More vessels for the Russian fleet by 2020-Stealth, Diesel, Boomers, all included!


Sergei Shoigu, the new Defense Minister of Russia, made a statement today, whereby he announced that the Navy will be receiving 24 submarines and 54 warships of various classes by 2020.

Shoigu specified that of the 24 submarines, eight would be nuclear-powered strategic ones and 16 multirole subs. It is obvious what he is referring to by the term strategic and those are no other than the Borey class and Borey-As. The Borey-A is an improved Borey class, like the one which is being constructed after Vladimir Monomakh, the Knyaz Vladimir. They were originally meant to carry 20 Bulava missiles, but ultimately they will be carrying 16. The vessels come with advanced sonar navigation, communications and fire-control systems and have lower electromagnetic signature (stealthier). Of the eight strategic ones 3 will be Borey “basic” and eight Borey-A class. 

Of the 16 multirole submarines at least 8 will come from various classes like the “Graney”, “Kilo” and “Lada”. The Kilo and Lada classes are Diesel electric powered resembling the German Type-214s which Greece, Turkey and South Korea possess and the French Scorpene. Iran also has diesel type subs, but those are based on the North Korea’s Yono class.

The Graney ones, also known as Yasen, are the evolution of the so called “Akula” types (meaning Shark). One of the Russian Akulas penetrated US’s defenses last Summer and surfaced at the Gulf of Mexico, leaving an extreme bitter taste, which was coupled by the one left by the Russian Strategic Bombers, which penetrated Alaska and the West Coast on July 4. The first of the Yasen/Graneys, the “Severodvinsk” is already operational, while the second, the “Kazan” has already been laid down (2009) and expected to be commissioned in 2015.

The Graneys, as mentioned, are the evolution of the Akulas and thus although the idea around building it is more or less the same, there are some features which have changed. The Graney class is smaller than the Akula, yet it possesses more fire power. It is also the first type of submarine using the Irtysh-Amfora spherical sonar, which due to its size had an impact on the positioning of the torpedoes which had to be slanted in order to fit. The submarine can launch long-range cruise missiles bearing nuclear warheads against submarines, surface warships and land-based targets. It is armed with 3M51 Alfa submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCM), P-800 Oniks or the SS-N-21 Granat / Sampson SLCM. The 3M51 Alfa engages targets within the range of 300 to 800km, while the P-800 is a long range supersonic anti-ship missile capable of hitting submarines or surface ships. 

A total of 24 torpedoes are carried by the sub featuring the VA-111 Shkval torpedo capable of carrying an up to 210 kg warhead and hitting targets as far as 13 km away. More torpedo typed include the SAET-60M, Type 65-76, Type 65K, while the submarine also carries the anti-sub RPK-7/SS-N-16 Veter / Stallion rockets. 

In addition to submarines the navy will receive Admiral Gorshkov class frigates, Steregushchy class corvettes (stealth type for more info read here), Buyan class corvettes and Ivan Gren Class large landing ships.

Admiral Gorshkov class frigates are also extremely potent and capable of anti-sub war, posing as escort ships as well. They too incorporate stealth technology. They are equipped with the infamous Yakhont missile (like the ones installed in Syria), a Medvedka-2 ASW (anti-submarine warfare) system, a Hurricane medium-range surface-to-air defence missile system  a a new 130mm gun and 30mm close-in weapon system (CIWS) gun. Most importantly, though, the Gorshkovs are fit to carry the “BrahMos”, the supersonic cruise missile developed jointly by Russia and India. Gorshkovs can carry torpedoes as well. 

As for the Buyan class, the Russian navy has name five of them, with the last being the “Serpukhov”, while the first is “Grad Sviyazhsk”. They are characterized by the Russian navy as “river-sea” class ships with stealth technology. Their weapons include the Caliber-NK standard missile system (with a load of 8 cruise missiles effective both against surface ships and coast-based targets), a 100-mm gun mount A190-01, a 30-mm gun mount AK-630M-2 Duet; two SAM systems Gibka and two machineguns (14.5-mm and 7.62-mm). Those vessels are probably destined to operate in the Caspian flotilla. 

Alexandros Boufesis reporting for and Focus Dynamics Research Center

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