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The frigate Admiral Gorshkov. The beginning of the renewal of the Russian offshore fleet?

The frigate Admiral Gorshkov. The beginning of the renewal of the Russian offshore fleet?

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Anyone interested in the Russian naval matters knows that the subject of the future of the offshore fleet has spilled much ink; between aging vessels, delayed modernization programs and / or much longer than expected, industrial and technical difficulties, without even addressing budgetary issues, as saying that there are many questions, and the state of the fleet in feels very much.

Yet the makers of the young Russian navy did not remain the same idly during the decade 1990-2000, since the need to renew the surface fleet was clearly identified at the time: it followed including the arrival of vertical launch cells 3S14 UKSK which, thanks to their compactness, allowed to see the foundations of the Russian naval architecture by creating a new design purpose frigates heavily armed without presenting a movement as important as their predecessors. Given the financial situation more than complex of Russia in the 1990s, lay on hold during this period were reduced like skin of sorrow, which, coupled with the disappearance of the Soviet naval supply chain led an accelerated aging the Russian fleet due to lack of modernization programs and retention conditions and a lack of complete renewal programs of the latter.

The genesis

With the return of budgets allocated to military issues at the dawn of the 2000s, the Russian military has gradually revived orders by first consulting firms to work to offer them new ship designs. It was in June 2003 that the command of the Russian Navy (VMF) approved the conceptual design of a new class of frigates designed by the office of Severnoye PDB studies (1) (ex-Severnoye PKB) under the aegis the chief engineer Dmitry Silantiev. The tender for the construction of new frigates was launched on 28 February 2005, which replied shipyard Yantar, Severnaya Verf and Sevmash. It is ultimately the shipyard Severnaya Verf who went win by getting the contract to build the first frigate October 21, 2005.

It was during the laying of the keel of the seed, on 1 February 2006, in the shipyard Severnaya Verf that was unveiled the name of the new frigate Admiral (2) of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov ( 3). It bears the serial number 921 and is classified under the project code Izd.22350 (Gorshkov class). Commissioning within VMF was scheduled in early 2010 and plans were for the less ambitious as they had forecast the acquisition as part of the GPV (state armament program) 2011-2020 a ten buildings, with the goal of admission to serve twenty units over a period of fifteen to twenty years. Delays in construction would soon appear and the launch of the first unit did not occur until October 29, 2010 with the intention to deliver the building to the Russian Navy in 2011 … this plane being amended in 2011 with delivery delayed until November 2012, a clearly impossible to keep within view of the progress of work in early 2012.

Delays in mishap, the manufacturer tests (preliminary step prior state approval tests) did not start until 18 November 2014. It was nevertheless still expect no less than four years to attend the presentation of the frigate to the customer! Indeed, because of various technical difficulties which we shall return, building tests have lasted much longer than expected and it was not until March 2017 that the frigate entered the final phase of approval tests . Finally, it is July 26, 2018 that was signed on the ship’s certificate of acceptance to admit the service two days later with the flag raising ceremony of the Russian Navy. He then joined the Northern Fleet (unit 43 DRK) and its base Severomorsk.

Although this class frigates was severely delayed, like all ships put on hold after 1991 in Russia, the military have not remained inactive since control (4) on three more frigates was signed on 25 UAC March 2010 between Russia and the Ministry of Defense. However, the shipyard already anticipated was this command (which was under discussion for several months) and a second frigate (actually, the first series of frigate), called the Admiral Kasatonov Fleet (5) (serial number 922) was keels November 26, 2009 (before the signing of the acquisition agreement) and launched on 12 December 2014. his first tests took place in the Baltic late Wed. December 2018 and his call to service is expected by the end of 2019, once completed the certification tests. The start of production of these frigates will succeed: the Admiral Golovko (6) (serial number 923) is put on hold on 1 February 2012, followed by the Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Isakov (7) (serial number 924) on November 14, 2013. the latest forecast, the two frigates should join the ranks of the Russian navy in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Key technical aspects

purpose frigates for use in coastal areas and in remote areas, frigates Gorshkov class have been designed around the cell vertical launch 3S14 UKSK to implement Oniks missiles Kalibr and eventually Tsirkon. In addition, they have been designed and thought to reduce their detectability with the implementation in the general architecture of the building of the SER reduction principles (Surface Equivalent Radar). Even if the application of these principles has not been as extensive as the Zumwalt destroyers of the US Navy, the Gorshkov frigates receive treatment that is radically opposed to the previous Soviet designs. With a low profile, an integrated radar mast, very clean lines and implementation of composite materials in the structure, it is far from the figure of Soviet ships with their forest of antennas and radar sometimes implemented haphazardly .

From the point of view of the main dimensions, Gorshkov frigate have a length of 136 m, a maximum width of 16.4 m, a draft of 4.5 m, a displacement of 4500 t and the average crew 185 people (can go up to 210 as required). The shell is made of steel with use of composite materials including PVC and carbon fiber, for parts of the superstructure. The bridge is located in the middle of the building and is topped with a single mast which concentrates almost all of radars and sensors employed by the ship. The kinematic chain is of the type CODAG (Combined Diesel And Gas) with two M55R units is based, as its name indicates, on a mix of 10D49 Diesel engines (8) coupled to gas turbine UGT-15000 + (9 ) that operate via two R055 gearboxes, propellers two to five blades. All developing 54 400 hp and allows the vessel to reach the maximum speed of 29 knots or adopt an economic march of 14 knots (10); moreover, four Diesel generators ADH-1000NK kind provide power to the frigate. This is the Zorya Ukrainian-Mashproekt builder who created and produced the drivetrain, the latter being a mixture of Russian products (diesel 10D49 home Kolomna) and gas turbines and gearboxes of Ukrainian origin, which will not without problems thereafter. The vessels have an endurance of 30 days with a range of 4500 nautical miles (11) economic operation.

It is in armaments onboard the Gorshkov frigates reveal features of contemporary Russian shipbuilding with the implementation of a battery of new weapons that have significantly more complex development of the ship. Onboard weapons can be divided into two categories: offensive weapons and defensive weapons.

First discussed category, offensive weapons. The vessels are built around sixteen UKSK cells installed on the foredeck and can implement the P-800 Oniks missiles (SS-N-26) 3M14 / 3M54 / 91RT2 Kalibr (SS-N-27) (12) eventually Tsirkon 3M22. Guiding the missile embedded in vertical cells is provided by a 34K1 Monolit radar installed in a massive dome mounted above the navigating bridge. It seems that this radar can also be used as back-up for control of artillery in case of failure of radar planned for it. Set on the beach front of the ship is a new canon A-192M 130 mm shapes designed to reduce the radar echo and able to reach land and naval targets up to a distance of 23 km (18 km for air targets). The assembly is coupled to the fire control radar 5P-10 Puma. Installed laterally in the shell, the NK-Paket system which comprises two launchers SM-588 quadruple torpedo 324 mm, is offensive to both the hybrid and defensive employee to attack underwater targets at a distance of 10 km away, and to intercept the torpedo launched against the ship.

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