The Russian naval industry has much on offer at LIMA 2017 in Malaysia this week. Prominent among exhibitors is Russia’s largest such company, United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), which includes some 40 different organisations, including design bureaus and repair companies. The principal component organisations present at LIMA are PO Sevmash, Yantar Shipyard, Rubin Design Bureau, Admiralty Shipyards, Almaz Design Bureau, Malachite Design Bureau, Severnoye Design Bureau, and Sredne-Nevsky Shipbuilding Plant.

USC’s stand includes models of two small conventional submarines – PIRANHA and P-650E. According to the company they could be used as a support platform for special forces, mine-laying, reconnaissance and combat operations. The PIRANHA is equipped with two mines and two torpedoes, is 30m long and has a maximum diving depth of 200 metres. Its full speed is 6.6kts, while operational endurance is 10 days or 1,000 nautical miles. It has a crew of three and can accommodate six combat swimmers. P-650E is much larger, with an overall length of 55-57m and a 300m maximum depth capability. Full speed is 20.5kts, while operational endurance is 20 days or 2,000 nautical miles. It has a crew of nine, can accommodate six combat swimmers and is armed with four 533mm torpedoes, eight 400 mm torpedoes and 12 mines.

The largest submarine on offer from USC is the AMUR 1650 with air-independent propulsion (AIP), designed by the Rubin Design Bureau in St. Petersburg. This is an export version of the LADA-class (Project 677), which is a much improved version of the well-known and successful KILO-class (Project 636) conventional submarine. According to the company, the AMUR-class has an acoustic signature several times lower than KILO-class submarines.

The AMUR 1650 has six 533mm torpedo tubes and can accommodate up to 18 weapons (missiles, mines or torpedoes). Length is 83m, maximum depth 300m and operational endurance 60 days. The company offers two other submarines of this class – the standard AMUR 1650 and the 56.8m AMUR 950. The latter has 10 universal VLS missile systems with CLUB-S missiles. According to the producer this submarine can launch all its missiles against different maritime or land targets in just two minutes. Potential clients are unknown, though there are indications the Indian Navy could be among them.

Other Russian ships promoted at LIMA 2017 were the Project 22160 and Project 22500 patrol vessels. The former is a large patrol ship, for which the first unit was laid down in February 2014. Five are currently under construction at Zelenodolsk in Tatarstan. As was shown on a model at LIMA, it is equipped with one 57mm A-220M gun, four tubes of the KALIBR-NK (3M-54) anti-ship missiles, IGLA MANPADS for self-defence, and one GIBKA air defence system. In its standard configuration the Project 22160 can accommodate one helicopter such as a Ka-27. The unit is designed as a stealth ship, and all will serve in the Black Sea, with the first introduced into Russian service in 2017. The Project 22500, also presented as a scale model, has a standard displacement of 950t and a length of 84m compared to the 1,500t and 94m of the Project 22160. Its declared range is up to 4,000nmi (6,000 for the Project 22160). Project 22500’s standard armament includes eight KALIBR-NKE missiles, one 100 mm A-190E cannon, and IGLA MANPADS for self-defence. It also has a telescopic hangar and helipad with facilities for take-off, landing and servicing of a combat or search-and-rescue helicopter weighing up to 12 tons.

Among other proposals is the Project 12701 coastal mine-countermeasures vessel with a displacement of 890t and length of 61.6 metres. It has one air-cooled AK-306 six-barreled 30mm cannon and eight IGLA MANPADs. The vessel is equipped with one contact sweep (GKT-2 or GOKT-1) and one acoustic sweep (SHAT-U). The mine-countermeasures equipment includes a DIEZ-12700E automated system for mine countermeasures operation control, one LIVADIA-ME mine-detection sonar, two ALISTER 9-type AUVs, two K-STER I-type ROVs, ten K-STER C-type ROVs, and one INSPECTOR MK2-type MCM unmanned vehicle.

Regrettably, representatives of the USC declined to discuss any element of its offerings with Mönch.

Robert Czulda

(Photos: Robert Czulda)

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