Before the end of the year, the Russian Black Sea Fleet should receive four new combat units.
Despite the tense situation in the Black Sea, the French shipbuilding company OSEA sent the first two border patrol boats for the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service (GPSU) from Saint-Nazaire on 10 May. The 32-metre OCEA FPB 98 Mk I project vessels, built in Les Sables-d’Olonne, are part of a package of 20 units ordered under the 2019 Ukrainian-French deal.
The transport ship Gaya with ships on its deckarrived in Malta on May 16 and is expected to sail to Alexandroupoli, Greece on May 19. At the same time, the further route of the ship is still unknown. There is a question whether the ship will go to the Black Sea or the ships will be unloaded in one of the Mediterranean ports and delivered to Odessa by another means of transport.
In addition to these ships, in April, three other ships, already completed for the Ukraine (BG 204, BG 205 and BG 207), were unveiled at Les Sables-d’Olonne.
Turkey has yet to comment on whether to let French ships bound for Ukraine pass.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet is waiting for reinforcements
The Russian Black Sea Fleet is waiting for a radical reinforcement. By the end of the year, the Black Sea Fleet will include four new combat units. According to a document, the Black Sea fleet will be replenished with them before the end of the year.
The reinforcement concerns small missiles of the Karakurt type of project 22800 and a patrol boat of project 22160. Their appearance in the Black Sea will significantly increase the firepower of the group in the south-western direction.
“Three small project 22800 rockets were built in Kerch, of which the main one, the Cyclone, is already in service“, states the military historian Dmitry Boltenkov and continues:
“Three types of Karakurt carry a total of 28 Caliber cruise missiles, which can hit ground targets effectively.“, he explained. And in the event of an attack by NATO countries against Russia, they can attack targets on the southern side of the alliance.
In total, it is planned to build 18 “Karakurt”. They are produced simultaneously at shipyards in St. Petersburg, Zelenodolosk, Crimea and the Far East. It is assumed that by the mid-2020s, the Baltic, Black Sea and Pacific fleets will each have their own Karakurt formation.
Project 22800 rocket launcher
The small rockets of Project 22800 are relatively small, their displacement is 870 tons. However, despite their modest size, they have quite an impressive arsenal. It includes a 3S14 firing system for eight Caliber cruise missiles or Onyx hypersonic anti-ship missiles, as well as an AK-176MA 76.2mm artillery mount.
The contours of the ship and the use of radar-absorbing materials in the design make the Karakurt less visible to enemy radars than previous generations of RTOs. At the same time, it is equipped with modern radar stations (RLS) and navigation equipment, as well as combat control, detection, target identification and communications systems.
Orlan-10 drones with a range of up to 120 km can be deployed in Karakurt. Drones allow Karakurt goes unnoticed: the ship’s crew can take off the drones to assess the environment and not activate the radars, whose signal can be detected by enemy radars.
Project 22160 patrol boats
Project 22160 patrol boats were developed in the post-Soviet era. In the near future, the construction of the ships Viktor the Great and Nikolai Sipyagin, built in 2016 and 2018, should be completed.
The ships of the series can participate in defense operations of the coast and coastal bases, in case of military conflict. They may also escort groups of ships and vessels, participate in search and rescue and anti-piracy operations.
Its armament consists of a 76mm artillery mount, grenade launchers, and Kord machine guns.. The Ka-27PS helicopter, as well as aerial and underwater drones, can be located on the deck. Thanks to this, the crews can monitor the surface and underwater situation in real time within a radius of hundreds of kilometers, while the ship does not need to activate its own radar equipment and therefore remains unnoticed.
One of the main features of the Project 22160 patrol boats is that they are built according to a modular scheme. This allows weapons and equipment to be quickly attached to them for a specific task.
Hydroacoustic stations and other equipment are connected to the ship’s power supply and integrated into a single control system. This allows, according to the principle of the designer, each time to equip the ship for a specific task.
In recent years, the fleet has been testing different units, both with armament and with various auxiliary equipment. Among them, the anti-aircraft complexes “Redut” and “Pantsir-M” in the marine version, anti-submarine equipment and units with cruise missiles. Specifically, the ship can carry Caliber-NK missiles.
But its main feature is that it is adapted to be used by underwater and surface unmanned vehicles of all available types. This allows tracking of enemy targets hundreds of kilometers away in different directions.