On June 30, Gremyashchy (Project 20385), the lead corvette of a series of four, was launched in Saint Petersburg. The harbor acceptance test is scheduled for August. The 100% Russia-made ship is armed with state-of-the-art weapons and features a radar-absorbing coating that reduces the corvette's signature. She is expected to be commissioned next year.
The Gremyashchy class vessels are multipurpose corvettes, designed to complement the Steregushchiy-class ships already commissioned or being built for the Russian Navy. They offer an improved habitability for higher endurance missions, and are able to strike land targets with cruise missiles. Featuring stealth design, the corvettes are intended for missions such as patrolling coastal waters, maritime security, anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and anti-air warfare (AAW).
Gremyashchy has a displacement of 2,500 tons, a length of 106 m, a width of 13 m, a speed of up to 27 kt, a cruising range of 3,500 n miles, an endurance of 15 days, and a crew of 99 naval servicemen.
The hull has nine watertight subdivisions. It is built using steel, while its superstructure is made of composite materials. The ship's bulbous bow offers increased speed and fuel efficiency by reducing the drag. The corvette is designed to have low radar, acoustic, magnetic, visual, and infrared signatures. The ship is operated from an enclosed bridge located amidships. Unlike the Steregushchiy-design, the single integrated mainmast no longer includes separate open shelves for artillery and navigation radars. Gremyashchy is provided with a flight deck at the aft to provide take-off/landing for a single anti-submarine warfare (ASW) Kamov Ka-27 helicopter stored in a large hangar fitted at the aft.
The armament suite includes the lightweight 1 × 100 mm A-190 Arsenal naval gun mounted in the bow to engage enemy surface ships, coastal and air targets. With a rate of fire of 80rpm, the range is 20km.
The UKSK eight-cell vertical launch system is installed to deploy Kalibr long-range cruise missiles capable of striking ground-based targets and P-800 Oniks (Yakhont) supersonic anti-ship missiles. The Kalibr missiles have been tested in Syria, travelling 1,500 km through Iranian and Iraqi airspace to strike targets in Raqqa and Aleppo provinces.
The vessel is armed with two 30mm AK-630M close-in weapons systems for defence against enemy aircraft and incoming missiles. A 16-cell launcher is provided for Poliment Redut air defense system, which uses a number of 9K96 surface-to-air missiles to defend air targets. The Poliment system has four phased array antennas that are able to track 16 targets at the same time. It consists of four or eight vertical launch systems that launch three types of missiles. The 9M100 is the short-range missile, with a range of up to 15km. The 9M96M is the medium-range missile, with a range of 40-50km. Finally, the 9M96 long-range missile is supposed to have a range of up to 150km.
The onboard Paket anti-submarine system provides self-defense for the vessel against enemy submarines and torpedoes.
A variety of radar systems are installed to detect and localize enemy ships, submarines, aircraft, and shore-based targets.
The Project 20385 corvettes were designed with German MTU diesels for propulsion. The deliveries were suspended because of the sanctions arising from the Ukrainian conflict. New Russian-made 1DDA-12000 diesel turbines were ordered to propel the Gremyashchiy-class corvettes. Foreign MTU diesels are no longer required, the German producers failed to make profit. Each 1DDA 12000 diesel unit consisting of two 16D49 diesel engines and reverse gear block generates an output power of 12,000hp. The vessel is further fitted with two five-blade fixed-pitch propellers driven by the diesel engines through two shafts.
With big-size assets in the inventory or being built, Russia is increasingly focusing on smaller, but much more capable and heavily armed frigate and corvette-class ships. Gremyashchy class corvettes are ocean-going vessels which pack an oversized punch. Displacing over 2000-tons they carry long-range land-attack cruise missiles. The Navy is moving to smaller but more capable platforms, using technology to make up the difference. It gets less quantity and more quality, as a result. The warship construction is on the rise. Neither western sanctions, nor fluctuations of world energy prices can stop the process of the Russian Navy’s rebirth.