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The 9th International Maritime Defense Show (IMDS-2019) took place from July 10 to 14, 2019 in St. Petersburg under the Russian Government decree. The IMDS-2019 Organizing Committee was headed by Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov. This event got full support of Russia’s Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Rosoboronexport and the Government of Saint Petersburg. The exhibition operator was Morskoy Salon Co. Ltd.

353 exhibitors, including 28 foreign companies from 19 countries, displayed their products at the exposition that occupied three halls of Lenexpo Exhibition Complex with over 15,000 square metres total indoors area plus outdoor space, a water area of the Finland Gulf and near the quays of the Sea Terminal.

Fifty official foreign delegations from 36 countries visited the Show. Among them, twenty three delegations were invited by Rosoboronexport which order-book for naval hardware, as claimed by Company’s CEO Alexander Mikheev, exceeds $5 billion. High-ranking naval delegations got the opportunity to board Russian-built naval ships – which are popular in the world market – to become familiar with their equipment and, moreover, visit enterprises involved in their construction.

The demonstration part of the exhibition at the quays of the Sea Terminal and water area presented 16 ships, boats and craft belonging to the Russian Navy and the Border Guard of the Russian Federal Security Service such as: ADMIRAL KASATONOV frigate Project 22350; STOYKIY corvette Project 20380; MYTISCHI small missile ship Project 22800; SERPUKHOV small missile ship Project 21631 etc.
Our report draws up attention to the novelties being displayed at the show.


Project 22350 Frigate

IMDS 2019 showed debut of ADMIRAL KASATONOV frigate – the second in the row and the first serial ship of the Project 22350. The Severnoye Design Bureau ship will be adopted by the Navy till the end of 2019. Initial ship of the Project, ADMIRAL GORSHKOV, has been in service with the Russian Navy since last summer. In April, 2019, she crossed three oceans and arrived to the Chinese port of Qingdao to take part in the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army Navy. Two more frigates – ADMIRAL GOLOVKO and ADMIRAL ISAKOV – are under construction at the Severnaya shipyard in St.Petersburg.

Project 22350 multifunctional frigates are the first surface warships to be completely designed and built from scratch in Russia not relying on previous Soviet designs. They displace about 5,000 tons, can reach speed up to 29 knots. They adopt the newest weapon systems and equipment, including Kalibr missiles and Poliment-Redut ship-bourne AD system, and can be used efficiently in various missions in any part of the World Ocean.

Photos: Yury Laskin


Project 22800 Corvette

Much attention of experts and official delegations was also focused on a lead ship of the Project 22800 KARAKURT class corvette MYTISCHI. The corvette is designed by the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau and was manufactured by the Pella shipyard. Project 22800 is the most massive series of ships being simultaneously built at Russian shipyards. Lead ship MYTISCHI is in service with the Russian Navy since late 2018. Another 10 corvettes are being tested or constructed at the moment. In total Russian Navy signed orders for 18 ships of the KARAKURT class.

The KARAKURT ships are equipped with versatile launchers of UKSK 3С14 type. These launchers can be used to launch Kalibr and Onix family of cruise missiles and their equivalents (Yakhont, Brahmos), as well as Zircon hypersonic missiles, as soon as they will be passed into service. In addition, the ship is equipped with improved gun mount (GM) of АК-176МА type with higher shooting accuracy due to the use of electric actuators.

The first pair of the KARAKURT class corvettes is armed with АК-630М rapid firing GM. Starting from the second serial-produced corvette SHKVAL, the ships will be equipped with the Pantsir-M air defence missile systems— a seaborne version of the land-based Pantsir-S1 air defence system proven effective through the course of the Syria Campaign.

Export version of the ship — Project 22800E — has already attracted attention of several foreign customers at international naval shows. According to the experts’ estimation, the corvette can be interesting to Russia’s traditional partners like India and Vietnam, as well as other countries from Southeast Asia, Africa, and Middle East.


SERPUKHOV Small Missile Ship

One of the Naval show’s highlights was the latest SERPUKHOV small missile ship of the Project 21631. The vessel has been designed by the Zelenodolsk Bureau and built at the neighboring Gorky Shipyard.

The ship has 949 t displacement, 25 knots speed and operational range up to 1,500 nautic miles. The ship’s main weaponry is 8 missiles of the Kalibr class, as well as A-190 100 mm artillery unit. Air defence protection is managed by 2×4 Gibka launchers with Igla-type missiles and Duet artillery turret with 2 AK-630 six-barrel 30-mm guns. Close defence employs 2 x14,5-mm and 3 x 7,62-mm machine guns.

On August 15, 2016, SERPUKHOV alongside ZELENYI DOL sister ship successfully participated in anti-terror operation in Syria launching 3 Kalibr missiles against the terrorists’ bases which had been destroyed completely.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia Navy Commanders as well as high ranking delegations from Nigeria, Thailand and Vietnam displayed special interest to AK Bars products including frigate GEPARD 3.9, the Project 21631 small missile ship, the Project 21980 special-purpose boat and the Project 22160 patrol vessel, according to the AK Bars Holding representative.



A new lightweight version of the Bal-E coastal defense system was unveiled at IMDS 2019. The Rubezh-ME is dedicated to the export market and focuses on coastal states with modest budgets. The developer is reportedly the JSC Research and Production Enterprise Kaluga Instrument-Making Plant Typhoon. Typhoon joined efforts with Tactical Missiles Corporation to create a shore-based missile platform which inherited the best features of its predecessors.

The Rubezh-ME provides over-the-horizon detection, tracking and engagement of individual surface targets, groups of ships, as well as ground targets. Unlike Bal system which is based on three vehicles, the Rubezh-ME is based on a single Kamaz 8×8 off-road chassis but deploys the same Kh-35UE family of anti-ship missiles. The Rubezh-ME complex includes a self-propelled command and control and communications centre (SKPUS) equipped with the Monolith-B radar and autonomous self-propelled launchers (SPU). Centralized fire control is implemented by using self-propelled command and control and communications command center (SKPUS), which provides target designation and optimal target distribution between launchers, depending on their combat readiness and location in a combat position. The presence of high-precision active and passive radar detection channels allows for a flexible detection strategy, including secretive.

The Rubez-ME can be deployed in less than 15 min. The vehicle operates efficiently being positioned at altitude up to 1 km above sea level and 10 km from the coast line. The Monolith-B radar allows the Rubezh-ME to engage targets up to 250 km in active mode and covert detection of the radiation emitted opposing radars up to 450 km in passive mode.

There is an option to combine up to 8 SP vehicles into a task force for joint detection and engagement of targets with a volley of 32 anti-ship missiles. The Rubezh-E can be deployed either independently or in combination with already in-service Bal-E and Bastion-P (when equipped with the Monolit-B radar) with all data-exchange processes carried out automatically.

Typhoon has also arranged the first public appearance of the Monolit-B coast-based reconnaissance system of sea-surface/aerial situation in the module configuration. Monolit-B system is designed for the long-range over-the-horizon detection and tracking of sea surface and aerial targets. It is easily transported, fits for any chassis, quickly deployed, and can operate as a self-propelled or a stationary version. Active radar of the system is capable to detect targets at the distance of up to 500 km, the passive one – up to 750 km. The crew of the self-propelled version consists of 5 men, the mobile and the stationary versions – of 4 men.









Nevskoe Design Bureau distributed information on the perspective aircraft carrier of project 11430E codenamed LAMANTIN. The ship’s model was displayed at the bureau’s booth within the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) pavilion. According to the available data, the LAMANTIN is designed for various aircraft capable of fighting air, sea and ground targets in oceans, seas and coastal waters and to ensure combat sustainability of warship groupings and defend amphibious assault from an air attack. The LAMANTIN can be equipped with several types of accelerators for ship-borne aircraft, including one sky jump, two electromagnetic catapults, and four arresters.

The LAMANTIN class carrier displaces 80-90,000 tons. It is 350-meter long and 41-meter wide. The draft is about 12 meters. Full speed is close to 30 knots and the cruising capacity is 120 days. The crew comprises 2,800 men and the airpower – 800 men. The aircraft carrier will accommodate up to 60 aircraft (planes and helicopters) and 6-10 unmanned aerial vehicles.

The ammunition onboard can reach 1,600-2,000 tons. The equipment includes an automatic control system of the operational and tactical level, an integrated communications and data exchange set, an automatic ship control system, a complex system to control technical means, and an auxiliary power plant.

“The conceptual project of LAMANTIN carrier is based on the legacy of the Project 1143.7 heavy nuclear-powered aircraft-carrying cruiser ULYANOVSK. So, we and the Russian Navy offer to consider the option of a nuke power-plant,” Aleksey Yukhnin, deputy director for shipbuilding and military cooperation at Nevskoe Design Bureau told Mil.Press Today.



Nevskoe Design Bureau also unveiled the model and distributed information on the export version of the new Russian large-size landing ship CAYMAN. Its basic characteristics are close to those introduced in landing ships of Project 11711. Two ships of the second series of this project – named VLADIMIR ANDREEV and VASILY TRUSHIN – were keel-laid at Yantar Shipyard in April 2019 to join the Russian Navy in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

According to Yukhnin CAYMAN is intended for sea transportation and landing on an unprepared coast of troops and equipment during amphibious campaigns.

Full displacement of the CAYMAN ships will make 8,000 tons, length is 150 meters, beam is 19.5 meters, draft is 4.5 meters. The ship will accelerate up to 18 knots, the crew will include 120 men. CAYMAN’s air group will consist of ten assault transport helicopters and two search and rescue ones. In addition, the ship will accommodate up to six landing boats lifting at least 45 tons each.


AIP for Submarines

During IMDS Russia’s Naval Commander in Chief Nikolai Evmenov confirmed that decision on the choice for the air-independent power-plant for Russian submarines can be taken by the Navy after a comparative test of projects offered by Rubin and Malachite design bureaus.

At IMDS-2019 the St. Petersburg-based Malachite design bureau unveiled the P-750B submarine with common submerged/surface power-plant. The project contemplates using of the closed-cycle anaerobic plant with gas turbine engine. In his interview to Mil.Press Today, representative of Malachite told about the power-plant. While on surface, the sub uses atmosphere air. Under water, oxidizer goes from the Dewar’s vessel where the liquid oxygen is stored. The gas mixture generated by the turbine is purified and frozen, emitting nothing outside. Thus, the submerged speed without batteries (only powered by the anaerobic plant) exceeds 10 knots.


Rubin Design Bureau

Rubin Design Bureau demonstrated mock-up of training system designed to provide full scope of training and drilling for submarine crews on rescue, damage control and diving activities.

In cooperation with the leading companies of Russian shipbuilding industry Rubin has designed the first Russian operational system for submarine personnel training and drilling of rescue and damage control activities including training stands for fire-fighting, stands for training escape from a sunken submarine, stand for training emergency parties intended for advanced investigation and conduct of emergency works.

Rubin has already developed and tested simulating module of fire-fighting compartment of submarine. The simulator provides damage control training in emergency situation such as fire or dangerous concentrations of harmful substances.


Solar-Powered Boat

The Granit-Electron Concern (part of the Tactical Missile Corporation) displayed an unmanned universal solar-powered boat. The development of the boat is their joint project with Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. The boat has an autonomous control system and is designed for a wide range of applications, including search-and-rescue missions, World’s ocean exploring, ecology and fish stock monitoring, planning sea bottom maps, as well as for military purposes – reconnaissance and delivery of weapons (torpedoes and bombs).

This product combines concern and university competences in shipbuilding, radio-electronic engineering, intellectual guidance systems, IT, optics and acoustics.

The unmanned universal boat has become the point of interest for R&D institutes, dealing with civilian marine equipment, environmental services not only from the Russian Federation, but from South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran etc.



In the forefront of IMDS Alexander Mikheev, Director General of Rosoboronexport, noted success of UEC-Saturn, which started production of marine gas turbine engines, including for the warships for export.

At the Show UEC-Saturn displayed four marine exhibits, including the SGTG-8 marine dual-fuel gas turbine electric generator mockup featuring state-of-the-art performance, two marine gas turbine engines (M70FRU and M90FR) mockups which are baseline fourth-generation GTE (gas turbine engines) of the domestic marine power engineering, as well as a model of the F.Ushakov assembly and testing facility for marine gas turbine units and engines. The commissioning of the latter became the most important element of the programme consisting in building up entirely import-independent Russian production of ship gas turbine power plants.


Palma and Pantsir

The High Precision Weapons Holding Company arranged demonstration of the Pantsir-ME shipborne air defence missile and artillery system developed and produced by the Instrument Design Bureau JSC KBP named after Academician A.Shipunov.

The Pantsir-ME can be installed on most of the Russian warships and is very well fit for ships manufactured by other countries. According to Rosoboronexport’s Director General Alexander Mikheev, Pantsir has very good export prospects in the Arab countries, South-East Asia and Latin America.

The Pantsir-ME air defence missile and artillery system can be set up on ships with water displacement of over 300 tons. The system provides a reliable protection of vessels from all the existing and prospective air assault weapons in the whole spectrum of their combat capabilities with an unconditional probability of kill, which is practically equivalent to one, including low-flying anti-ship missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The high effectiveness in intercepting of anti-ship missiles is explained by high performance tactical and technical characteristics of the Pantsir-ME air defence missile and artillery system. The system is capable of simultaneous firing at four targets attacking the ship while the kill zone for guided anti-aircraft missiles reaches 20 kilometers in distance and up to 15 kilometers in height. Besides, Pantsir-ME can first utilize its missile weapons, and then, in case of a miss, the target will be hit by the artillery fire with a 100 percent guarantee.

High Precision Weapons also reported on completion of deliveries of several Palma naval anti-aircraft gun-missile (AAGM) systems to the Russian Navy and foreign customers. The Palma system was certified and tested with 12 of the newest classes of Russian naval ships with displacements ranging from 250 tons to 5,400 tons. Ten AAGM systems are now being operated. The system is installed not only on warships for the Russian Navy but also on the GEPARD Project 11661 frigate for a foreign customer.

The armament set of Palma combines two upgraded six-barrel 30-mm automatic guns AO-18KD and eight anti-aircraft guided missiles Sosna-R. Artillery weaponry engages targets at a range up to 4 km, while missiles operate in the firing range between 1.3 and 10 km.

According to the Holding company’s booklet, the Palma fires new armor-piercing reduced calibre (APCR) 30 mm rounds with a W-Ni-Fe penetrator. The Palma can be supplied in a stationary configuration to protect offshore installations, naval bases, and other sensitive shore-based objects.


BrahMos Aerospace

The Russian-Indian joint venture has displayed a variety of its supersonic cruise missiles for the Army, Navy and Air Force application. The latest version of the BrahMos-A missile has been successfully tested with the IAF Su-30MKI multipurpose aircraft. The Russian Vice Prime Minister Yury Borisov paid a visit to BrahMos to confirm a full support for the enterprise.



One can note that the 10th IMDS dates and exact location haven’t been determined yet. There are rumors about LenExpo grounds sale for commercial development to shift the well-established show in Kronshtadt – the Baltic Fleet naval base in the island of Kotlin which has been connected to St.-Petersburg main land with a recently built highway. At the moment there are no facilities to accommodate a huge show and a large number of visitors in Kronshtadt. So, the nearest future will determine one of the best world naval show’s destiny.

Sergey Kirshin, Yury Laskin