Summary of Russian navy ship construction

Ilya Kramnik has put together a handy set of summary tables of Russian naval surface ship construction, including contracts signed. The Russian original is here, for those interested.

Total for the Russian Navy as of 17.11.2013: 41 contracted combat ships, incl. 2 universal amphibious assault ships, 2 large amphibious assault ships, 14 frigates, 15 corvettes, 8 small missile boats. Of these, 24 ships are under construction, incl. 2 universal amphibious assault ships, 2 large amphibious assault ships, 9 frigates, 5 corvettes, 6 small missile boats. Six of these ships have been launched, incl. 1 universal amphibious assault ship, 1 large amphibious assault ship, 1 frigate,  1 corvette, and 2 small missile boats.

Universal Amphibious Ships

Project # BPC-160 (Mistral)

Name Shipyard Laid down Launched Sea trials Commissioning Notes
Vladivostok STX Europe,  Saint-Nazare; Baltiiskii Zavod, St. Petersburg 01.02.2012 15.10.2013 Spring 2014 (planned) Nov 2014 (planned) Planned for Pacific Fleet. Crew being formed.
Sevastopol STX Europe,  Saint-Nazare; Baltiiskii Zavod, St. Petersburg 18.06.2013 Oct 2014 (planned) 2015 (planned) 2015 (planned) Planned for Pacific Fleet

Total: 2 contracted, 2 under construction, incl. 1 launched

Large Amphibious ships

Project # 11711 (Ivan Gren)

Name Shipyard Laid down Launched Sea trials Commissioning Notes
Ivan Gren Yantar, Kaliningrad 23.12.2004 18.05.2012 2014 (planned) 2014 (planned)
Yantar, Kaliningrad Keel laid, construction frozen. Continuation of the series is uncertain.

Total: 2 contracted, 2 under construction, incl. 1 launched

Frigates

Project # 22350 (Admiral Gorshkov)

Name Shipyard Laid down Launched Sea trials Commissioning Notes
Admiral Gorshkov Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 01.02.2006 29.10.2010 Spring 2014 (planned) Fall 2014 (planned) Commissioning delayed Commissioning delayed because AU A-192 artillery unit is not ready.  Planned for Northern Fleet.
Admiral Kasatonov Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 26.11.2009 Spring 2014 (planned) Spring 2015 (planned) 2015 (planned) Planned for Northern Fleet
Admiral Golovko Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 01.02.2012 2014 (planned) 2015 (planned) 2016 (planned) Planned for Northern Fleet
Admiral Isakov Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 14.11.2013 2015 (planned) 2016 (planned) 2016 (planned) Planned for Northern Fleet
Admiral Yumashev Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg Spring 2014 (planned) 2016 (planned) 2017 (planned) 2017 (planned) Keel being laid
Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 2014 (planned) 2017 (planned) Keel being laid
Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 2015 (planned) 2018 (planned) Contract signed
Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 2015 (planned) 2018 (planned) Contract signed

Project 11356 (Admiral Grigorovich)

Name

Shipyard Laid down Launched Sea trials Commissioning

Notes

Admiral Grigorovich Yantar, Kaliningrad 18.12.2010 Fall 2013 (planned) Spring 2014 (planned) 2014 (planned) Planned for Black Sea Fleet
Admiral Essen Yantar, Kaliningrad 08.07.2011 Spring 2014 (planned) Summer 2014 (planned) 2014 (planned) Planned for Black Sea Fleet
Admiral Makarov Yantar, Kaliningrad 29.02.2012 Winter 2015 (planned) Spring 2015 (planned) 2015 (planned) Planned for Black Sea Fleet
Admiral Butakov Yantar, Kaliningrad 12.07.2013 2015 (planned) 2015 (planned) 2016 (planned)
Admiral Istomin Yantar, Kaliningrad 15.11.2013 2015 (planned) 2016 (planned) 2016 (planned)
Admiral Kornilov Yantar, Kaliningrad Winter 2014 (planned) 2016 (planned) Keel being laid

Total: 14 contracted, 9 under construction, incl. 1 launched

 

Corvettes

Project 20380 (Steregushchii)

Name

Shipyard Laid down Launched Sea trials Commissioning

Notes

Sovershennyi Amur Shipyard, Komsomolsk-na-Amure 30.06.2006 Fall 2013 (planned) Spring 2014 (planned) 2014 (planned) Construction delayed due to shipyard’s poor financial situation.

Planned for Pacific Fleet

Stoikii Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 10.11.2006 30.05.2012 Spring 2014 (planned) 2014 (planned) Construction delayed due to problems with artillery unit AU A-190. Planned for Baltic Fleet.
Gromkii Amur Shipyard, Komsomolsk-na-Amure 20.04.2012 2014 (planned) 2014 (planned) 2015 (planned) Planned for Pacific Fleet
Rezvyi Amur Shipyard, Komsomolsk-na-Amure 2014 (planned) 2017 (planned) Contract signed

Planned for Pacific Fleet

Strogii (likely) Amur Shipyard, Komsomolsk-na-Amure 2014 (planned) 2017 (planned) Contract signed, Planned for Pacific Fleet

Project 20385 (Gremiashchii)

Name

Shipyard Laid down Launched Sea trials Commissioning

Notes

Gremiashchii Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 01.02.2012 2015 (planned) 2015 (planned) 2016 (planned)
Provornyi Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 25.07.2013 2016 (planned) 2016 (planned) 2016 (planned)
Sposobnyi (likely) Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 2013 (planned) 2016 (planned) 2017 (planned) Keel being laid
Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 2014 (planned) 2017 (planned) Keel being laid
Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 2014 (planned) 2017 (planned) Keel being laid
Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 2018 (planned) Contract signed
Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 2018 (planned) Contract signed
Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 2018 (planned) Contract signed
Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 2019 (planned) Contract signed
Severnaia Verf, St. Petersburg 2019 (planned) Contract signed
Total: 15 contracted, 5 under construction, incl. 1 launched. In 2008-2013 the navy received three project 20380 corvettes. The number of contracted corvettes may be reduced in favor of a new littoral combat ship-style corvette.

Small Missile Boats

(often considered corvettes by Western analysts)

Project 21631 (Buyan)

Name

Shipyard Laid down Launched Sea trials Commissioning

Notes

Grad Sviazhsk Zelenodolsk shipyard 27.08.2010 09.03.2013 08.2013 2013 (planned) Planned for Caspian Flotilla
Uglich Zelenodolsk shipyard 22.07.2011 10.04.2013 08.2013 2013 (planned) Planned for Caspian Flotilla
Velikii Ustiug Zelenodolsk shipyard 27.08.2011 2013 (planned) 2014 (planned) 2014 (planned) Planned for Caspian Flotilla
Zelenyi Dol Zelenodolsk shipyard 29.08.2012 2014 (planned) 2014 (planned) Planned for Caspian Flotilla
Serpukhov Zelenodolsk shipyard 25.01.2013 2014 (planned) 2015 (planned) Likely for Black Sea Fleet
Vyshnii Volochek Zelenodolsk shipyard 25.08.2013 2015 (planned) 2015 (planned) Likely for Black Sea Fleet
Orekhovo-Zuyevo Zelenodolsk shipyard 2014 (planned) 2016 (planned) Contract signed. Likely for Black Sea Fleet
Zelenodolsk shipyard 2014 (planned) 2016 (planned) Contract signed. Likely for Black Sea Fleet
Total: 8 contracted, 6 under construction, incl. 2 launched.

What will the navy do with its ships?

Surprisingly, developments in the Russian military have continued apace over the last two months while I’ve been more or less away from writing new material. Now I’m back and at some point will write about some of the things I learned about Caspian security.

But first, I came across a very interesting analysis of likely Russian naval strategy for the next ten years based on plans announced in the State Armaments Program. This was published two months ago, but I haven’t seen it covered in English, so it seems worth noting. The author notes four situations in which Russia will have to depend on its naval forces:

  1. Protecting undersea pipelines and offshore energy deposits.
  2. Protecting Sea lanes of communication and trade (i.e. anti-piracy).
  3. Defending Russia from China. The author argues that since Russian ground forces could not withstand a Chinese attack, Russia’s only hope (other than its nuclear deterrent, which he doesn’t mention for some reason) is to defeat the Chinese Navy and threaten its major population centers on the coast.
  4. Showing the flag in areas where it’s important for Russia to have influence. The author specifically lists Latin America, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia. He ties previous ship visits to these areas to subsequent arms sales to Venezuela and Vietnam.

These are likely to be the four main missions of Russia’s conventional naval forces for at least the next decade. Note what is missing from this list. Based on its shipbuilding plans, Russia no longer considers the US an opponent. Instead of ships aimed at destroying US attack submarines and aircraft carriers, Russia plans to build smaller multipurpose ships such as frigates and corvettes.

Furthermore, ship building plans indicate that in the coming years, the Pacific Fleet will become the most important Russian fleet, taking over from the Northern Fleet. Its main mission will be to deter potential Chinese aggression against Russia. It could also be used in the event of a conflict with Japan over the Kuril Islands, though I can’t imagine that how that dispute could lead to an armed conflict. Because of the priority given to this fleet, the first of the newly purchased Mistral ships will go to the Pacific Fleet.

The Northern fleet will remain the main base for strategic submarines, while its big surface ships (and especially Peter the Great, which is nuclear powered and does not need to depend on accompanying refueling ships) will be restricted to “show the flag” types of cruises around the world.

Now that the Sevastopol basing issue has been resolved, the Black Sea Fleet will be substantially modernized. Plans call for it to receive six diesel submarines and 12 new corvettes and amphibs. These will be used for three missions — to protect undersea energy pipelines, control maritime approaches to Georgia, and conduct anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia.

Finally, the Baltic Fleet has no potential opponents and will be turned into a coastal protection force. All of its large ships are being transferred to Sevastopol and its sole mission will be to protect undersea pipelines. To this end, it will have a larger contingent of naval special operations forces.

Of course, all of this depends on the Russian ship-building industry actually completing the construction of various ships in a timely manner. Plans call for the construction, over the next ten years, of 8 strategic submarines, 22 multi-purpose submarines (both nuclear and diesel), 12 frigates, 20 corvettes, and 10 amphibious ships. Given the track record, the likelihood of Russian ship-builders being able to build this many ships in ten years is more or less zero. Building half of those ships is perhaps a realistic target, if all goes well. But note that the first of the Ivan Gren amphibious ships, six of which are supposed to be built, has been under construction since 2004 and is currently listed as “in early stages of construction.” The first of the new Admiral Gorshkov frigates, laid down in 2006, was recently floated out of its launch dock but is still listed as only 40 percent complete.

Despite the inevitable problems and delays that will push back this reconfiguration, the shipbuilding program spelled out in the SAP shows the likely strategic direction of the Russian Navy for at least the next decade. According to these plans, the conventional Russian navy will remain primarily a coastal defense force, while its older larger ships will primarily be engaged in friendly visits to other parts of the world.