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Russian Navy to Get New Stealth Frigate This Month

 
 

Following a multi-year delay, the Admiral Gorshkov, lead ship of the Admiral Gorshkov-class (Project 22350) of guided missile frigates, is expected to be delivered to the Russian Navy on July 28, a day before the service’s traditional grand naval parade in St. Peterburg, according to the President of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation Alexei Rakhmanov.

“Yes, the fleet has such thoughts,” Rakhmanov is quoted as saying by TASS news agency on July 18 in response to a reporter’s question whether the Russian Navy ensign, the St. Andrew’s Flag, will be hoisted aboard the Admiral Gorshkov ahead of Russia’s Navy day, which traditionally is celebrated on the last Sunday of July.

The Admiral Gorshkov, with a total displacement of around 4,500 tons — the largest surface combatant built by Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union — is currently undergoing hull and superstructure coating ahead of the expected flag raising ceremony and the subsequent naval parade. The Russian Navy has so far not publicly confirmed the July 28 delivery date.

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The first-of-class Admiral Gorshkov has been under construction for over a decade. The ship was laid down in 2006 and launched in 2010. It has been undergoing builder sea trials since November 2014. The final round of sea trials commenced in last March. Initially, the ship was expected to be commissioned in November 2016. However, due to various delays that date had to be pushed back to November 2017. That deadline also passed. The new commissioning date is now set for November of this year. As I noted earlier this month:

The Admiral Gorshkov-class has had to deal with various technical issues, including performance and compatibility problems with its Polimut Redut air defense missile system and with its propulsion system. The entire Project 22350 program also suffered from periodic funding shortages since its inception.

Displacing around 4,500 (standard) tons, the Admiral Gorshkov-class is the largest class of surface warships to be built by Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is a multi-purpose platform designed for anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine warfare missions.

The ship’s primary weapon systems for anti-surface warfare missions will be the 3M-54 Kalibr, a stand-off supersonic anti-ship cruise missile with an estimated range of 270 to 410 miles, or alternatively the P-800 Oniks over-the-horizon supersonic anti-ship missile (or its more advanced derivative, the two-stage BrahMos missile) launched from vertical launch system cells. (The 3M-54 Kalibr is also available in land-attack and anti-submarine variants.)

Delivery of the second Admiral Gorshkov-class (Project 22350) guided missile frigate Admiral Kasatonov will also be delayed by around eight months. Delivery of the ship is now expected in October or November 2019. Two additional Project 22350 frigates are currently under construction. However, it is unclear whether Russia’s shipbuilding industry will be able to design and build a new propulsion system for the ships as the existing stock of Ukraine-made gas turbine engines has been depleted and no new imports from Ukraine, given the ongoing conflict, can be expected.

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