London Times, 24 March 1906, p. 14: RUSSIAN NAVAL CONSTRUCTION.

Details are published by the Neue Freie Presse of the construction programme which was sanctioned recently for the Russian navy by the Tsar. The programme comprises 12 battleships, 15 [or 13?] cruisers, 46 torpedo-boat destroyers, 18 torpedo-boats, ten submarines, seven gunboats, nine monitors, and one mining ship, a total of 118 vessels. The distribution of the navy thus to be created is as follows:–

For the Baltic Sea fleet – nine turret ships, each of 16,000 to 17,000 tons displacement, with four heavy, 14 medium, and 56 quick-firing guns, armoured with nickel steel 230 millimetres (9in.) thick, and with a speed of 18.5 knots; four first-class cruisers of 12,000 tons, having a complete belt and protection to the central battery of 135 millimetres (5¼in.) thick, and carrying 40 quick-firing guns, a novel armament owing to the absence of heavy guns; 18 deep-sea torpedo-boats of 250 to 300 tons, a mining ship of the YENISSEI type, and ten submarines.

For the Black Sea fleet – three squadron armoured ships of 12,500 tons to replace the old-fashioned turret ships SINOPE, EKATERINA II and TCHESMA, which date from 1886 and 1887, to be armed and protected in the same way as the other modern armoured vessels of the Black Sea fleet, with four guns of 30.5 centimetres (12in.), four of 20 centimetres (7-3/4in.), 12 of 15 centimetres (6in.), 32 small bore quick-firers, and with 229 millimtres (9in.) of armour, and a maximum speed of 16 knots; seven first-class cruisers of 12,750 tons; four second-class cruisers of the KAGUL and OTCHAKOFF type, hitherto denominated first-class, each of 6,700 tons displacement, and a speed of from 22 to 24 knots; and 28 torpedo-boat destroyers of the ZWONKI type of 350 tons, and a speed of 26 knots.

For the Far East – six coast defense gunboats of 800 to 1,000 tons, armed with one heavy, two medium, and 12 light guns, and a speed of 14 knots; and nine shallow-draught gunboats of 250 tons for the rivers of Northern Siberia.

For the Persian Gulf – one stationary gunboat.

The total cost is calculated at 380,000,000 roubles (£38,000,000), to be divided into nine installments, to be added each year to the 117,000,000 roubles (£11,700,000) required annually for the normal expenses of the navy. The total naval Budget for the next nine years will, therefore, be 159.2 million roubles (£15,920,000), in which sum is included the cost of equipping and constructing arsenals and docks.

Provided by Stephen McLaughlin