Military

Russia’s New Admiral Gorshkov-Class Stealth Frigate Enters Final Shipbuilder’s Trials

The second Project 22350 guided-missile frigate is entering its final round of shipbuilder trials this week.

Russia’s latest Admiral Gorshkov-class (Project 22350) guided-missile frigate, the Admiral Kasatonov, is entering its final stage of shipbuilder’s trials in the Baltic Sea this week, according to the Russian Navy.

“During the week, the Project 22350 latest frigate Admiral Kasatonov will set off for the concluding stage of shipbuilders’ trials at the designated ranges of the Baltic Sea,” a Russian Navy spokesperson was quoted as saying by TASS news agency on August 13.

“The frigate’s crew has undergone comprehensive training at the Russian Navy’s Integrated Training Center for carrying out all the stages of the program of trials and the subsequent operation of shipboard equipment and armament systems,” the spokesperson added.

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The Admiral Kasatonov was laid down in 2009 and christened in December 2014. The ship entered its first stage of shipbuilder’s trials in the last quarter of 2018. The stealth frigate is expected to be delivered to the Russian Navy by the end of this year. It is the first serial-produced surface combatant of the class. The Navy commissioned the long-delayed Admiral Gorshkov, the lead ship of the class, in July 2018.

Two more Project 22350 frigates, laid down in 2012 and 2013, are currently under construction and slated to be commissioned by 2020. Two additional Project 22350 frigates — the future Admiral Amelko and Admiral Chichagov — were laid down at the Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg this April. The 5,400-ton (full) Project 22350 frigates are the largest class of surface combatants to be built by Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Armed with stand-off anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles, the frigates are multipurpose platforms designed for anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine warfare operations. The ships can alternatively carry the 3M-54 Kalibr, a stand-off supersonic anti-ship cruise missile, the P-800 Oniks over-the-horizon supersonic anti-ship missile, or the 3M22 Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile. The fifth and sixth ships of the class will reportedly carry 24 instead of the 16 anti-ship missiles carried on the preceding frigates.

As I explained in April:

The Admiral Gorshkov-class is also armed with an RPK-9 anti-submarine rocket launcher, two 3M89 Palash close-in weapon systems, and an A-192 130-millimeter naval gun, in addition to the Polimut Redut air defense missile system, which may not be entirely functional. Additionally, it carries aKa-27PL helicopter for anti-submarine warfare missions. The frigate, powered by a combined diesel and gas turbine engine, can reach top speeds of up to 30 knots.

The first two frigates are fitted with Ukraine-made gas turbine engines, in addition to Russian 10D49 diesel engines. The other four will be run by Russian-made copies of the Ukrainian M90FR gas turbine engine. The new turbine engine is expected to be ready for production by the end of 2020.

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