Hetman Sahaidachny / Hetman Sahaydachniy
'Krivak III' class Patrol Frigate
Soviet-designed and built frigate intended for KGB border patrol; taken over by Ukraine when nearly complete. A second unit of the class was cancelled. This is Ukraine's primary surface warship, thanks to her young age.
The priority activity for the Naval Forces is participation in NATO’s anti-terrorist Operation Active Endeavour (OAE). Ukraine is the second non-NATO State (after the Russian Federation) to join OAE. Participation in OAE was performed through a rotational-basis of Naval Forces ships, functioning within the Naval Forces Headquarters of the primary National Contact Point as well as dispatching a Naval Forces Headquarters’ liaison officerto the Operation’s Headquarters. In 2008 the first frigate “Hetman Sahaidachny” took part in OAE. It carried a KA-27 helicopter with two crews and a special inspection team. In November – December “Ternopil” corvette performed anti-terrorist OAE duties (carrying a special inspection team).
The Hetman Sahaidachny frigate of the Ukrainian Navy reentered service in January 2011 following repairs. The press center of the Ukrainian Naval Command reported that dock repairs, mooring and running trials were successfully fulfilled. Repair work on the frigate was carried out by a range of companies in the ship-repairing industry, and included repairs of the vessel below the waterline, as well as work on its propeller and rudder. After the completion of dock repairs and mooring trails of the vessel, the frigate for the first time in six months conducted running trials, which were held on New Year’s Eve, 2010. “The trials showed no limitations or defects during the operation of the main engine unit, and the frigate has been put into service,” chief of the department for operation and ship repairs at the Ukrainian Navy Command and Captain of First Rank Ihor Tomilin said.
Ukraine’s navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, started patrolling naval routes off the African coast on 12 October 2013 as part of NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield, Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency said. "The Ukrainian ship has already covered several hundred nautical miles in the Gulf of Aden and started its patrolling round together with warships of the US, Danish and Dutch navies,” the agency quoted Ukraine’s Navy command as saying.
Global powers, including NATO, the European Union and Russia, had launched anti-piracy missions in response to a rising amount of piracy off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean. Operation Ocean Shield aims to deter and disrupt pirate attacks, protect vessels and help increase overall security in the region since 2008. In March 2012, the North Atlantic Council extended the operation until the end of 2014.
On 22 August 2012 the Ukrainian Navy’s flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, docked at the Sevastopol Marine Plant to undergo scheduled repairs. These include routine dock repairs, maintenance of weapons, radio electronic equipment and the ship's interior. The repairs are to be completed in November 2012, when the frigate will start preparations to participate in NATO’s anti-piracy Operation Ocean Shield. The Sevastopol Marine Plant completed overhaul of the Hetman Sahaydachnyi frigate for the Ukrainian Navy at the end of 2012. The work was performed in dry dock and included a partial replacement of the external hull and work by Sevastopol’s Impuls-2 Scientific-Technical Enterprise on missile and artillery systems as well as communications systems.
Commodore Henning Amundsen, Commander Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (COMSNMG1), praised the high efficiency of actions of the Ukrainian Navy Frigate Hetman Sahaidachnyi in the Ocean Shield operation. In his 13 January 2014. letter to Rear Admiral Andriy Tarasov, Commander of the Ukrainian Contingent, and Capt. 2nd Rank Roman Pyatnytsky, Frigate Commander, he underlined the ship left a positive attitude due to high motivation and qualitative training for operation of the ship personnel. “The milestone moment was prevention of pirate boats assault which attacked civilian boats in the patrolling region. The ship crew acted in a rapid way, I was impressed by it,” the letter states. According to Commander Standing NATO Maritime Group 1, Hetman Sahaydachnyi deserves high respect for awareness, level of combat cooperation and ideal result during this patrolling. “The frigate is a source of pride for its nation, fleet, NATO and international counter-piracy coalition”, stressed commodore.
Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, reportedly refused to follow orders from Kiev, and come over to Russia’s side and is returning home after taking part in NATO operation in the Gulf of Aden flying the Russian naval flag. There was conflicting information on where exactly the vessel was, but a Russian senator confirmed to Izvestia daily that the frigate defected to the Russian side. “Ukraine’s Navy flagship the Hetman Sahaidachny has come over to our side today. It has hung out the St Andrew’s flag,” Senator Igor Morozov, a member of the committee on the international affairs, told Izvestia daily. He said the flagship is on its way back to the Black Sea after drills in the Mediterranean. “The crew has fulfilled the order by the chief commander of Ukraine’s armed forces Viktor Yanukovich,” he added.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine had earlier asked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to let the frigate through the Bosporus strait, according to the Kiev Times. The ship captain and the head of Ukraine’s contingent in the operation, Rear Admiral Andrey Tarasov disobeyed orders from Kiev. The Hetman Sahaidachny returned to Sevastopol, Crimea after taking part in a joint counter-piracy operation with NATO and the EU off the Horn of Africa, reported UNN on Friday, citing Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. On February 26, after crossing the Suez Canal, the ship entered the Mediterranean Sea and was expected to be in Sevastopol in early March.
The flagship of the Ukrainian Navy was diverted from returning to its home port in Crimea and will dock in Odessa instead, a Russian military source told RIA Novosti on 05 March 2014. The frigate Hetman Sahaydachny, which remained under Ukrainian control, was diverted to Odessa by naval commanders as many of the sailors and officers on board had voiced a desire to defect to an independent Crimean government, the source said. Earlier reports in Russian media that the crew had already mutinied over the weekend proved unfounded.
On 14-21 March 2014, Hetman Sahaydachnyi frigate executed patrolling in Black Sea. The ship detected four military ships and two Mi-35 helicopters of Russian Black Sea Fleet, which made attempts to cross the naval frontier of Ukraine. Regardless the talks with ships commanders and their warning, Russian ships continued their movement. The Ukrainian ship was put on combat alert. The Frigate initiated the approach to ships-intruders to force them to leave the Ukrainian waters. Due to decisive and coordinated actions of frigate, Russian ships retreated. Ship armament was not used. “Hetman Sahaydachnyi crew proved their capability to accomplish tasks assigned,” Capt. 1st Rank Roman Pyatnytsky, Commander of Hetman Sahaydachnyi.
Equipment on the Hetman Sahaydachniy frigate, the flagship of the Ukrainian Navy, is old and most of it doesn’t even work, Yuri Biryukov, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, said 21 June 2015. Most equipment on the frigate is almost useless since it was built during Soviet times. "Everything there is as always and as everywhere in our army — the equipment is from the Soviet era. Nobody thought about energy efficiency, nobody thought about convenience. And yes, the ship right now is hellish hell, almost nothing works there," Biryukov said.
The cookhouse on the ship was in particularly bad shape. The refrigerators, heaters and water generator system were all out of working order. The crew prepared food on "the remains of the kitchen equipment," the senior adviser said. "The ship's water generator system never worked, it broke down in the early 1990s and the crew put a small American water distiller that still saves the ship. And do you know that a cube of fresh water in African ports cost $200? Sailors found this out while performing tasks off the coast of Somalia."
By July 2017 Ukrainian military prosecutors were suing the company charged with repairing the Hetman Sahaydachniy frigate, whose engines broke down soon after costly repairs. The Hetman Sahaydachniy, the flagship of the Ukrainian Navy, sat in Odessa port, left unfixed after suffering an engine casualty in May 2017, shortly after undergoing repairs. Military prosecutors in southern Ukraine initiated a lawsuit against the Leninskaya Kuznitsa Shipyard, a Nikolayev-based construction and repair facility owned by the Ukrainian president. Leninskaya Kuznitsa won a 14.5 million hryvnia ($561,000 US) tender for the repair of the ship, including its engine, in December. However, prosecutors complained that the ship's diesel engine propulsion system broke down almost immediately after repairs were said to be completed.
Senior military observer Konstantin Sivkov noted: "The thing is, the current Ukrainian authorities clearly understand that they are temporary, and are therefore using any means possible to build up their fortunes using major national projects. It must be understood that they have no interest in maintaining military equipment in fighting condition. Primitive schemes to siphon off, grab and escape with the money – that's the psychology and logic of Ukrainian authorities." And in this situation, "the Ukrainian Navy has no prospects".
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