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Russian Navy upgrades Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate project 22350 with electronic weapon systems

The Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate of project 22350 is the first warship to get upgraded electronic arms, radars and electronic warfare. The electronics will be updated for Tsirkon missile. Two warships of the project will test the equipment, the Izvestia daily writes.
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Russian Navy upgrades Admiral Gorshkov class frigate project 22350 with electronic weapon systems 925 001Russian Navy Admiral Gorshkov-class frigate of project 22350. (Picture source Russia Defence Forum)

Russian Defense Ministry sources said all project 22350 frigates would be upgraded if test operation is successful. New warships will be built according to the operational experience of the weapons, life support and controls.

The first warships of major series usually differ from subsequent ones. The practice existed yet in Soviet times, former Russian Navy Chief-of-Staff Admiral Valentin Selivanov said. “There is the same situation in other countries with big shipbuilding programs. The construction of a series takes many years. The operational experience accumulates during the time, new materials, communications and arms appear. The Admiral Gorshkov first frigate of the project was built for a long time. It was laid in 2006. Russian shipbuilders have made a big step forward since then. Warships operate for 30-40 years and adjustments are necessary,” he said.

The upgrade does not call to remake the whole project, as design bureaus envisage a reserve for large-scale work, Selivanov said. The Admiral Gorshkov is actively operating and drawbacks were exposed, expert Dmitry Boltenkov said. “They checked the running qualities, arms and life support and exposed weak places. Conclusions will be made,” he said.

A lot of material has accumulated for analysis. The frigate made a round-the-world voyage in 2019. It lasted 175 days and the warship sailed over 40 thousand nautical miles (close to 74 thousand km). It called at ports of Sri Lanka, China, Ecuador, Cuba and other countries. It sailed the Suez and Panama Canals and crossed the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The navigation tested equipment and arms in various climates.

In February 2020, the Admiral Gorshkov was the first surface warship to fire Tsirkon latest hypersonic missile from the Barents Sea. It flew over 500 km and precisely hit the ground target at a range in Northern Urals.

The upgrade by modern requirements of big antisubmarine ships of project 1155 offers an example. They were built to fight submarines, but could not strike at sea and ground targets. The drawback is rectified. The Marshal Shaposhnikov is the first warship to get universal vertical launchers for Kalibr cruise missiles.

The Russian Navy currently operates one frigate of project 22350. The Admiral Kasatonov second one is undergoing acceptance trials. It is likely to join the Navy by the end of the year.

The third and fourth frigates — the Admiral Golovko and the Admiral Isakov have to become operation in two years. Two more warships of the project have been laid.

Besides Kalibr missiles, the frigates are armed with Poliment-Redut air defense which can simultaneously attack 16 targets. It intercepts airplanes, helicopters, and cruise missiles. There are also two Palash antiaircraft artillery guns. A-192M 130mm artillery gun can destroy sea and ground targets, the Izvestia said.

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