The patrol ship (PC) “Vasily Bykov” has completed a test cycle in the Arctic. During the campaign, various weapons and life support systems of the newest corvette were tested. Although it was previously believed that the patrol ships of Project 22160 are not very suitable for the Arctic, “Bykov” coped with all the tasks. This means that, if necessary, these corvettes can be sent to the northern seas to counter submarines. In the navy, they are called “robotic ships”: all control systems for weapons, power plant and on-board mechanisms are digitized and automated, due to which it was possible to significantly reduce the number of crews.
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An important hike
Currently, “Vasily Bykov” is returning from polar maneuvers to the Baltic Sea, Izvestia sources in the military department said. The missions of the campaign were completed in full.
The corvette spent several months on campaigns. Back in June, he left the Black Sea, crossed the Mediterranean, circled the coast of France and across the North and Baltic Seas arrived in St. Petersburg to participate in the Main Naval Parade. Having taken part in the solemn events, “Bykov” made the transition to the White Sea via inland water communications and the Belomorkanal system.
On August 12, the headquarters of the Northern Fleet reported that “Vasily Bykov” had arrived at the Belomorsk naval base of the Northern Fleet to conduct tests of naval weapons systems. The ship spent almost two months in the polar latitudes. After that, it became clear that, if necessary, the patrol ships of Project 22160 could be sent to the northern seas to counter submarines, Admiral Valentin Selivanov, former chief of the main headquarters of the Navy, told Izvestia.
“The Arctic has been heard over the past decades,” the expert explained. – Many countries claim this region. American submarines practice combat patrols under the ice, surfacing at the appointed time. The successful campaign of “Vasily Bykov” is of great importance. The ship was given a number of tasks: to check how hydroacoustic instruments, air and sea monitoring equipment, and how to use weapons when necessary, work in these latitudes. This is a very rewarding trip. He will give a lot of data to plan the construction of other ships in this series.
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Got it out of the container
The ships of the project 22160 are made according to a modular scheme, which allows you to quickly install on them the weapons necessary to perform a specific combat mission. Hydroacoustic stations and other equipment are housed in 40-foot sea containers that are installed on the ship. In fact, the command assembles a ship for specific purposes as a designer.
It was the container systems that were tested during the campaign to the North, military historian Dmitry Boltenkov believes.
“First of all, we tested containers with missile systems,” he explained to Izvestia. – But after the launches, it is possible that they were replaced by modules with other equipment. In general, the White Sea is best suited for conducting rocket launches; there is a well-equipped range for this. In addition to weapons, we tested all the systems of the ship – we watched how life support systems, air conditioning and others behave in difficult climatic conditions.
Now they are actively testing new modules – both with weapons and with various auxiliary equipment. Among them – the anti-aircraft complexes “Redut” and “Pantsir-M” in the sea version. They can be delivered by transport ship or plane to any area of the World Ocean and installed there in a matter of hours, turning them into an “anti-aircraft hedgehog”. This is the name of the air defense platforms that can cover ships from the strikes of drones, cruise and anti-submarine missiles.
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The artillery armament of the patrol ships consists of an automatic 76-mm cannon. To detect submarines and torpedoes, the Vasily Bykov has a modern hydroacoustic station. Also, the PC has special anti-sabotage combat equipment. Its sonar is capable of effectively tracking recreational divers and underwater saboteurs. Two DP-65 grenade launchers and the same number of Kord heavy machine guns are responsible for the anti-sabotage defense.
Now the Navy has two Project 22160 PCs – “Vasily Bykov” and “Dmitry Rogachev”. Both are in the Black Sea Fleet. They were specially developed for the protection of ships during sea crossings and the protection of naval bases.
As previously reported by Izvestia, together with Bykov, the Northern Fleet tested the Odintsovo small missile ship (MRK) of Project 22800 Karakurt. He returned from a campaign at the end of September. Previously, it was not known whether such ships could operate in conditions of abnormally low temperatures and difficult weather. However, during an almost two-month campaign, the MRK successfully completed all tasks in the Barents and White Seas and conducted rocket firing. The tests were found to be successful.