20380 STEREGUSHCHY CLASS CORVETTE
Laid down: Dec 24, 2001
First Russian stealth technology ship: internal missile launchers, monoblock architecture build with composite materials, ESR decreased in 3 times etc.
Contractors: CCB Almaz (Design),
CNII Akademic Krylov,
Severnaya Verf' (St. Petersburg)
Length overall 93.9 m
Length at WL 84.6 m
Beam at deck 13.0 m
Depth at the fore 9.4 m
Depth amidships 7.8 m
Depth at transom 7.8 m
Full displacement ab.1900 t
Maximum speed 26-27 kn
Range at 14 kn cruise speed with full fuel stores 4000 nm
Endurance with maximum fresh water and provision stores 15 days
Crew, including helo team 90
Twin shaft CODOG system, comprising:
......2x10,000 kW gasturbines
......2x3650 kW diesel engines
Basic power supply AC 380/220V, 50 Hz.
4x630 kw diesel gensets.
8xYAKHONT anti ship missiles in 2 vertical launchers
6xMEDVEDKA-VE anisubmarine missiles in one vertical launcher
A190 gun mount 100mm caliber
2xKASHTAN-M close-in AA missile-artillery system
2xMTPU pedstal mashine gun 14.5 mm caliber
Observation and target designation Radar system
Attack missile target designation Radar system
Artillery fire control Radar system
Two optronic fire control systems for AA close-in weapons
ECM Radar system
Chaff and decoy launcher system with four launchers
CO's electronic commamd console
Sonar system with hull mounted and towed arrays
Anti diver sonar system
Integrated navigated system, compring gyro, magnetic compass, echosounder, log, radio direction finder, satellite system. The details of navaids complement could be specified on Customer choice.
The complement of communication system is provided under Customer specifications.
Active roll motions damper
Helicopter, hangar, flight deck
Launching/retrieving device for a towed sonar
Alexander Mozgovoi · Military Parade staff correspondent
Indeed, the St. Petersburg-based Severnaya Verf shipyard had never seen so many eminent guests as on December 21 last year when the Steregushchy corvette (Project 20380) was laid down for the Russian Navy. The ceremony was attended by Mikhail Kasyanov, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation; Ilya Klebanov, Deputy Prime Minister; Victor Cherkessov, Plenipotentiary of the Russian President in the Northwest Federal District; Vladimir Yakovlev, Governor of St. Petersburg; Sergei Frank, Minister of Transport; Vladimir Pospelov, Director General of the Russian Shipbuilding Agency; Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy; and other officials.
The broad attendance of high-rank officials emphasized the significance of the event: the Russian Navy had not ordered large surface ships for years. «Today we begin the construction of a series of combat ships,» Mikhail Kasyanov announced at the meeting held to mark the laying-down of the corvette. «The Navy is one of the the state’s primary concerns,» he stressed. This idea was highlighted by all other speakers.
«The mechanism of implementing Russia’s Marine Doctrine is coming into operation,» said Boris Kuzyk, Director General of the New Projects and Concepts industrial holding company which comprises the Severnaya Verf shipyard. «The construction of Project 20380 corvettes is part of the plan to restore Russia’s naval power.»
Why are corvettes to give rise to the renewal of the surface ship fleet? In answer to this question Rear-Admiral Anatoly Shlemov, Head of the Shipbuilding Department of the Russian Navy, pointed out that according to Russia’s official classification Steregushchy is a «multipurpose patrol ship of the coastal waters.» The number of such ships in the Russian Navy has dramatically dropped in recent years while the demand for them is strong.
Frankly speaking, the Navy has no such ships left. Projects 1124 and 1331M small antisubmarine ships (Grisha and Parchim II according to NATO classification), as well as Project 1234 small missile ships (Nanuchka according to NATO classification) which ranked as corvettes abroad, were designed for a limited range of missions — antisubmarine and antiship, respectively. Only Project 50 patrol boats (Riga according to NATO classification) can be regarded as Steregushchy’s direct forerunners. These patrol boats built in the 1950s in a series of 68 units were truly multipurpose craft. With a total displacement of 1,200 tons and a cruising speed of 29 knots, these craft were fitted with three 100mm multipurpose gun mounts, two twin-barrel guns, torpedo tubes, depth charges, conventional and rocket-assisted bomb-throwers, and were able to carry up to 26 mines. (In China, patrol boats of this class built under the Soviet license were additionally equipped with the Hai Ying 2 antiship missiles.) Project 50 patrol boats were «workhorses» in the Soviet Navy as well as in the navies of Bulgaria, East Germany, China, Indonesia and Finland: participating in exercises they waged antisubmarine warfare, fought against surface ships of the potential enemy, provided fire support for landing forces, etc. By the early 1990s, Project 50 patrol ships had by far exceeded their service lives and become obsolete. Eventually they were discarded, but the Navy had no vessels to replace them.
Igor Ivanov is General Designer of Project 20380 corvette.
It does not mean though that the concept of Project 50 ships as multipurpose patrol boats of the coastal waters was abandoned: it fully meets the present-day requirements for corvette-class ships. And there is a lot of logic in this. In Britain, corvettes, having slow-speed whale-boats as their prototypes, were reborn during WWII exclusively as anti-submarine ships intended to protect convoys from German «wolf packs.» In Russia, the history of patrol boats goes back to torpedo-boats — high-speed ships equipped primarily with offensive weapons. It has not always been justified. Today, however, it is such ships — comparably inexpensive and universally armed — that are sought for. This can be easily explained by the western navies’ adherence to the concept of littoral war which implies that a country is prepared to wage active see warfare against another country in the latter’s littoral zone. The name of the American version of this trendy concept speaks for itself: «Forward... from Sea.» Obviously, Russia cannot ignore such plans of western strategists. So there are good grounds to believe that Project 20380 corvettes will become basic means of protection of Russia’s adjacent littoral waters.
The Steregushchy corvette project has been worked out by the St. Petersburg-based Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau. This company has always tackled challenging problems and placed its stakes on advanced technologies. The first missile boats to be ever built in the world were Almaz’ products. Air-cushion landing craft and guided missile boats were also born there. Almaz has gained solid experience in designing frigate- and corvette-class ships. It submitted eight project designs of a corvette for a tender announced by the Russian Navy, and won it. The scales were tipped in favor of Almaz not only by the ship’s technical and performance characteristics, but also its relatively low construction cost.
Project 20380 corvette has a displacement of about 2,000 t, it is 100 m long and 13 m wide. Its main power plant is a diesel engine that enables the ship to run at a speed up to 30 knots — a characteristic gained primarily by optimal hull lines. Extensive research, comprehensive experiments and tests carried out at the Krylov Central Research Institute allowed the designers to make a hull that considerably decreases drag. Almaz’ competence in boat building appeared very helpful here too.
«The development of the ship’s constructive elements required great effort,» says Alexander Shlyakhtenko, Chief and General Designer of the Almaz bureau. «Project 20380 corvette is a new-generation ship and it must meet not only present-day needs but also challenges of the future.»
Enhancement of the ship’s covertness and survivability were the designers’ special concern. Extensive use of the stealth technology helped reduce the ship’s secondary radar field as well as its acoustic, infrared, magnetic and visual signatures. The original architecture of the hull and deck and the use of new construction materials also contributed to the corvette’s success. Noise abatement was ensured by accommodating engines (packaged with reduction gears) on damped platforms, while diesel generators were hooked to the second deck.
The electronic equipment of the corvette has been built around a new element base. Various means of command and combat stations are integrated into a single automated system, which allows real-time situation assessment and decisionmaking. This system also allows to bring the crew down to 100 men, which helps improve habitability standards.
Speaking at the press conference held to mark the laying-down of Steregushchy, Rear Admiral Igor Zakharov, Chief of the 1st Central Research Institute of the Russian MoD, said that the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the Navy sees the construction of Project 20380 corvettes as a comprehensive program that will involve introduction of a new system of ship deployment, crew training, logistics, and food supply. At present, the Food Supply Directorate of the Russian MoD is drawing up a menu for future corvette crews since, according to Igor Zakharov, high-tech ship-borne weapon systems call for changes in the supply practices. This statement implies that the corvettes will have volunteer crews only.
The corvette designers appear unwilling to disclose information on its weaponry. However, it is already known that Steregushchy will be equipped with a 100mm universal gun mount capable of engaging surface, air and coastal targets. Apparently, this is the AK-190 gun mount, or rather its modification, since the picture circulated by Almaz shows a «stealthwise»-shaped tower. The ship’s short-range antiaircraft and antimissile defense is to be ensured by a Kortik/Kashtan missile-gun AD system and two AK-630M machineguns. Torpedo launchers «hidden» inside the superstructure are designated for antisubmarine torpedoes and missiles. As for assault missile weapons, the first ship in the series will obtain two four-container mounts of the Uran antiship system concealed behind the superstructure walls between the tapered mast and the smoke funnel.
«Steregushchy will be equipped with well-proven weapon systems to exclude further development of prototypes,» Alexander Shlyakhtenko said. «At the same time the corvette’s modular design allows to equip all subsequent ships of the new series, as well as to upgrade current ships, with advanced assault, AD and antisubmarine weapon systems, including universal VL gun mounts. Furthermore, the composition of the armament can be altered depending on the theater of operation and customer request.»
In the long term, Project 20380 corvettes are likely to obtain the Onyx/Yakhont assault antiship system equipped with long-range supersonic, highly maneuverable, jam-proof missiles (which are currently being tested) as well as an AD missile system.
The corvette stern accommodates a helicopter take-off/landing pad and a hangar. The rotary-wing machine is intended for a wide range of missions, including reconnaissance, target designation for the missile system, attacks against surface ships by organic weapons, search for and destruction of submarines, and rescue operations.
Commissioning of Steregushchy to the Navy is scheduled for 2005. However, at the ceremony of the corvette’s laying-down, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, asked the Severnaya Verf staff to reduce the term by a year. Boris Kuzyk promised to speed up the construction.
Vladimir Kuroyedov also announced that the Russian Navy intended to purchase 20 corvettes of this class instead of the 10 requested earlier. The Federal Border Guard Service also takes interest in the corvette and work is already underway at Almaz to modify the ship to the needs of naval border guards.
The Russian corvette is believed to have a high export potential. Some foreign navies’ representatives have voiced the desire to have a closer look at the corvette design.
So, we have begun... in the hope that the start will be a success and a lasting one.
As the official ceremony of the laying-down of Steregushchy corvette proceeded at the Severnaya Verf shipyard, the Severnoye Design Bureau, an enterprise closest to the shipbuilding facility, was deep in work. The light in its windows could be seen from early morning till late at night, and it is now clear why. On January 3, 2002, deputy director general of the Rosoboronexport state export agency Sergei Chemizov and deputy head of the Chief Armament Directorate’s Procurement Office of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) Zhou Wei signed a contract for Russia’s delivering to China of two Project 956ME destroyers developed by the Severnoye Design Bureau. Several sources told that the contract is worth U.S. $1.4 billion.
Back in 1999 and 2000, the Severnaya Verf turned over two Project 956E destroyers to CPLA, which proved excellent performance characteristics while in service with the Chinese Navy. Project 956EM destroyers will differ from their forerunners: they are to be fitted with more advanced weapons and special equipment.