Russian Navy to receive Attack Variant of Project 03160 Raptor Patrol Boat

Naval Industry News - Russia
Russian Navy to receive Attack Variant of Project 03160 Raptor Patrol Boat
Russia`s Navy will get an attack variant of the Project 03160 (Raptor-class) patrol boat. It is believed to receive a reinforced armament suite that will allow engagement of enemy`s small craft and providing of fire support to the troops. These boats have a speed of over 80 km/h; they also can hunt in all weather conditions. According to the experts, the new heavily armed combatants will be highly demanded in the Baltic and the water areas of the Azov Sea.
raptor Project 03160 Pella Shipyard RussiaProject 03160 Raptor of the Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet
The Izvestia newspaper was told at the Navy`s Chief Command that the trials of the new item were to start before the year-end. However, this term might be shifted. The new attack boats are planned to be issued to all the fleets and the Caspian Flotilla. The variant of the boat armed with heavy weapons will be used to patrol littoral areas and to counter enemy`s small-size vessels.

The updated Project 03160 boat will be able to provide substantial fire support to the troops or special teams during landing. The firepower and high speed of the boats turn them into combatants that are suitable for raid operations. According to the Izvestia newspaper, the armament suite of the new boats comprises several Uprava-Kord combat modules with the KPVT heavy machineguns, an automatic grenade launcher, and a launching unit of anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM). The aforementioned suite is variable, depending of the mission.

The Project 03160 boats can operate at a distance of up to 100 nautical miles (more than 185 km) from their base, and they have a maximum speed of 50 knots (more than 92 km/h). The boats can be carried by a large landing ship.
Russian TV report on the Raptor & Pella Shipyard
The basic variant of the boat has a two-strong crew and a passenger capacity of up to 20 servicemen with individual equipment. It features bullet-resistant protection, and the boat`s armament suite integrates an Uprava-Kord module and Pecheneg medium machineguns. Typically, such an arsenal is sufficient to repel a commando attack or to intercept a smuggler. However, heavier weapons capable of firing points and armor engagement are required for raid and fire support missions.

Dmitry Boltenkov, an expert, told the Izvestia newspaper that the situation in the water areas of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea had exacerbated in recent years. "Russia has lengthy maritime borders, and their atmosphere is not calm to the full extent. Several states or terroristic grouping might try to insert their sabotage teams," he said.

Apart from that, several countries are boosting the development of mosquito fleets, against which heavy and low-maneuverable ships are ineffective. "The aforementioned factors have determined the Russian Navy`s demand for heavily armed high-speed boats that can stop enemy`s vessels using their weapons and land boarding teams to check them and to eliminate [the threats]. Therefore, a heavily armed Raptor-class high-speed boat will be suitable for operations in the littoral areas of the Azov Sea and the Black Sea to the best manner," Boltenkov emphasized.

At present, the Navy operates eight Project 03160 boats in patrol or transport-assault configurations. They can accomplish counter-sabotage (to protect bases), vessel inspection and search-and-rescue missions. The boats are suitable for operations in littoral areas, straits, skerries and river outlets.

Now commando teams within the Navy are being formed. They are intended for landing/evacuation of special groups and fire support. The Project 03160 boats will be the main transportation means of such units, the Izvestia newspaper points out.

The Project 03160 Raptor boat has been developed by the Pella shipyard. As mentioned earlier, its basic variant is armed with an Uprava-Kord remote control weapon station with a 14.5 mm or a 12.7 mm machinegun and a gyrostabilized optical-electronic suite and two cradle-mounted Pecheneg 7.62 mm machineguns. According to the official catalogue of the Pella shipyard, the Raptor boat has a maximum length of 16.9 m, a maximum width of 4.1 m and a maximum draft of 0.9 m. It can reach a speed of up to 48 knots (88.9 km/h). The inhabited compartments of the boat are protected by bullet-resistant armor and illuminators.

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