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Project 1234 Nanuchka class
Guided Missile Corvette

On request of the Naval Command the ship was fitted with reinforced strike missiles and anti-air defense facilities. To provide specified speed of 36 knots the unique power plant with total power of 30000 h.p. was made. For the moment of creation of the prototype model and the next series of ships of 1234 "Ovod" project there were no world analogues in respect of speed and combat qualities.

This heavily armed Small Missile Ship [Malyy Raketnyy Korabl' MRK] feature more gun and anti-air defense capabilities compared to previous Soviet missile ships. The remarkable amount of fire power and electronics mounted on such a small platform apparently was purchased at the price of poor sea-keeping characteristics. All Nanuchka I class ships are being scrapped, though it is difficult to establish how many remain operational, and in particular which units remain in service. Sources also disagree as to the allocation of some names amount sub-types [eg Veter and Zarya], and at least one unit was almost certainly renamed from Komsomolets Mordovy.

Project 12341 small missile ships were created in the 1960s. Shipbuilders had to give the fleet inexpensive, compact, but at the same time fast ships. An order for development was received by the central marine design bureau Almaz from Leningrad. The project was assigned the code "Gadfly". In the fleet, its name quickly turned into the colloquial designation of all the ships of this project - it perfectly characterized the small, but "biting" RTOs. In the ship's hull with a displacement of about 700 tons, it was possible to place a full-fledged set of weapons. The Gadgets, with a length of 57 m and a width of 12 m, received two launchers for six Malachite anti-ship missiles, the Titanit radar targeting system, electronic warfare systems, the Osa-M anti-aircraft missile system, and one AK-176 caliber artillery system 76 mm, or two AK-725 caliber 57 mm. And for individual modifications, AK-630M installations with a caliber of 30 mm were installed. The ship received three diesel engines, each with a capacity of 1000 l / s, which allowed to reach speeds of up to 35 knots per hour.

Initially, they wanted to classify RTOs as a class of boats, but the commander-in-chief of the Navy, Admiral of the Fleet of the USSR Sergei Gorshkov, specifically approved for him a new class - a small missile ship. When the first “Gadfly” was launched into the water, the commander-in-chief said a phrase that became famous: “These RTOs are a gun at the temple of imperialism.” In NATO countries, "Gadfly" was attributed as corvettes.

The ships of the project 1234 are intended for protection of sea communications, protection of escorts, struggle against the surface ships in coastal areas. For struggle against the surface ships there were six PU rockets "Malachite". For distribution target orders to a rocket complex there was a system of passive detection of the surface targets. The ships were armed PU ZUR "Osa" with ammunition of 20 rockets, six-guns 30-mm antiaircraft automatic device AK-630 (project 1234.1), 76-mm artillery installation AK-176 (project 1234.1) or 57-mm artillery installation AK-725 (project 1234). The power-plant of the ship consists of three diesel engines the common capacity 30 000 hp. which rotate three screws. The maximal speed is 34 units. Range of navigation with speed of 18 units makes 3500 miles. Despite of rather small displacement, the ship has high seaworthy qualities and ability to use the weapon at a condition of the sea of 5 points and speeds 24 units.

The heavily armed Small Missile corvette features more gun and zenith defense capabilities compared to previous missile ships. The remarkable amount of fire power and electronics mounted on such a small platform apparently was purchased at the price of poor sea-keeping characteristics. From 1969 there were built about 40 corvettes. Some of them were sold to Algeria, India, Libya, Syria.

For the Navy of Algeria, three such RTOs were modernized at Russian shipyards. They received updated electronics and engines, and were also equipped with anti-ship missiles X-35.

As of 2004 there were approximately 19 operational corvettes remaining with the Russian Navy. Gadgets" are still considered ships that are capable of waging an effective fight against warships and support vessels in the near ocean zone. Russian "Gadfly" received a baptism of fire during the war with Tbilisi. RTO Mirage on August 10, 2008 sank a high-speed boat of the Georgian Navy.

The Ministry of Defense made a decision on the further modernization of small missile ships (RTOs) of Project 1234 Ovod, this decision was made following the results of passing tests of the first modernized RTO Smerch. The experimental modernization of Smerch RTOs of project 1234 was considered successful, and as a result of it, a fundamental decision was made to subject the remaining RTOs included in the 114th Pacific Fleet Waters Protection Brigade to a similar upgrade

By the year 2020 the Russian Navy included 12 small missile ships of Project 12341 Gadfly. In the Baltic Fleet, they are brought into the 36th crew of missile boats, which include RTOs "Swell", "Geyser", "Passat" and "Rainfall". In the 41st brigade of the Black Sea Fleet - “Mirage” and “Calm”. In the Northern Fleet, in the 7th brigade of the Protection of the Water District (OVR), the Iceberg and Dawn service are in service. In the Pacific Fleet, “Gadfly” was brought into 114th OVR. There are collected "Tornado", "Hoarfrost", "Frost" and "Spill". Existing ships were included in the fleet from 1986 to 1992, with the exception of the "Calm" and "Iceberg", built earlier - in the late 1970s.

Modernization of Project 12341 “Gadfly” will affect almost all key ship systems, the Navy’s Commander-in-Chief explained. MRKs will install modern fire control systems, radar stations, communication systems, more efficient weapons, as well as more economical and powerful diesel engines. The “gadgets” that have undergone modernization will be re-equipped with X-35 missiles - these are subsonic low-altitude active-homing munitions equipped with high-explosive fragmentation warheads, a source in the Defense Ministry told Izvestia 26 April 2019. These missiles are capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 260 km.

Work on the modernization of "Gadfly" had begun in April 2019, when the repair of the main engine compartment of Rassvet MRK was completed at the Kingisepp Machine-Building Plant. At the end of 2018, the engines of the Iceberg and Geyser were put in order there. In Kamchatka, MRC Smerch was being repaired. MRC "Swell" of the Baltic Fleet, which has long been slow-moving, is waiting for a major overhaul of the main engine at the 33rd shipyard.

After modernization, domestic Ovody can get four launchers, each of which is capable of launching four rockets at once. This increased the salvo of the ship from six to 16 ammunition. The salvo of two ships with 32 missiles in its power will be approximately equal to the division of the Bal coastal missile complex. As a result of modernization, the combat power of the Gadfly will grow by about two and a half times. Theoretically, Onyx anti-ship missiles can be installed on RTOs. In 1982, one “Gadfly” of project 1234.7 was developed and built for testing these missiles. A total of 47 “Gadgets” of all projects were built, including export modifications. The ships were not only in service with the Russian Navy - they were bought by Algeria, Libya and India.

The modernized "Gadfly" will seriously increase the combat efficiency of the fleet, said Admiral Valentin Selivanov, the former chief of the Main Staff of the Navy. “RTOs are good for use in inland seas and the coastal zone,” Valentin Selivanov told Izvestia. - The USSR at one time kept the "Gadfly" in the Mediterranean Sea - in Tartus and Tobruk. The task of such ships is ambush actions. When danger arose, they had to disperse and wait for a command to launch an attack, or immediately jump out of the base and strike missiles at targets. The emergence of modern and effective missile weapons will only strengthen the evil and effective "Gadgets" in a good way. Short-range impact of such ships will be guaranteed accurate. After modernization, ships will be able to last another ten years.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:21:16 ZULU