Artist impresson of Project 23550 ice-class patrol ship . Image: Russian Defense Ministry.
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According to the Russian MoD, the Project 23550 combines the qualities of patrol boat, ice-breaker and tug, being a multi-purpose ship. As the MoD`s official spokeperson pointed out, the Project 23550 vessels "have no analogues in the world". The boat can break ice 1.5 m thick. The MoD did not disclose the specifications of the new class yet however.
But based on the official illustration released by the Russian MoD, the class will be armed with medium-caliber naval gun on the foredeck (reportedly, 100mm A-190-01 or 57mm A-220M developed by Burevestnik scientific-research institute) and two containerized missile launch system (probably, Kalibr-NK (NATO reporting name: SS-N-27 Sizzler) anti-ship/land-attack subsonic cruise missiles) and one Ka-27PS anti-submarine or Ka-27PL search-and-rescue helicopter.
"Don`t be confused by their designation and classification. Both Project 23550 so-called "patrol boats" are well armed. Their armament set does not come short of many corvettes," a source in Russian defense industry pointed out.
It should be noted that Russia is making significant efforts to beef up its Arctic capabilities. In Autumn 2015, Russian defense industry laid down the first Project 03182 multirole patrol/support ship. Russian shipbuilding industry is also constructing Project 20180 logistics ships, Project 1900 diesel-electric ice-breakers, and Project 22600 and Project 22220 nuclear-powered ice-breakers. The aforementioned ships will bolster Russia`s activity in the Arctic Region, according to the analysts.
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