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Project 2038.0 multi-role frigate
Project 20381 Steregushchy Corvette

Project 20380/20385 corvettes (or more precisely, multi-role short range escort vessels) are intended to close the gap in the coastal defense forces. The Project 20380 corvette can be deployed to destroy enemy surface ships, submarines and aircraft, and to provide artillery support for beach landings. It uses stealth technology to reduce the ship's secondary radar field, as well as its acoustic, infrared, magnetic and visual signatures. The ship is designated for operating in close-in maritime zone and countering hostile surface and undersea crafts as well as for ensuring artillery support to sea-borne troops in the course of amphibious operations.

The displacement is 2,000 tons, overall length 100 meters with a beam of 13 meters, cruising endurance is 4,000 nautical miles, crew (including helicopter service group) amounts to 100 people. The corvette can be armed with 100 mm all-purpose artillery systems by Saint-Petersburg Engineering Plant “Arsenal”, air defense missile system Kashtan, supersonic missiles to attack low targets up to 10 km, and two automatic gun mounts AK-630.

From Soviet times, the main striking force of the Navy is nuclear submarines of various types. However, they are very vulnerable from foreign submarines at the exit from bases and in a number of other cases. Similarly, foreign submarines pose a great threat to domestic surface ships and vessels. In order to make it more difficult for any enemy to act in the near sea zone, small anti-submarine ships — MPC — were built in large numbers in the USSR. Despite their small size and displacement, these boats proved to be very effective anti-submariners in our specific conditions. After the collapse of the USSR, the renewal of the fleet stopped, the modernization of previously built ships was not carried out. Under these conditions, the number of IPCs was constantly decreasing, Russia's vulnerability to foreign submarines was growing.

The multi-purpose patrol ship is called the ship of the 21st century. Experts believe that with the appearance of state-of-the-art weapons, compact and more effective, there is a growing demand for this kind of small "stealth" ships. According to the military, the new corvette will become a significant event in ship-building across the world. The new ship got the name "Steregushchy" or "Guarding".

In April 2001, Russia Navy Commander-in-Chief, Adm Vladimir Kuroyedov, stated that the Navy was starting construction of the new Project 2038.0 corvette. This is apparently the first concrete indication of the fact of the existence of this previously un-attested project. The first of class was laid down for the Russian Navy at the Severnaya Verf shipyard in St Petersburg in late 2001. Corvettes of this type will also be built for coastal guard units. The design of this 2,000 ton stealthy corvette was developed by the Almaz Central Marine Design bureau. Almaz was chosen over six other competitors to develop the Project 2038.0 class. The Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau is a leading builder of patrol craft that served with the border guard forces and customs service.

In 1997 the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau mentioned work on a project for a new multi-role frigate, enabling any country to build a Navy capable of protecting its economic interests. According to the Almaz CMDB, a ship of this type must:

  • have a cruising range of up to 10,000 miles;
  • have an endurance of up to 60 days;
  • have facilities to carry out electronic monitoring of warships, vessels and aircraft;
  • have small boats to carry inspection teams;
  • carry a helicopter;
  • have facilities to monitor the environment;
  • be armed to fire warning shots and conduct fire for effect against trespassers;
  • chase intruder ships at a speed of 20 to 25 knots;
  • have equipment to reel in and store illegal fishing equipment on board;

The displacement of this ship was projected to be 1,500 to 1,800 tons and it can carry a variety of armaments. The ship can be armed with gun mounts outfitted with 30 to 100mm guns and with gun fire control systems varying from the simplest optic to complex radar systems. Depending on the missions to be accomplished, the ship's weaponry may include attack missiles or ASW weapons systems, and it would be so designed as to allow quick installation of additional armament and machinery to extend capabilities in case of armed conflicts.

Work on the ship's design began in the 1990s, and this difficult period in Russia's modern history left its mark on it. In a bid to reduce construction costs and avoid building several series of specialized warships, the designers made the Project 20380 vessel a universal warship capable of destroying virtually all types of targets: surface ships, submarines, aircraft and even ground-based targets. The warship’s all-purpose mandate determined its classification: instead of being given the kind of classification common among small Russian warships (e.g. small anti-submarine ship or small missile ship), the new vessel was classed a corvette, which, according to Western standards, is an all-purpose warship.

Some observers suggested that the 20380 is a lame duck, over-corvette and under-frigate, with too much firepower and not enough range and C3ISR capability. They are facing a lot of criticism from the Navy itself, and there is speculation that the project will thouroughly change after the first line unit. Others conclude that with 4,000 nm range and a good load of offensive weapons, its the right ship to take care of the Russian home waters. With their 8 x Yakhont (might become standard replacing the Urans), its more than enough to secure the Northern, Baltic and Black Seas.

Experts had many questions about Project 20380 from the very beginning. In particular, it was not clear what function it was to serve. The ships had an obvious anti-ship design, suggesting that navy intended them a replacement for the old patrol vessels of the Northern and Pacific Fleets that cover the areas where nuclear ballistic missiles submarines patrol. But such a small corvette would be powerless against the US Navy. And in the Baltic and Black Seas they will operate under conditions of the opponent's superior airpower. They have weak propulsion, relatively weak missiles, no chance of hitting targets on land, little capacity for setting a serious quantity of mines and poor antiaircraft defenses.

Corvette Sovershenniy ["Perfect"], built at the Amur Shipbuilding Plant (ASP), was the first new ship that the Pacific Fleet (PF) got in the twenty-first century and the first in 23 years for the Komsomol shipbuilders. This was announced on 22 May 2015, the commander of the Pacific Fleet Sergei Avakyants at the rally, which preceded the conclusion of the corvette shop.

Corvette Sovershenniy - a multi-purpose patrol ship of the near sea area of project 20380 - is intended to lead the fight against surface ships and submarines of the enemy, as well as artillery support amphibious assault. ASP is built on one corvette of the same project - Gromky ["Loud"]. The cost of works on the construction of ships was about 13 billion rubles. With successful completion of the first corvettes Defense Ministry is supposed to place the order for at least another two.

The first corvette of the new type (Project 20380) was built in the Far East and launched in Komsomolsk-on-Amur on 25 May 2015. The ‘Gromky’ corvette will be delivered to the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Federation before November 2016, RIA Novosti reported 27 May 2015. The ship is being built according to schedule. "The building process is underway in accordance with the technological schedule… The Pacific Fleet will receive the ship not later than in November 2016," an official representative of the United Shipbuilding Corporation said.

By 2017, four Steregushchy-class vessels were under construction, with another 12 planned. In total, the Navy hopes to receive at least 30 ships. Steregushchy-class corvettes, with a displacement of 2,200 tons, were designed to replace the 1,000 ton Grisha-class, built for the Soviet Navy between 1970 and 1990. The export version, known as Project 20382 Tigr, has an estimated price tag of between $120-150 million US per ship. These vessels are expected to be equipped with P-800 Oniks anti-ship supersonic missiles in addition to their compliment of 3M24 Uran missiles.

The construction of project 20380 corvettes began in the early 2000s. These ships were the first ships capable of fighting submarines built in the post-Soviet era. I must say that they were characterized by a number of both conceptual and design flaws, and the manufacturing quality of the first ships was simply terrifying. There were changes in contractors, criminal cases, landings ... as a result, everything worked more or less on the sixth corvette, Gromky, handed over to the Pacific Fleet by the Amur Shipyard in 2018.

Even in a fully operational state, these ships were far from ideal. So, they don’t have a radio guidance for SAM, which greatly reduces the potential of the Redut anti-aircraft missile system and makes it difficult to repel an air strike. They do not have a bomb, which makes it impossible to fight against NAPL that are lying on the ground and deprives the ship of some other advantages. They have badly located anti-aircraft guns AK-630M. There are questions about the real radar stealth and the justification of a superstructure made of composite materials. The biggest disadvantage of these ships as anti-submarine - there are no anti-submarine missiles (PLUR), which dramatically reduces the potential of this ship as a hunter for submarines. And they are expensive. The price of such a corvette called into question its mass construction in quantities.

The Amur Shipbuilding Plant (NPS) in Komsomolsk-on-Amur may receive the largest order for the construction of warships in its Russian history. Vedomosti was told 22 February 2020 by a top manager of one of the shipbuilding industry enterprises and a person close to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the parties were discussing the terms of a contract for the construction of up to 10 project 20380 corvettes for the Pacific Fleet. Ten of these ships are valued at more than 180 billion rubles, and the signing of a firm contract may take place as early as 2021, said one of the interlocutors. The new order will allow loading the NEA capacities for the next 12-14 years, he said: this will preserve the competence of the plant, which plays an important role in equipping the forces of the Pacific Fleet, and will ensure the social stability of the city-forming enterprise. The information department of the Ministry of Defense did not respond to a request from Vedomosti.

According to a source of Vedomosti, close to the General Staff of the Russian Navy, the contracting of a new series of corvettes of this project will correct the existing bias in the surface forces of the Pacific Fleet: out of 50 ships, it has only two new corvettes received from the shipyard in 2017–2018. (“Perfect” and “Loud” corvettes), two more - “Hero of the Russian Federation Aldar Tsydenzhapov” (undergoing factory sea trials) and “Sharp” (under construction) - the fleet expects to receive in 2020–2021. In addition, in 2018, the Ministry of Defense contracted four small missile ships of project 22800 Karakurt with the NEA with a deadline of 2024–2026, recalls the source of Vedomosti. During their construction, there were difficulties with the replacement of imported diesel engine systems, but in 2021–2022.


  • 20380 - basic TFR project for the Russian Navy, starting from the second ship (the first batch) in the project made some changes: SPAR "Dirk-M" has been replaced with a new air defense system "Redoubt" medium-range installations vertical launch.
  • 20380P - draft border patrol ship.
  • 20382 - 20380 except designed for the Navy Russia, Federal State Unitary Enterprise CMDB "Almaz" has developed in parallel, and its export version, the project received the code number 20382 and "Tiger". The main difference from the base of the project - the presence on it simplified weapons in the export performance, as well as the availability of opportunities replacement weapons systems for analogs of western production, depending on the specific requirements of the customer. The basic composition of weapons available - impact antiship complex "Yakhont" or "Calibre", two anti-aircraft missile and gun complexes "Kashtan-M" for missile defense, cannon A-190 100 mm caliber, as well as carrier-based helicopter Ka-27.
  • 20383 - project boundary patrol ship.
  • 20385 - 20380 Ammunition modernization SAM "Redoubt" increased from 12 to 16 cells. Replacement 8 RCC X-35 "Uranus" 8 rockets Caliber-NK.
  • 20386 - a new generation corvette project 20385-based modular deployment of weapons, ensuring the application of unmanned vehicles.

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Page last modified: 25-10-2021 17:30:25 ZULU