Recently, NavyRecognition reported Russia was laying down a third Project 22160 patrol ship. The first of this class should enter service next year. In size they fall between the Offshore Patrol Cutter and the Webber class WPCs, in the range I have called “Cutter X.” The size (1200-1800 tons full load) seems to be favored by many navies and coast guards.These ships are a bit unusual among small Russian ships in having a substantial range.
Reportedly the Russians are building six of these. Specs are as follows:
- Length: 94 meters (308 ft)
- Beam: 14 meters (46 ft)
- Draught: 3.4 meters (11.2 ft)
- Speed: 30 knots
- Range: 6,000 nmi
- Endurance: 60 days
- Crew: 80
At one point there was a public statement that these had been designed to counter piracy off the Horne of Africa. But it has been more recently reported that they will be quipped with Kalibr (Tomahawkski) land attack missiles, the type recently used by ships in the Caspian Sea to attack targets in Syria. The ship is “modular” and has a reconfigurable space under the rear of the flight deck. The missile will be mounted in containers under the flight deck. Adding anti-submarine or additional anti-ship capabilities would require trading off the Kalibr missiles.
The ship has a new naval gun mount incorporating a 57mm gun. The gun is reportedly capable of 300 rounds per minute and a range of 12 km. Effective range is about 4 km. This is a development of gun with a long history in Soviet and Russian Service in both anti-air and anti-armor roles, and as is frequently the case with Russian weapons, the ammunition is shared in common with the Russian Army.
In addition they will carry short range Anti-Air missiles. It appears they will be vertical launched from canisters between the gun and superstructure.
While these ships do not have a strong self defense capability, the mounting of cruise missiles similar to the Tomahawk on small vessels, particularly on one like this, that has a relatively long range, gives them a sort of miniature maritime strike capability, far less capable, but also far cheaper than a Carrier Strike Group. While the ships are small and the weapons unobtrusive, the potential to accurately strike up to eight separate targets would have required an attack by dozens of aircraft not too many years ago.
Apparently all six ships are to be assigned to the Black Sea Fleet and will be home ported in Novorossiysk.
Interestingly, it appears the Russians may also be building a similar size anti-submarine warfare ship. Again NavyRecognition has the report.