Russian navy eyes naval engines in Asia to bypass Western sanctions

The Russian industry, suppliers and the Navy are working to obtain engines under the sanctions regime. Russia is eyeing Asian producers instead of western ones. Thus, KAMPO-produced boats of project 23370M were equipped with Korean Doosan diesel engines. They are likely to be installed on Raptor-class export boats of project 03160 designed and produced by Pella Shipyard, Mil.Press FlotProm reported quoting two industry sources.

Russian navy eyes naval engines in Asia to bypass Western sanctions Russian Navy's SAR Service received its first Project 23370M modular cutter in 2018. The boats are equipped with Korean Doosan 4V222TIH diesel engines with a capacity of 624 KW (836 HP) (Picture source: Russian Navy)

Previously, project 23370 boats were equipped with IVECO engines. More powerful Doosan develops a higher speed, KAMPO said. Project 03160 boats of Pella are so far equipped with US Caterpillar engines.

The replacement of western producers with Asian ones is logical under sanctions, Editor-in-Chief of the Arms Export magazine Andrey Frolov said. Cooperation with Europe and the United States in engine supplies for the military has been closed. "Cooperation with Chinese producers is not easy. Russian customers have claims regarding the quality and cost of engines. There are not many good diesel engine producers in South Korea as well," he said.

A Navy source said Russian producers of diesel engines can hardly cope with small vessels and there is no alternative to foreign power plants. But the Navy is concerned by the quality of fuel and lubricants. The source said scientists are attentively following new designs.

In August 2018, Sweden restricted the supplies of Volvo-Penta units for the Russian defense industry. In early 2019, the US Mercury Marine refused to provide technical support to Crimean law enforcers operating its engines. Similar restrictions are expected from Caterpillar and MAN, as US and German authorities continue to restrict supplies to Russia.

The Tutayev Motor Works presented a family of new high-speed engines with a capacity of 294 to 1324 KW (400-1800 HP) in February 2019. The source said the St. Petersburg Technical University described it as perspective but said the motors need an upgrade.

Project 23370M boats are designed for search and rescue, emergency and underwater operations. They can provide for diving 45 meters deep. The boat has upgraded diving and fire equipment, a hydraulic manipulator crane with a lifting capacity of 5 tons, and a crane boom with a mechanical hoisting engine of 250 kg. The boats are equipped with Korean Doosan 4V222TIH diesel engines with a capacity of 624 KW (836 HP).

Project 03160 boats can deliver a marine unit of 20 men to the assigned area at a distance of 100 nautical miles from the deployment base. They can engage in search and rescue operations and ensure security of warships and vessels in open and unprotected roadstead. The boats have powerful arms - remotely guided 14.5mm Uprava-Kord combat module and two 7.62mm Pecheneg machineguns. The armor can sustain fire from 7.62mm AKM automatic rifles. The boat is powered by two Caterpillar C18 diesel engines of 847 KW (1151.6 HP) each, Mil.Press FlotProm said.

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