Project 22160 corvettes to expand Russian Navy capabilities

The Vasily Bykov corvette (patrol ship) of project 22160 left Sevastopol for combat duty in the Mediterranean Sea. It will then sail to St. Petersburg to participate in the main naval parade. The Dmitry Rogachev second Corvette of the project joined the Black Sea fleet. They are new combat units which expand the capabilities of the Russian Navy, the Izvestia daily writes.

Project 22160 corvettes to expand Russian Navy capabilities Project 22160 Corvette Vasily Bykov (Picture Source:

The Vasily Bykov is the first patrol ship which the Russian Navy did not have before. Western navies have a lot of such ships. Thus, the UK has no need to send a guided missile destroyer to the Falkland Islands as its might is excessive for the mission and the costs are high. It is easier to send a small warship with minimal crew and sufficient arms to demonstrate the flag.

Russian warships resumed sailing in the World Ocean in the past decade and participated in numerous missions. In particular, the navymen fought pirates in the Indian Ocean. It restored the proper level of navy skills but exhausted the resource. As a result, many big warships, such as the Admiral Chabanenko anti-submarine warfare ship of project 11551 and the Neustrashimy frigate of project 11540 are currently overhauled. The engagement of missile cruisers and big antisubmarine warfare ships in the fight against sea pirates is unfeasible from the cost-efficiency point of view.

Russia began to build patrol ships to demonstrate its flag in remote seas. Project 22160 ships were the first in the class. Two are already operational and another four will join the Navy by 2023. They were designed by Severnoe Bureau and are built in Zelenodolsk and Kerch.

The project has to produce a seaworthy ship with a small crew and a minimum set of necessary arms comprising 76.2mm AK-176M gun, two grenade launchers and two machineguns. Its electronics do not cede to bigger warships like frigates. It has electronic warfare TK-25 complex, aerosol camouflage, Positive-MK radar, Sfera-2 optical-electronic system, etc. As a result, stealth characteristics exceed previous projects five times.

There is a hangar for Ka-27, Ka-29, Ka-52K or Ka-226 helicopter. Besides, the warship carries a landing speedboat. It can carry various drones, underwater unmanned craft and unmanned boats. There is accommodation for an additional 60 men.

There are two places for combat and technical modules behind the helicopter deck. The module is a standard container with various payload. The warship can fulfil various missions, as additional modules can be placed on the upper deck.

The Russian Navy has yet to test seaworthiness of the ships in the ocean. At present, it is firstly necessary to master the technology of changing the payload which means storage, delivery and loading of combat and technical modules. It is also necessary to train the crew and module maintenance personnel. They can be people from module storage bases or brigade headquarters. Another solution is to additionally train navymen.

The modular scheme is revolutionary for the Russian Navy. It is implemented on other warships under construction, including ice-class patrol ships of project 23550. The payload change technology is implemented on project 20386 corvettes. Its successful implementation opens a way to Russian warships of the future, the Izvestia said.

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