By the end of the year, 12 more ships will enter service with the Russian Navy, including the frigate Admiral Golovko, the nuclear submarine Emperor Alexander III and Krasnoyarsk, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said. He added that in total, over the past ten years, the Russian Navy has been replenished with more than 50 ships. Analysts state that the latest ships and submarines will protect Russia’s national interests and act as a deterrent for a potential enemy.
The Russian Navy will receive 12 more ships by the end of 2023, including the frigate Admiral Golovko and two nuclear submarines, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting at the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet.
“Two ships have already been commissioned this year, and 12 more will arrive by the end of the year. Among them are the frigate Admiral Golovko, the strategic missile submarine Emperor Alexander III, and the nuclear submarine Krasnoyarsk,” the minister said.
Let us recall that in May and September 2023 it was reported that Project 20380 corvettes “Mercury” and “Rezkiy” were transferred to the fleet. In total, according to Shoigu, over the past ten years the Russian Navy has been replenished with more than 50 ships.
“Improving the Navy allows us to defend the geopolitical interests of the country and respond appropriately to new challenges and threats,” said the head of the Ministry of Defense.
He emphasized that the Navy today protects the national interests of Russia, as well as maintains the security of sea routes and conducts operations in different parts of the world. To accomplish these tasks, the Ministry of Defense is “consistently taking steps to modernize and increase the combat readiness of the Russian Navy,” the head of the department emphasized.
In particular, Shoigu added, the Ministry of Defense is actively working on projects of multi-purpose nuclear submarines, robotic systems and unmanned underwater vehicles.
Sergei Shoigu held a meeting at the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet on improving the Navy
“In any zone of the World Ocean”
The frigate “Admiral Golovko” belongs to project 22350, which was developed by specialists from the Northern Design Bureau (St. Petersburg). According to the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), ships of this series are designed to perform a wide range of tasks, including the destruction of surface ships, search and destruction of submarines and ground targets, air defense, anti-submarine and missile defense of ships and vessels, joint actions with amphibious assault forces or patrol service, protection of state borders, ensuring the protection of civilian ships and production facilities in crisis areas and dangerous for navigation areas of the World Ocean.
The Russian Navy already has two frigates of this type in service – Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov and Admiral of the Fleet Kasatonov. It is worth noting that Admiral Gorshkov became the first carrier of the latest Russian Zircon hypersonic missiles. According to media reports, Admiral Golovko can also be equipped with Zircons.
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From USC materials it follows that Project 22350 ships can reach speeds of up to 29 knots (53.7 km/h), their displacement is 4.5 thousand tons, length – 135 m, autonomy – 30 days, and cruising range – up to 4 .5 thousand miles. The ship is controlled by a crew of 170 people.
The frigate is armed with the 130-mm A-192 artillery mount, the Poliment-Redut anti-aircraft missile system, launchers for 16 Onyx or Caliber anti-ship missiles, as well as the Package anti-submarine system. In addition, the Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopter is based in its own hangar.
In March 2023, Admiral Golovko arrived at the main base of the Northern Fleet to conduct factory sea trials and state tests. In mid-August, the head of Severnaya Verf, Igor Orlov, told TASS that the frigate was at the final stage of testing, after which it would be handed over to the customer. At the same time, according to Orlov, in 2024 it is planned to launch another ship of this series – Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Isakov.
Military expert Captain 1st Rank Reserve Vasily Dandykin, in a conversation with RT, drew attention to the wide range of weapons of the frigate.
“Admiral Golovko” will be equipped with universal silos that are suitable for launching both Zircon hypersonic missiles and Oniks and Caliber missiles. This is a frigate of the far sea ocean zone. Most likely, it will become part of the Northern Fleet, which was commanded by Admiral Arseniy Golovko during the Great Patriotic War. This ship will undoubtedly strengthen the Arctic group. And not only that, because the frigate will be able to be located in any zone of the World Ocean, as the lead ship of the project “Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov” recently demonstrated,” the analyst noted.
The fourth generation nuclear submarine “Emperor Alexander III” was made according to project 955A (“Borey-A”), developed by specialists from the Central Design Bureau of Marine Equipment “Rubin” (St. Petersburg). This cruiser is armed with solid-fuel Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads.
Nuclear submarine cruiser “Generalissimo Suvorov” RIA Novosti © Pavel Lvov
According to the plans of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Borei should become the basis of Russia’s naval strategic nuclear forces. “Emperor Alexander III” will be the seventh cruiser of this series in the Navy and the fourth as part of the modernized project. Earlier, the submarines “Yuri Dolgoruky”, “Alexander Nevsky”, “Vladimir Monomakh”, “Prince Vladimir”, “Prince Oleg” and “Generalissimo Suvorov” took up combat duty.
According to Vasily Dandykin, ships of projects 955 and 955A are an important part of the Russian nuclear triad.
“Such submarines are armed with about 16 Bulava missiles with multiple warheads, as well as torpedo weapons. This will be a worthy addition to the Russian Navy,” the specialist emphasized.
The Project 885M nuclear submarine Krasnoyarsk (Yasen-M) was developed at the Malakhit design bureau (St. Petersburg). As Mikhail Budnichenko, General Director of the Northern Machine-Building Enterprise (Sevmash, part of USC), said in June 2023, the work is being carried out “in accordance with time commitments.”
These cruisers are designed to combat submarines and naval groups, as well as to strike enemy ground targets. The Russian Ministry of Defense has already received three nuclear submarines of this type: Severodvinsk, Kazan and Novosibirsk. The submarines Arkhangelsk, Perm, Ulyanovsk, Voronezh and Vladivostok are at various stages of construction.
The solemn ceremony of launching the 4th generation nuclear-powered missile cruiser “Krasnoyarsk” RIA Novosti © Pavel Lvov
In total, each 885M series nuclear submarine is capable of carrying up to 40 missiles. Now they use Caliber cruise missiles as missile weapons. However, as Mikhail Budnichenko reported in 2020, in the future they may be equipped with hypersonic weapons.
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This information was confirmed in August 2023 by the then General Director of USC Alexey Rakhmanov. According to him, submarines of the Yasen-M project will be regularly armed with the Zircon missile system. “Work in this direction is already underway,” Rakhmanov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Vasily Dandykin called the Yasen-M type nuclear submarine an important component of ensuring the safety of the Russian surface fleet.
“This is a threat to enemy aircraft carriers. Project 885M cruisers are armed with a sufficient number of missiles. Moreover, testing of “Zircons” has already begun on the cruiser of the same class “Severodvinsk,” the analyst said.
As retired military observer Colonel Viktor Litovkin explained in a commentary to RT, the Zircon is a formidable weapon that can cause significant damage to enemy ships, including aircraft carriers. “The speed of the Zircons is so high that this missile is capable of penetrating the side of any ship and causing serious damage to it,” the analyst noted.
According to him, the admission into the fleet of the frigate “Admiral Golovko”, the nuclear submarine “Emperor Alexander III” and “Krasnoyarsk” will increase the combat capability of the Russian Navy.
“The power of our fleet will increase by three ultra-modern ships that will protect the national interests of our country and deter the aggression of a potential enemy,” the analyst concluded.