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The Russian Navy has continued with its procurement plan for 2020 after the service commissioned the 17th Project 03160 RAPTOR class patrol boat last Saturday. The ceremony took place at the Pella shipyard in St. Petersburg and the ship was inaugurated by Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy. He said that the RAPTORs have proven effectiveness patrolling coastal areas, straits and river estuaries at a distance of 100 nm from from their base, in day and night conditions. The RAPTOR class high-speed boats can also be used to transport up to 20 marines, intercepting and detaining small targets and carrying out search and rescue operations in their patrol areas.

Key Russian Navy Programmes

Last week, Evmenov also confirmed that the state trials of the Project 22800 ODINTSOVO corvette had been successfully completed. These are the first surface ships of the Russian Navy equipped with a naval version of the PANTSIR-M anti-aircraft missile and artillery system. The ODINTSOVO is the third KARAKURT class corvette of project 22800 with PANTSIR-M being the main difference from earlier ships, with the remaining corvettes of the class also being armed with PANTSIR-M. The media has reported that the Russian Navy will receive at least 18 Project 22800 vessels.

The PANTSIR-M system was test-fired in mid-October 2020 where it destroyed the targets at a long distance and downed the remaining targets using gunfire close to the warship. The ODINTSOVO was on Arctic trials from early August to late September 2020 where the ship fulfilled all missions in the Barents and the White Seas in the two-month sortie, fired missiles and returned to the Baltic Sea by internal waterways, the Izvestia paper reported. Admiral Evmenov noted that the Corvette will be commissioned by the Navy at the end of November.

Kaliningrad-based Yantar shipyard has reported the completion of state tests for the PETR MORGUNOV amphibious assault ship being built under Project 11711. The tests were suspended in October because of COVID-19 cases among crew members but resumed in November to the check weapon systems operation and practice helicopter landing. These ships will be commissioned by the end of the year.

Fleet update

Mr. Igor Orlov, CEO of the Severnaya verf shipyard, confirmed that the GREMYASHCHY corvette, lead vessel of Project 20385, will be handed over to Navy by 25 December. Project 20385 are multirole corvettes designed by the Almaz bureau to detect and destroy submarines and surface warships, support landing operations and engage in various brown-water missions. The corvette built for the Pacific fleet and will be the first carrier of KALIBR missile in the area, while Severnaya verf is building another Project 20385 corvette called the PROVORNY. At the ARMY-2020 forum, Russia’s Defence Ministry contracted naval industries for two more corvettes of this class.

Another noteworthy vessel, according to information published by the Russian press agency TASS, is the Project 22350 frigate ADMIRAL KASATONOV of the Northern Fleet, which has successfully fired a KALIBR anti-ship missile at a coastal target. “The frigate fired the KALIBR missile from the White Sea and successfully hit the target at a distance of 1000 km at Chizha range in Arkhangelsk region,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. Earlier, the ADMIRAL KASATONOV trained artillery fire in the Barents Sea while on 29 September, the ship fired a KALIBR missile at a ground target in the Arkhangelsk region. Alongside two frigates operated by the Russian Navy, Severnaya verf is proceeding with construction of six more Project 22350 frigates.

Sergey Kirshin