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Project 956 Sarych - Program
Sovremenny class
Guided Missile Destroyer

By the 1970s the service life of the Soviet Navy's destroyers armed with 130 mm B-2LM and SM-2-1 artillery mounts approached the limit, and the number of such ships in the fleet decreased. These circumstances to a certain extent necessitated the creation of a squadron destroyer, following after Projects 30 bis and 56 and having, along with missiles, powerful artillery armament capable of suppressing ground targets, destroying enemy surface ships and weapons both independently and as part of ship groups, air attack, as well as the protection of maritime communications.

The ship meeting the set requirements was envisaged by the design plan and the Ship and Ship Construction Program in 1971-1980, approved in September 1969. The tactical task provided for the ships actions mainly in conjunction with the airborne units and consisted in suppressing ground forces. small targets, as well as anti-landing defense facilities, manpower and enemy military equipment; fire support, anti-aircraft and anti-cocking defense of the landing force in the landing area and at sea crossing; destruction of surface ships and airborne assault vehicles of the enemy. The main artillery caliber was assumed to be 130 mm.

The design was laid in June 1967, when the Arsenal design bureau was assigned the task of creating a 130 mm one-gun automatic cannon, where it received a factory index ZIF-92 (fleet designation A-217). A sufficiently long break in the design of artillery systems could not help but result - the experimental gun tested in 1974 did not reach the rate of fire set at 60 rounds per minute (actually 45), the mass of the plant turned out to be 10 tons more, therefore the High Command himself decided the projected large ships to prepare a double-barreled automatic gun, in which the rate of fire "automatically" became 90 rounds per minute.

The TTZ for the design of the Navys fire support ship was assigned to the Northern PKB in 1971. Since the destroyer of project 56 was supposed to be the ideological prototype, the new project number was assigned 956, which indicated continuity, with the transition to the third generation. The cipher required by the then GOST was chosen from a series of birds of prey - Sarych - Buzzard. Initially, the design was carried out under the direction of V.F. Anikiev, since 1975, I.I. Rubis. In the architectural appearance the main role was played by the hand of the lead designer V.?. Konopleva, who defined the overall layout of the project 956. The main observer from the Navy initially was Captain 2nd Rank V.G. Basov, then the captain of the 1st rank I.?. Stetsyur.

A project 56 was chosen as a platform for placing weapons, with the conditions that the displacement of the new ship should not exceed 4,000 tons (with 5,000 tons of missiles), and the speed should be 34 knots. In fact, he was ready in the rough - firstly, the Northern PKB had already carried out studies of the three-towed destroyer (project 57), and secondly, the design work on the modernization of the destroyers of project 56U was completed with the installation of 4 Termit. It remained only on the hull of the project 56 or 57A to put new 130-mm guns (first three single-barreled towers), 4 "Termite", AK-630 rapid-fire machine guns, one or two RBUs and the ship would be ready. Hydroacoustic station "Titan-2" (with the possibility of replacement with a more powerful one).

But the new "hundred-thirty" guns were late - the double-barreled gun had many problems. Of the three developed radar "Lion" decided that which was intended for single-track, "reduce", soon began and completely single-barrel project to minimize. In addition, to save the mass of the power plant (by 400 tons) and improve the combat and tactical characteristics of the development vehicle, it was decided to continue with the gas turbine plant.

At this time, the United States began to arm its Navy and its allies with anti-ship missiles "Harpoon". The answer to this in the ships project was the installation of the Osa self-defense SAM system instead of AK-630 assault rifles. Since the displacement began to exceed the target, and the speed to fall, it was decided to continue building the ship without a helicopter, with only two guns, but with the new Uragan anti-aircraft complex, which was tested at the Provorny BOD. Then the displacement was increased, because instead of 4 "Termites" it was decided to place 8 missiles 3M80 "Mosquito". For a ship that was already becoming multi-purpose and quite expensive, the question of anti-submarine weapons naturally arose, since he already could fully provide not only the landing, but also his guard at the crossing. They put the Platinum hydroacoustic station, instead of a towed antenna of variable depth, reserved a helicopter pad, with the ability to base the helicopter, without a hangar. A torpedo tube appeared.

Designing the ship was difficult, with an eye to changing the destination, tactics and the emergence of new types of weapons at sea. Thousands of designers calculated one option after another, drawing up plans and completing the documentation necessary for consideration by the higher management, option by option went into the basket, and then there were also added unclear prospects for using the new ship. The 1134B project was already launched, the 1164 project was approved, the 1155 project was approved - all of these ships could provide cover and landing operations as an auxiliary task - there was a natural question about the advisability of creating another type of ship, with a narrow purpose.

But then everything changed - with the next visit to the Northern PKB in early 1973 S.G. Gorshkov ordered to do everything the same, but with a boiler-turbine installation. Its substantiations boiled down to the following: YuTZ the main supplier of GTUs for the Soviet Navy cannot provide the turbines with the entire program for building new ships, and losing the steam turbine shop at the Kirov plant is unwise. In addition, in case of difficulties with diesel fuel in the fleet there will always be ships using fuel oil or even crude oil as fuel.

Steam turbines could give, compared to the existing gas turbine plants, although the increase in weight, and also increase power - in the case of the version with gas turbines would have to install at least 4 GTU per 90,000 hp, and the released volumes would be eaten chimneys. In principle, no particular problems should have arisen - the improvement of the characteristics of the boiler plant based on the compressor pressurization of air into the boiler furnace with heat recovery in the turbocharger was worked out at project 1134A. But it was decided to subject the KTU to further force and improve, and to make boilers straight-through.

The water treatment system of destroyers of Project 956 had a fatal role for the duration of service of all ships of the project. New boilers ship KTU have become extremely demanding on the quality of feed water, in particular on oxygen content. But the feedwater system remained "open" (communicated with atmospheric air), so the water treatment provided by the designers did not provide the required water quality, which led to a rapid failure of the boilers. Destroyers with non-working boilers had to be sent for repair. The experience of intensive operation of ships with high-pressure boilers showed

Designers had to take the BOD project 1134A case as a basis. "Mosquito" and "Hurricane", 130-mm guns and 30 mm machine guns, a helicopter, torpedo tubes and RBU were left from previous studies, they refused the new SJSC Polynom. The speed was reduced to 33 knots.

The design was spurred on and finally turned the project 956 from a landing support ship into a multipurpose destroyer program to create a new generation of squadron type DD963 Rymond D. Spruanc in the US - the first multipurpose ships of the US Navy (the head was laid in 1972).

For the construction of new destroyers at the Leningrad Shipbuilding Plant them. A.A. Zhdanov in the bureau were developed "Basic provisions on technology and organization of construction." The ship was divided into nine building districts and nine building blocks. The construction was carried out sequentially in three positions.

In August 1973, the technical project was defended in the Navy. In 1974, according to the approved corrected technical project, the development of working documentation began, and in 1976 the laying of the lead ship took place (now a series of 32 units was assumed).

The lead ship of the project, the "Modern" destroyer, was laid down on March 3, 1976. The hull was formed at the first position of the open slipway, and at two positions of the closed slipway loading and installation of steam boilers, main and auxiliary mechanisms, stabilizers of pitching and large equipment was carried out; the superstructures were installed, the cable was tightened, the rooms were isolated, etc. The hull was assembled in a sectional way with blocks from the inlet area (machine-boiler compartments) in the bow and stern. The maximum mass of the bottom sections was 50 tons, and the deck and side sections - 35 tons. The project envisaged an aggregate method for mounting mechanisms. Electrical work was carried out sequentially in construction areas, according to the so-called autonomous-district technology.

The descent into the water of the head ship "Sovremenny" took place with the help of the plant launchboat on November 18, 1978 at a technological readiness of about 70%. The state tests of the destroyer took place in the area of Baltiysk and Liepaja from November 16 to December 25, 1980. The signing of the acceptance certificate on December 25, 1980, simultaneously with the rise of the navy, did not yet mean that the destroyer entered the Navy of the USSR, since the assembly and testing of AK-130 artillery mounts, and the ZS-90 launcher launchers (Uragan air defense missile system) and the Moskit missile system, failed to test the device receiving and transmitting goods on the go; demanded tests and some systems of radio engineering armament. Only in August 1982, fully equipped with all types of weapons and tested in full by the "Modern" entered into service the Navy, almost simultaneously with the first serial destroyer of project 956 "Desperate".

Until 1991, the plant built and handed over to the fleet 14 ships of project 956. Construction continued after 1991, the series was limited to 19 units. Until 1995, four more destroyers were successfully delivered, the last two were completed at the shipyard Severnaya Verf (formerly named after A. Zhdanov) for the People's Republic of China.

Two additional units were cancelled before being laid down. One additional unit remained incomplete -- intended for the Russian Navy, the construction status and projected commissioning date were highly uncertain. There is some disagreement among sources as to the identity and chronology of the pair of ships acquired by China and the remaining incomplete unit reportedly slated for the Russian Navy.

In 1997 there were two remaining unfinished Sovremennyys. Vazhniy and Aleksandr Nevskiy (ex-Vdumchivyy), were lying 65% and 35% complete, respectively, at St. Petersburg, with only the first in the water. The first was delivered to China in early 2000, with the second following in January 2001. In November 2000 the Northern Fleet Rastoropnyy entered Sverny Werf at St. Petersburg for refit. The ship was thought by some to be one of two earmarked for eventual sale to China.

Under a December 1996 agreement China purchased two Russian Sovremenny-class destroyers, each equipped with eight supersonic 3M-80E Moskit SS-N-22 SUNBURN (75/155nm range sea-skimming) and two SA-N-7 launchers. In January 2002, it was announced that Russia and China had signed a contract for two modified Sovremenny-class destroyers. The two new 956ME vessels were due for delivery in four years and would include upgrades relative to the first pair delivered to China. Each new warship would carry one dedicated helicopter The warships are to be built at the Severnaya Verf shipyards in St. Petersburg. Government sources reportedly estimated the value of the deal as over $1 billion. Other sources suggested that the contract could be worth as much as $1.5 billion, including weapons. Severnaya Verf put in the water the first of two project 956E destroyers for the Chinese navy on 06 May 2004.

In 2004 only the Bespokoyniy and the Nastoichiviy, of the Baltic Fleet and the Besstrashniy were deemed fully operational. The Northern Fleet destroyers Bezboyaznniy and Rastoropniy were derelict at Severniy Wharf in St. Petersburg, while the Bezuprechiy was expected to soon follow, along with the laid-up Gremiashiy of the Northern Fleet. The Bezuderzhniy was also kept in reserve in unsatisfactory condition. In the Pacific Fleet, the Bystriy, Burniy, Bezboyaznniy and the Boyevoy were all in a so-called "limited" condition of fitness, and the first two are the only ones that ever go to sea, even though they were were restricted in their operational capabilities.

The first post-perestroika repairs of a large surface first-class military naval vessel successfully came to an end in Russia. He commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, said after visiting the Zvezdochka shipyard in the city of Severodvinsk (in Arkhangelsk region), where the repair work is being done, that the repaired torpedo-boat destroyer Besstrashny (Fearless) would be incorporated into the Northern Navy in June 2003. The commander-in-chief highly esteemed the quality of the repair work being done at the Severodvinsk shipyard. Kuroyedov said that, although repairs of this kind are just experimental at the enterprise, which is overseen by Nikolai Kalistratov, the experiment was a success. This means that more contracts for repairing similar ships at the shipyard may be further concluded.

In 2007 the Burniy and the Rastoropniy were slated for repairs. In 2008 the International Institute of Strategic Studies reported that six Sovremenny-class destroyers were in service. Other sources suggest that seven remained in service, with at least three additional hulls in reserve with the potential to return to service.

Two ships were to be repaired and modernized. In 2005, the enterprise "Dalzavod" was visited by the destroyer "Burny". Due to technical and technological reasons, the repair of this ship was seriously delayed. So, only at the beginning of this decade it was possible to start the process of repair of the main power plant, which had to be dismantled from the ship and sent to one of the adjacent factories. Repair "stormy" has not yet been completed. According to the latest reports of last year, proposals were considered to continue repair or to preserve the ship.

In 2013, the repair of the destroyer "Nastoychivy" started. According to the published data, it was required to restore the power plant and some updating of the general ship systems. The replacement of weapons was not offered. In the foreseeable future, the modernization of the 956 ships remaining in the ranks may begin. Also, the possibility of repairing the destroyer "Fearless", which has been in reserve since 1999, is not ruled out.

A nominal lifetime of 35 years would see all these vessels remain in service through the year 2020, with all being retired in the decade thereafter. By 2018 an ambiguous situation had developed with the destroyers of Project 956 "Sarych". In the middle of the last decade, when the program for their repair was launched, eight such ships were in service. According to one TASS report, by 2018, only two destroyers - Bystry ["Fast"] and "Admiral Ushakov" [ex-Besstrashnyy, renamed in 2004 after the 1144.2 nuclear powered guided missile cruiser] were carrying the service. Four more were written off, one of them was going to be made a museum.

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Page last modified: 19-01-2020 17:03:40 ZULU