A forerunner of future Russian frigates?
On June 19, the frigate Yaroslav Mudry, a long-awaited addition to the Russian Navy, began its maiden cruise on the Baltic Sea.
The Project 11540 ship was laid down in 1990 as the prototype ship of the series. However, in 1994 work on the Yaroslav Mudry was halted, even though the ship was 75% complete. Construction was not resumed until 2002 and the ship had to be practically re-built to meet the latest technological advances.
The Yaroslav Mudry is a multi-purpose vessel intended to engage surface and sub-surface targets, and is equipped with powerful air defence systems. The ship has a full displacement of 4,250 tons, a length of 130 meters, a beam of 15.6 meters and a draft of 8.35 meters. Its sailing range is 2,900 miles and it is manned by a crew of 210, including 35 officers.
The frigate is equipped with Uran anti-ship missiles, a Kinzhal surface-to-air missile system, a Vodopad anti-submarine missile system, rocket-assisted bomb throwers, one 100mm all-purpose artillery gun, two Kortik anti-aircraft rocket artillery systems, and two AK-630 six-barreled Gatling guns.
Project 11540, as embodied in the Yaroslav Mudry, is a further development of the Soviet 1135 Project, which spawned a large number of escort ships for the Navy and the KGB’s coast guard. Under a program adopted in the late 1980s, the Soviet Navy and coast guard service were to have received over 70 ships from the project over a 20 year period, but the collapse of the Soviet Union put an end to these plans.
The current status of frigates in the Russian Navy is changed. As in other countries, they have developed into fighting vessels capable of fulfilling missions both independently and within a formation. This philosophical change means an increase in combat power, which has been achieved by installing anti-ship missiles on new and upgraded ships.
The Yaroslav Mudry and other escort ships making up the Russian Navy are now testing technological decisions which will be used on new vessels of the same class – Project 22350 frigates. During the next five years it is planned to start building a series of ships of this type. All in all, the Russian Navy expects to take delivery of up to 20 frigates in the next 15-20 years.