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Corvettes ["Patrol Ships"]

After a rather lengthy pause, design and construction of guard-ships resumed. In 1937-1939, a design office headed by Y.A. Koperzhinskiy worked out a project of guard-ship the Yastreb (Hawk) of project 29. They managed to launch six ships of this series before the war. During the war years (1944), the lead ship Yastreb, under the improved project 29, was allotted to the fleet. Displacement of this guard-ship was 998 tons, speed - 33, 5 knots; she was armed with three 100-mm guns and four 37-mm anti-aircraft guns. She also had three-tube 450-mm torpedo-tube. As many as 24 mines could be taken on her board. Two bomb-release gears with depth-charges complexes were fixed on her stern. The rest five ships launched were completed after the war following the project 29K.

In 1938, following the order of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, a frontier-guard ship of project 122 was designed. Having slightly modified it, the Soviet Navy used this project as a large submarine-chaser. Under the project 122A (chief designer N.G. Loschinskiy), a series of big submarine-chasers was laid. The first two - the Artillerist and the Miner - were allotted to the Caspian Sea flotilla in November 1941. Three years later, they, together with other ships of this project, were re-based to the Black Sea Fleet.

The constant requirement of I.V.Stalin for escort ships was that they have no more than 1000 tons displacement, including armament. This meant that the Soviet Fleet had to sacrifice nearly everything to realize a project under these settings. All this has led to a Project 42 draft that did not meet any of the requirements of a modern combat.

The only acceptable Project 44, developed at that time with CM-5 turrets, was not approved because it exceeded 1500 tons displacement. The ship had a speed of 28 knots, range 4000 miles at speed 16 knots, armament: 2 x 100-cm-5, 45 mm 4 x 2 CM-16, 4-25 mm 1 x 3 Ay, 533-mm TA, anti-submarine mortar, 1 x 24 6 x 1 bombometov. This was the first attempt to unify the tactical adnt technical requirements. The Project 44 had the same enclosure as the destroyers of Project 259. The idea was good, but it was not implemented.

At the outbreak and during the war, a large number of small-size submarine-chasers of MO-2 and MO-4 type with displacement of 56 tons and full speed of 25.5 knots were built (chief designer - L.L. Ermash). These ships had wooden hulls. Their battery included two 45-mm guns as well as two bomb-release gears with depth-charges sets. They could take on board four mines. Apart from that, each chaser was equipped with portable hydro-phone station.

Since 1943, the fleet started being equipped with small-size submarine-chasers of OD-200 type with displacement of 47 tons and speed of 28 knots. Their battery consisted of 37-mm and 25-mm guns. Total number of small submarine-chasers of MO-2, MO-4 and OD-200 types reached 334 units. The ships of these series became the most universal and multi-purpose ships of the Great Patriotic War. They landed troops, were on patrol duty, escorted transports and submarines as well as suppressed fire sectors on shore.

Armored small-size submarine-chasers of project 194 (chief designer A.N. Tyushkevich) were built in besieged Leningrad and were sent to the Baltic Fleet since 1943. Their displacement capacity was 61 tons with a speed reaching 23 knots; their battery included one 45-mm gun and 37-mm submachine gun, two bomb-release gears with depth-charges and hydro-acoustic station. In all, 66 armoured chasers were built. They were aimed for action in skerry areas, and were to provide fire-support of the land forces and participate in landing operations.

In the years 1956-1965 it was planned to have included the development and subsequent construction of patrol ships of two projects. The first was a Project 50 with 100-mm guns. It was planned to construct 26 units from 1958-1962 at plant No. 820. The second was a Project 49 with 100-mm with CM-39 turrets, designed specifically for patrol ships. They were going to build 35 units in 1960-1965 on the same plant No. 820. Automatic SM-39 turret was manufactured in metal and underwent factory testing. But the entire program for guard ships, unfortunately, collapsed.

With the election of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, greater priority was given to funding for law enforcement agencies, including the Navy. The Navy leadership wanted to abandon the "High Seas Fleet", demonstrating, for clarity a "diverse fleet" (a term which came up with something.)

Yes, and what tasks can be put in front of this rabble of different types of ships of 20-30 years ago? As painful as it was to talk about, some suggested the Navy now should bring all the big ships into the reserve [and even better to sell them, if, of course, someone will buy). And by all means invest in the creation of ships for the protection of the borders, which requires hundreds of corvettes to protect the 200-mile economic zone and small ships to guard the 12-mile border zone.





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