New ships to expect for Russia’s navy in 2019

In a recent speech for the military leadership, Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu mentioned which ships the Russian Navy expects to receive in 2019. I thought it would be interesting to list these in a somewhat orderly fashion.

On the submarine front, the Russian Navy can expect delivery of two nuclear and one diesel-electric submarine. Shoigu didn’t name these submarines, but I assume he meant the following:

  • Knyaz VladimirBorei-A class strategic nuclear powered submarine. It can carry 16 intercontinental ballistic nuclear Bulava missiles. This is the fourth Borei submarine. One already serves in the North Fleet, and two in the Pacific. Knyaz Vladimir is expected to join the Northern Fleet.
  • KazanYasen-M class nuclear powered attack submarine. It can carry both Kalibr and Oniks missiles as well as torpedoes, making it capable of attacking land targets, surface ships, and submarines. Russia has one Yasen-class in active service in the North Fleet, and Kazan is also expected to join the Northern Fleet.
  • Sankt-PeterburgLada-class submarine. The first of class of Russia’s new diesel-electric submarines. It is not initially fitted with air-independent propulsion, but that may be refitted when Russia gets a reliable engine. Sankt-Peterburg has undergone sea trials since 2019, and the second in class – Kronshtadt is expected to enter service in 2020. Both are expected to join the Northern Fleet.

Russia also still produces the improved Kilo-class submarines, and the diesel-electric submarine that Shoigu mentions could also be the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy or the Volkhov. These are both under construction for the Pacific Fleet. However, these submarines are not expected until 2020, and it just seems logical that Sankt-Peterburg would be declared ready before Kronshtadt.

Yasen-class submarine. Photo: mil.ru

On the surface ship front, Shoigu mentioned some ships by name, so I didn’t have to guess. These were:

  • Admiral Flota Kasatonov – the second unit of the Gorshkov-class. Russia seems quite satisfied with their new frigate design. Admiral Gorshkov joined the Northern Fleet last summer, and it is currently performing its first longer deployment. Admiral Kasatonov is also expected to join the Northern Fleet.
  • Gremyashchiy – the first of the project 20385 corvettes. It is an improved and slightly larger variant of the Steregushchiy-class. Compared to its predecessor, the Gremyashchiy-class has more Redut air-defense missile launchers and launchers for Kalibr or Oniks missiles instead of Uran. It is easy to distinguish from the Steregushchiy-class because it lacks the characteristic aft mast. Gremyashchiy is expected to join the Pacific Fleet.
  • Petr Morgunov – The second ship of the Ivan Gren class landing ships. Ivan Gren was finished last summer after a really slow production process, and it serves in the Northern Fleet. Petr Morgunov is set to join the Black Sea Fleet.
  • Ingushetiya – A Buyan-M class missile corvette for the Black Sea Fleet.
  • Merkuriy – A Karakurt-class corvette for the Black Sea Fleet. This is the first Karakurt to be equipped with the Pantsir-M air defense system. Merkuriy is expected to join the Black Sea Fleet.
  • Dmitriy Rogachev – The second of Russia’s new class of ocean patrol vessels. The first of class, Vasiliy Bykov, joined the Black Sea Fleet in 2018, and Dmitriy Rogachev will also serve in the Black Sea Fleet.
  • Vladimir Emelyanov – the third of the Alexandrit-class minesweepers. It will join the Black Sea Fleet.

Surprisingly, Shoigu did not mention the second Karakurt-class corvette Sovetsk, but jumped straight to the third one, Merkuriy. It seems like a mistake, so I am going to add it here:

  • Sovetsk – The second Karakurt-class missile corvette. The first of class – Mytishchijoined the Baltic Fleet just before Christmas. Sovetsk is also expected to join the Baltic Fleet.

In addition to these ships, Shoigu also mentioned that Russia will receive 25 smaller vessels for different purposes, and that 11 ships will undergo repairs at shipyards.

Absent from the list are large surface ships. Russia has plenty of ambitions to build destroyers, large landing ships, and new aircraft carriers, but they haven’t found the resources yet.

From a Baltic perspective, it is noteworthy how few new ships the Baltic Fleet will receive. In fact, the only ship on the list was Sovetsk, which Shoigu didn’t mention but I decided to include anyways. That does not mean that nothing happens in the Baltic Fleet. It looks like the destroyer Nastoichivy and the frigate Neustrashimy will return to active duty. It is also likely that the Baltic Fleet will inherit the submarine Alrosa from the Black Sea Fleet in 2019. But apparently, there are not many new ships on the way to the Baltic Sea this year.




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  1. […] aside, the Russian navy’s modernization in 2019 actually is modest. Of the 23 new surface ships, just seven are armed combatants. One is a Gorshkov-class frigate displacing around 4,500 tons of water. The other six are missile […]

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