Project 1135 Burevestnik
Project #1135 Burevestnik [Krivak I] was an entirely new design, initially believed in the West to be designed for offensive surface warfare. In reality, the class was intended primarily as a defensive ASW ship. The Krivak was designed as a less expensive and capable counterpart to the larger Kresta II and Kara classes, with which it originally shared the BPK designation. In the late 1970s, the designation changed to SKR (Storozhevoy Koabl') or small antisubmarine ship, a more accurate indication of their actual capabilities.
The first of the 'Krivak' anti-submarine ships appeared in 1970. They were faster and more heavily armed than their Weastern counterparts, with four large SSN-14 Silex missiles. The huge quadruple SSN-14 launcher dominates the forward end of these ships. Twenty one ships were built before the first of the 11 improved 'Krivak IIs' appeared in 1976. This version had new guns and a larger variable depth sonar. The 'Krivak III' which entered service in the mid-1980s, dropped the Silex launcher for a sinlge gun turret and incorporated a hanger and flight deck instead of the stern gun turrets.
Of the 32 Krivak's that were constructed in the 1970s and early 1980s only 6 remained in the Russian Navy in 2005. As of 2008 IISS reported that two Krivak I and two Krivak II remained in service. It was anticipated that the others would be decommissioned within the following few years.
Project 1135 Krivak I Burevestnik
Sources all agree that the Krivak I series consisted of 19 units with the first unit being completed in 1970, though there is a diversity of views as to whether the final unit was completed in 1980 or 1982. And while there is agreement on the names of these units, there is rather profound diversity of opinion on the construction chronology [to the extent that some sources suggest that the Poryvisty was one of the earlier ships, completed in 1974, while others contend that is was the last ship, completed in 1982].
At least two and possibly three Krivak-I frigates were modernized between 1987 and 1994. Known in the West as MOD Krivak, different sources suggest that the Soviet designation was either Project #1135.2 Mod or Project #1135.6 [the former seems perhaps more likely]. This modification featured a new surface-to-surface missile in place of old ASW rocket launcher, along with improved electronics and sonars. Though possibly planned for all Krivak-I units, further implementation of this scheme apparently foundered on financial shoals.
Five Krivak-Is were decomissioned between 2003 and 2004, by which time only three remained in service. Tom Clancy’s novel The Hunt for Red October told the story of a vessel of the Soviet navy, under the old communist regime, that tried to defect to the West. The Last Sentry [by Gregory D. Young and Nate Braden. Naval Institute Press, 2005, 288 pages] tells the true story behind Clancy’s premise by recording events that occurred aboard the Storozhevoy, a Krivak Frigate that tried to change the old Brezhnev-era Soviet Union, as it sailed from Riga in Latvia, then a Soviet satellite state in the Baltic. Some individuals in the Soviet KGB, Communist Party, and the West believed that the ship and its crew attempted to defect to Sweden, but the truth, as always, is a bit more complex. In 1975 the ship’s political officer, Valery Sablin, the third-ranking officer in the Soviet naval hierarchy at the time, had become so disillusioned with the party and Premier Leonid Brezhnev in particular that he decided to launch a revolution from within by sailing the Storozhevoy into the Baltic and broadcasting a manifesto to persuade the Soviet populace to overthrow or change the regime. He was influenced by the revolutionary behavior of Russian naval officers who mutinied in 1905 after the disasters of the Russo-Japanese War. The most remarkable part of the story is that a political officer—not one of the other ship officers—decided to mutiny. During the takeover, a select group of enlisted and warrant officers locked up the captain and tried to sail out of Riga harbor, into the Baltic, and then on to Leningrad. Most Western readers will be disappointed to learn that Sablin had to no intention of going to Sweden but that he wished to instigate radical change in the Soviet Union by overthrowing Brezhnev.
Project 1135M Krivak II
The Project #1135M Krivak II mainly differs from the initial version in having a different caliber gun. Sources all agree that the Krivak II series consisted of 11 units, all constructed at Shipyard 820 and completed between 1975 and 1982. And while there is agreement on the names of these units, there is considerable diversity of opinion on the construction chronology. It is generally agreed by most sources that as of 1999 at least four further units had been discarded, while some sources suggest that three additional units had also been discarded. All sources agree that at least one unit transfered to Ukraine, though as of early 2001 two Krivak-I frigates were reportedly among the units earmarked for disposal by Ukraine.
Project 1135.1 / 1135P Krivak III Nerey
In 1982 a joint Resolution of the Ministry of Shipbuilding Industry and the Navy approved the development of the Project 1135 and Project 1135.1 escort ships, based on new design and operation requirements to advanced AA/ASW, radio and radar equipment with a strike capability against surface ships. At the same time the Project 1154 class, with a similar displacement, was focused on combatting submarines and provide antisubmarine, antiship and antiaircraft defense to surface ship task forces and convoys.
The Project 1135.1 Nerey [also reported as Project #1135P] Krivak III class was initially constructed for the KGB Maritime Border Guard. Despite speculation that they might be transferred to the Russian Navy, under the Project 1135.5 designation, IISS reported in 2008 that eight remained in service with the Federal Border Guards Service. The Krivak-III also features 100-mm gun that replaces the SS-N-14 ASW missile launcher found on other models. Although having less ASW capability than the Krivak-1/II, they do embark a utility helicopter. Two units were transferred to Ukraine prior to completion.
Project 1135.2 Krivak IV
The Krivak IV [reportedly Project #1135.2 though plausibly #1135.6] is a proposed design intended solely for export, with the same general layout as the Krivak III, though with improved electronics and weapons. Three modified Krivak-class frigates are under construction for India in St Petersburg.
Project 1135.6 Talwar
The first Talwar-type frigate for India was laid down at the Baltiisky Zavod shipyard in St. Petersburg in March 1999, and was launched on 12 May 2000. The second unit, Trishul, was launched on 23 November 2000, and the third frigate was laid down on 26 May 2000.
Project 1135.6 Admiral Grigorovich
Speculation persists that India will buy three Admiral Grigorovich Guided Missile warships from Russia. The deal resulted from the export ban imposed in the wake of the Ukrainian conflict that left Russia to find a replacement turbine engine for the frigates. Moscow awarded NPO Saturn, a Russian aircraft engine manufacturer, with a contract to produce and test a domestically-produced replacement for the M90FR turbine engine by 2017, but defense industry analysts believe that the new propulsion system may not be ready until sometime in 2019. The Admiral Grigorovich-class vessel is an upgraded derivative of the six Talwar-class frigates that Russia built for the Indian Navy between 2003 and 2013. New Delhi’s familiarity with the platform in addition to the burgeoning defense trade relationship between the two countries suggests India would be the ideal trade partner for Moscow in such a deal. India is not subject to Ukraine’s export ban and would be able to directly purchase M90FR gas turbine engines from Kiev without incident meaning that New Delhi could make the ships operational in short order. Neither India nor Russia have officially confirmed that the parties have come to terms on an export agreement for the 3,620 ton guided missile frigates, but it has been previously confirmed that discussions towards a deal were underway.
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