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Project 1159
Delfin [NATO Koni] class

In 1977 a new frigate was spotted in the Black Sea and at first was thought to be replacements for the Riga Class frigates built in the 1950s. The Koni class of coastal Anti-Submarine Warfare ships was constructed for foreign sales. The ships were called Storojeve Korabli (SKR) or Escort or Guard Ships.

Built by the USSR at the Zelenodolsk shipyard on the Black Sea, the Koni class was widely exported but not operated (other than in the training role) by the Soviet navy. The Koni I ships were designed for navies of Europe, Russia, East Germany and Yugoslavia, the Koni II was designed for warm water navies.During the 1980s Koni class frigates were supplied to the fleets of Algeria (tree), Cuba (two), Libya (tw), East Germany (three) and Yugoslavia (four). A single unit of this class, which was retained by the Soviet Union for demonstration and training purposes, was transferred to Bulgaria in 1990.

The Libyan and Yugoslavian ships were refitted with four Styx SSMs and torpedoes: four 406 mm tubes for Soviet Type 40 ASW torpedoes and six 324 mm tubes for the more capable Whitehead anti-submarine torpedoes on the latter. The East German Koni class ships have no future in the bavy of reunified Germany and they will be deleted, and the fate of the Yugoslavian frigates remain to be seen.

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