Project 22350 Admiral Sergei Gorshkov

The Project 22350 far sea zone frigate is an escort ship intended for the distant maritime and ocean zones. This project will feature engineering solutions that were used to build Mk 11356 frigates for the Indian Navy. This is in fact a large destroyer that is called a frigate for political reasons. Project 22350 is a general service frigate (Great Guardship according to the soviet classification). This new frigate type is designed to execute long-range strike, ASW and AD missions. Russia is developing the Project 22350 frigate for domestic deployment, though the reduced signature integrated design is said to be similar in design philosophy to the Project 17 frigates of Indian Navy. The Project 22350 design is reported to utilize "engineering solutions" used to build the Project 1135.6 Talwar class frigates for the Indian Navy, another instance of Indian defense orders reviving projects for Russian industry.

It is reported that Russia proposed Project 22350 ships in response to the Indian Navy's Project 17A frigate program. The Indian RFI was for a set of seven stealth frigates, each costing about Rs4,000 crore. The Indian plan envisaged the first ship to be built at the foreign shipyard, with the remaining units being built at Mazagon Docks Ltd in Mumbai or at the Garden Reach Shipyard in Kolkata.

Different sources give different displacement values for this project: some report 4,000-4,500 tons, while others give 8,000 tons. At least one source reports dimensions of a 132 meter length and a beam of 16 meters [consistent with the reported 4,000-4,500 ton displacement], while another suggests a beam of 20-21 meters [more consistent with a displacement of 8,000 tons]. The larger dimensions are implausible. The Russian Navy needs new frigates to replace the dwindling Krivaks if it is to maintain the existing force level of about a dozen frigates. It does not need new destroyer-class vessels to replace the Udaloy or Sovremenny, since the existing inventory of those vessels is adequate to maintain existing force levels past the year 2020.

The authoritative Russian publication Military Parade reports that these ships will feature a displacement of about 4,500 tons, a length of over 130 m, a maximum width of 16 m, a range of over 4,000 miles, and an unlimited sea-going ability. The frigate will be armed with eight Oniks antiship missiles, the A-192 130mm gun mount, the Medvedka-2 antisubmarine missile system, the Uragan medium-range AD missile system, and a hangar-parked helicopter.

The major weapons of the ship are reported to include eight SS-NX-26 Yakhont / Oniks 3M55 anti-surface cruise missiles, a new A-192 130-mm gun mount, Medvedka-2 antisubmarine rocket weapon system, and Hurricane medium-range surface-to-air guided missile system. But this list of weapons is almost identical to the weapons reported to be carried on the much smaller 1,900 ton Project 20380 Stereguschy corvette.

The only Russian combat ship that could feature the BrahMos missiles is the Project 22350 frigate Admiral Sergei Gorshkov being built at the Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg. In 1998, Russia and India established the BrahMos Aerospace joint venture to design, develop, produce and market a supersonic cruise missile. The BrahMos missile, named after India's Brahmaputra River and Russia's Moskva River, has a range of 180 miles (290 km) and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 660 pounds. It can hit ground and sea targets while flying at an altitude as low as 10 meters (30 feet) and at a speed of Mach 2.8, which is about three times faster than the U.S.-made subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile.

In October 2005 Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation selected Severnaya Verf OJSC for the construction of the flagship frigate for Russian Navy, with estimated cost of $320-400 mln. The frigate is going to be the first long-range maritime zone ship built for Russian Navy after 15-year break. The basic design of the ship was approved by Naval Command in July 2003. The design was developed by Severnoye PKB (Nothern Design Bureau) FSUE (St.-Petersburg). Military officials planned to start a tender for the lead ship construction still at the beginning of 2002. However, at that time the ship was not included to the state defense order.

Project 22350 Admiral Sergei Gorshkov - Program

On 13 April 2005 the Russian Navy announced a tender for the construction of the first new Project-22350 frigate. A contract is usually awarded after a tender. All of Russia's main shipbuilding enterprises plan to participate in the tender, but there was is no doubt that Severnaya Verf will be the winner of the tender for the construction of the Project 22350 frigates. In May 2005 it was reported that the keels of a new frigate [and a new large amphibious landing ship] were to be laid 31 July 2005 on Navy Day, according to Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy. At that time it was reported it would take three or four years to complete one frigate, if this project gets regular appropriations. But experts had some misgivings about the 31 July deadline, since a contract is usually awarded after a tender, but as of late May 2005, no tender had been laid out and no keel was laid down.

At the Navy Show in St.-Petersburg in June 2005, Anatoly Shlemov, the Chief of the Department for Orders and Supply of ships, Navy Missiles and Military Hardware of the Ministry of Defence announced that that the tender participants were Severnaya Verf, Baltic factory Yantar (Amber) and Sevmashpredpriyatiye (Nothern TYPEering Enterprise) FSUE. Baltic Plant also submitted a bid but it was withdrawn after the major shareholder of the enterprise - IST-Group - agreed with International Industrial Bank that military orders would be consolidated at Severnaya Verf. The determination of a layout for the Project 22350 next generation far sea zone escort ship was an important event for the shipbuilding sector during 2005.

The lead frigate of Project 22350 was laid down at the Northern Wharf on 01 February 2006. At that time, its completion date was announced as 2009, and later reports said the Russian Navy was going to receive the flagship frigate by 2010. But by mid-2006 it looked as though it would be finished in 2011. Only 100 million rubles was allotted in the 2006 state defense order for it. The ship was named after Commander-in-Chief of the USSR Navy Segei Gorshkov, Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union. As of early 2007 the first of the class continued under construction.

Founding the Admiral Gorshkov frigate was a crucial event for the Russian Navy and Russia as a whole, according to Andrei Kokoshin, a State Duma legislator and an ex-Secretary of the Russian Security Council. "The importance of the event extends outside the Navy, since it is equally crucial for the Armed Forces and Russia as a whole, as well as Russia's military power and national security," Kokoshin said. He emphasized that the ship would be the first large surface ship to be built in Russia after the breakup of the USSR. "Until now we only completed large surface ships, founded during Soviet times. Russia also built destroyers and frigates for China and India, but it is the first such ship for the Russian Navy," Kokoshin said.

On 24 June 2009 Russian Navy Commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said the construction of a second Admiral Gorshkov class frigate will begin this year in St. Petersburg. "We will start construction of the second frigate at this shipyard in addition to existing orders under the state arms procurement program," Vysotsky said at the opening of the International Naval Show in St. Petersburg. The Severnaya Verf shipyard in St Petersburg said it would begin construction of a new frigate for the Russian Navy on 26 November 2009. The Admiral Kasatonov is a second Admiral Gorshkov class frigate designed to carry out long-range strike, anti-submarine and escort missions in distant maritime zones.

On 03 February 2012 the Project 22350 Admiral Golovko frigate was laid down in St. Petersburg. The Golovko is the third vessel in the Project 22350 class. The first one – Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov – hit the water in October 2010 and the second (Admiral of the Fleet Kasatonov) was scheduled to be launched in 2012. In 2005 discussion was about the construction of the first ship of the series; however, the Navy hoped to obtain up to ten analogous frigates over the next decade. The Navy is looking at three variants in the order for Project-22350 frigates: the optimistic variant foresees the construction of 10-15 ships; the pragmatic variant sees 5-6; the realistic variant foresees 3-4. The plan was to distribute the ships equally between the Northern and Pacific Fleets.

Further orders for frigates building will be also distributed through tenders. In early 2005 it was reported that the Russian Navy expected to commission 10 frigates in this class until 2015. In early 2006 it was reported that the Navy needed about 10-20 Project 22350 frigates by 2015. In July 2006 Konstantin Lantratov, Reporter for Kommersant Daily, reported that Vladislav Putilin, the deputy chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission, said that under the Russian State Armaments Program for 2007-2015 the Navy would receive three Project 22350 multipurpose frigates. By 2007 it was reported that the Russian Navy was going to have three or four frigates built by 2015. According to the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Masorin, Russia's Navy intended to procure up to 20 such ships.

As of 2012 contracts provided for the building of eight Project 22350 frigates (including the Gorshkov and the Kasatonov) and eight Project 20385 corvettes (the Gremyashchy will be the first). Project 22350 frigates (multi-role offshore patrol vessels) are believed to be the core of Russia’s new Navy now. In the early 2000s, when this project was accepted as promising, the number of vessels to be built was 30. It is difficult to appraise such Napoleonic plans, but the approach has not changed: the volume of construction anticipated as of 2012 was up to 20 units over the next 15 to 20 years.

To do the math, completion of 20 units within 20 years would require an average production rate of one per year. The three units that had been laid down by mid-2013 had been laid down at three year intervals. Building at this rate would produce no more than half a dozen frigates by the year 2025. Laid down in 2006, Admiral Sergei Gorshkov would not commission until 2013, taking seven years to complete. Admiral Kasatonov, laid down in 2009, was slated to commission in late 2014, after five years effort. The completion date for Admiral Golovko, laid down in 2012, is uncertain, as is that for Admiral Isakov, anticipated to be laid down in late 2013. But the former might take four years to complete, and the latter three years [the normal interval]. Assuming a sustained production rate of one a year, the ojective force of 20 ships might be in service by around the year 2032.

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