targets,    to improve their characteristics: range and precision, protection from obstacles. Cruise missiles for coastal targets engagement will be introduced into service, aimed at destruction of the enemy critical infrastructure in the event of its aggression against Ukraine.

The third priority – Sea Denial, shaping capabilities to deny any adversary actions including denial of deployment of forces to conduct acts of aggression.

Implementation of these priorities is interconnected through the stages of the Strategy and will allow gradual build-up of capabilities starting from the minimum necessary ones to protect, up to competitive ones necessary to defeat the enemy. The key to defeating a stronger enemy already during the first phase is practical mastering of the new NATO’s operative art. NATO standards, principles and values should be adapted in the national guiding documents of the strategic, operational and tactical levels.

It is necessary to change the mentality of military thinking from the one-track mind to the creative initiative, decentralized decision-making through delegation of authority on all levels of command. It is critically important to create conditions for introducing high-tech armaments into service.

Gradual development of capabilities should balance Navy branches and ensure their combat cohesion, in order to act in a mobile, asymmetrical and rapid manner, first of all against the most vulnerable enemy’s sites.

Mixed-branches Naval Forces groups will act independently or jointly with units of other services of the Armed Forces, security and defence forces of Ukraine.

Personnel management system change should start from the first stage by establishing military recruitment system, keeping existing and creating new potential of the Navy personnel. Complete support of service members’ career, from a sailor to an admiral, combined with improved social standards and financial incentives, will make a profession of a military sailor prestigious for young people, will retain highly skilled personnel and will impact the problem of human resources loss. The introduction of NATO principles, approaches and values into military education should prepare a new generation of highly skilled, proactive service members with advanced leadership skills.

In addition, during all three stages, simultaneously with implementation of priorities for combat capabilities achievement, infrastructure development will be take place, which means a system of stationing of the Naval Forces on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, the Dnipro and the Danube rivers, establishment of efficient and cost-effective logistical system, as well as improving social standards for the personnel.

In the system of stationing, a priority will be given to the development of modern, energy-independent military bases, with a sufficient number of housing for service members and their families, with necessary infrastructure to support training and restoration of ships technical conditions.

The logistics support system will be developed simultaneously with enhancement of forces capabilities and range of activities. During the transition to the third stage, the logistics system will be able to function outside of its area of responsibility, according to the mechanisms adopted in the leading countries of the world.

During all stages of the Strategy implementation, the Navy will actively cooperate with NATO and partner countries with the purpose of critical assessment of the implementation of institutional reforms and capabilities development, exchange of experience and participation in international initiatives.


Recovery of Ukraine’s naval potential on the Black and the Azov Seas is viewed as an ultimate task on the state level. Identifying main threats, taking into account a strategic course for NATO membership, capabilities and tasks identified in the previous chapter,     in order to implement the Strategy, it is proposed to apply leading NATO methodology – DOTMLPF, which has proven to be effective. It consists of: doctrine (D), organization (O), training (T), materiel (M), leadership and education (L), personnel (P), facilities (F).

DOCTRINE (D) is a system of views regarding warfare, defined by doctrines and other guiding documents on the employment of capabilities (forces). Creation of a new doctrinal framework of the Naval Forces according to the NATO standards is a basis of the Euro-Atlantic integration process at the level of the national fleet.

NATO standards, principles and values should be adapted into the national guiding documents of strategic, operational and tactical levels. Translation of NATO standards from English and preparation of new national guiding documents based on them should be carried out by the research and development, military education and training institutions of the Naval Forces according to their level. To do this, by the end of 2019, the new appropriate organizational structures will be created.

Planning and conducting of military operations should be in accordance with NATO operational art, based on doctrines of the AJP series (Allied Joint Publications), in particular, for maritime operations – the doctrine AJP-3.1 (Allied Joint Doctrine For Maritime Operations). Employment of ships and units of the Naval Force should be based on tactical guidelines and other NATO standards.

The overall leadership of the new doctrinal framework development and enactment of the new Navy guiding documents are assigned to the Headquarter of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The relevant interaction and coordination with the General Staff and other services of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be established. It is necessary to complete this process by the end of the first stage of the Strategy implementation.

It is planned that, at the beginning of the second stage, during joint exercises and operations with NATO, units and command of the Naval Forces will use the NATO standards in the original language, which will ensure their full operational interoperability with NATO member-states’ forces.

The ORGANIZATION (O) component defines combat organization for warfighting, command and control system, units’ and divisions’ structure.

According to the Strategic Defence Bulletin, the combat organization of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at strategic, operational and tactical levels will be built according to the NATO standards, principles and best practices.

It will be important to establish Navy representation (command) at the strategic level in Kyiv.

Development of the national fleet, namely: elaboration of strategies and concepts, procurement of naval armaments, interaction with authorities and foreign partners in the area of naval issues will be among its functions. According to the best practices of the Western countries, presence of naval experts (the above-mentioned representation or a command) in the capital, where legislative and executive powers are located, improves addressing challenges and threats at sea and from the sea. This also contributes to a better planning and implementation of shipbuilding programs that require considerable time, enormous resources and ongoing contact with other ministries and agencies of Ukraine, domestic and foreign industries.

At the operational level, military command’s functions will be divided between the two vertical lines: force generation and operational employment. The rationale of this has been confirmed in NATO countries, as this allows improving the work efficiency.

Navy HQ will be responsible for: manning, training, equipping, daily sustainment and readiness to execute assigned tasks by fleet units.

The operational commands will be responsible for carrying out naval and amphibious operations in the Black and the Azov Seas. They will be subordinated to the Joint Operational Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Implementation of the above-mentioned organizational changes will allow achieving interoperability with NATO member states.

At the tactical level, the surface forces will be consolidated in divisions of surface ships, boats and support ships, stationed at naval bases and stations on the Black and the Azov Seas, the Dnipro and the Danube. During the third stage, flotilla of the surface forces will be established.

Marines’ units will be consolidated in separate battalions as a part of brigades and deployed at bases near the main ports of Ukraine: Odesa, Mykolaiv, Berdyansk, Mariupol.

Units of the coastal missile-artillery troops will be consolidated into separate batallions.

Naval aviation will be consolidated into a brigade consisting of squadrons: anti-submarine, transport and multipurpose unmanned aerial vehicles.

Logistics  units  will be consolidated into centres. Together with the Navy branches units, services      of the Armed Forces and other state agencies of Ukraine, they will provide required capabilities to operational subordination of the Operations Command for conducting operations.

TRAINING (T) component reveals a procedure of forces training, both individual and collective. Preparation of ships and Navy units will take place in accordance with curriculum and programs based on NATO tactical guidelines and other standards. By the end of the first stage, individual and collective training methods, new forms and methods of career development training will be implemented according to the NATO principles and standards.

MATERIEL (M) component provides vision of armament and military equipment development.

A unified information network will unite all mobile and stationed sources of maritime domain awareness. It will be additionally equipped with high-tech equipment, including unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned maritime (surface and underwater) complexes.

During the first stage of the Strategy implementation, ship, land, and airborne-based anti-ship missiles will be put into service. During the second stage, cruise missiles against shore targets will be put into service with the purpose to destroy the critical infrastructure of the enemy during the act of aggression against Ukraine.

Recovery of the surface forces during the first two stages of the Strategy will be executed due to the boats of the “mosquito fleet”. This solution is the most realistic in terms of cost-effectiveness ratio.

Due to its speed, manoeuvrability and armament, such boats are capable of performing practically the whole spectrum of tasks that are inherent to classical surface ships, but they have smaller sea worthiness and operational range from the coast. Their advantage over larger ships is ability of agile and surprise actions, possibility to be relocated by land and the ability to operate on the rivers. The “mosquito fleet” will gradually increase its combat potential by improving characteristics and new high-tech weaponry. The operational zones of boats will increase. Combined with the innovative tactics of employment and well-trained crews, the “mosquito fleet” boats will be able to defeat a stronger enemy in naval battles and operations.

During the second stage, it is expected that Corvette class ships will be introduced to the Naval Forces, which will be capable to execute tasks beyond the Black Sea.

LEADERSHIP AND EDUCATION (L) is responsible for leaders training to lead in combat environment.

In the military education system, NATO principles, approaches and values will be implemented. This will allow changing the mentality of military thinking from a one-track mind to creative initiative, training a new generation of highly skilled, proactive service members with developed leadership qualities. The duplication of military education systems that is associated with the past system should be completely eliminated.

In military education, training courses for commanders-leaders of all levels, able to make decisions, be responsible for them and inspire subordinate personnel for their implementation will be introduced. Officers’ training will be conducted at the Naval Institute (Academy), the Ivan Chernyakhovsky National Defence University of Ukraine, and at educational institutions of the NATO member states. Training of the NCOs will be continued at the 198th Navy Education and Training Centre, according to NATO countries methodologies.

PERSONNEL (P) component gives understanding about management and the assessment procedures of the assessed and promoted personnel.

A change in the personnel management system should begin at the first stage of the Strategy implementation by creating military service recruiting system to form new personnel potential of the Navy. Full support of the service members’ career will make the profession of a naval sailor prestigious, will motivate to stay on military service and will influence the problem of personnel loss.

Appointment on new positions will be carried out in accordance with ratings, which will be formed on the basis of annual assessments, as well as according to results of operational tasks accomplishment, and operational (combat) training.

FACILITIES (F) describes infrastructure for stationing and training.

Training of service members of naval surface units and Marines will be conducted at 198th Navy Education and Training Centre in Mykolaiv. Training centres of the Armed Forces services and other state agencies of Ukraine will be involved as required. The training of naval aviation crews will be carried out at the Air Forces Centres of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The main units of logistic support will be naval bases, which will be established according to the territorial principle. They will be subordinated to the Navy Logistics Centre, which will be responsible for coordination of comprehensive support of the naval forces. All structures of the Navy HQ, which provide practical logistical support, will be handed over to the Centre and the bases.

During all three stages, infrastructure development – development of the Naval bases system on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, the Dnipro and the Danube Rivers will take place. The bases system  will give priority to the creation of technological and energy-independent military bases with a sufficient amount of provided accommodation for service members and their families.


Now Ukraine is going through difficult times, fighting for its independence and the European future. Ukraine is a maritime state, therefore protection of its national interests, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the state are inseparably connected with the sea.

The Naval Forces are and will be the main tool for protecting the state at sea and from the sea.

This Strategy offers the vision for the development of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by 2035. The Naval Forces should be able to respond to current and future threats from the sea. This will require a well-defined direction of development.

This document defines priorities for the development of capabilities of the Naval Forces, consistently in three stages by 2035. The Strategy will allow recovering the Naval Forces, protecting the Ukrainian people and the state, and winning over the aggressor.

The Navy efforts will be concentrated on implementation of this Strategy. Support of the General Staff, the Ministry of Defence, the Verkhovna Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and other agencies that provide necessary resources for the development of the Naval Force is critical in this process. Without it, the success of the Strategy will be impossible.

Implementation of the Strategy will be carried out in close co-operation with our international partners.

Each naval sailor will know his/her own role in the future of the Naval Forces. Motivation of service members is a part of this Strategy. This campaign will require time and teamwork.

The people of Ukraine and their future, human life and dignity, democratic values, territorial integrity and inviolability of the state must be protected from threats from the sea.

We cast off all the lines and head for the open sea …