The command of the Navy decided on the place of service of the newest corvette of project 20380 “Aldar Tsydenzhapov”. Initially, it was planned to send him to Kamchatka, but in the end, Vladivostok will be the place of registration of the ship. One of the tasks of the corvette will be long voyages in the Pacific region. Thanks to the unique Zaslon radar, it will radically enhance the power of the Primorskaya fleet grouping. The latest onboard radar detects aircraft, cruise missiles and drones with high accuracy, and can even track the flight of shells from its own onboard cannon. For its capabilities, “Tsydenzhapov” has already been called “the all-seeing corvette.” Experts note that the Pacific Fleet is actively involved in ensuring the foreign policy of Russia in one of the key regions of the world and the renewal of the grouping of surface ships is long overdue.
With a powerful “Shield”
The corvette “Hero of the Russian Federation Aldar Tsydenzhapov” will be part of the 165th brigade of ships based in Vladivostok, Izvestia sources in the military department said. Thus, it was decided to strengthen the southeastern borders of the country and the naval presence in the Pacific Ocean.
“Hero of the Russian Federation Aldar Tsydenzhapov” is the seventh representative of the series of corvettes of project 20380 “Guarding”. It got its name in honor of the Pacific Fleet sailor, who in 2009, at the cost of his life, prevented a catastrophe on the destroyer Bystry and saved the ship and 300 crew members.
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The project 22380 multipurpose corvette has become the most massive large warship developed in the post-Soviet era. Until today, there were six of them in the Russian Navy. “Guarding”, “Smart”, “Boyky” and “Steady” serve in the Baltic Fleet, “Perfect” and “Loud” – in the Pacific. “Zealous” and “Strogiy” are being completed in St. Petersburg: according to the plan, they should become part of the Baltic or Black Sea fleets.
Two corvettes, built according to the updated project, were planned to be sent to the Pacific Fleet. “Aldar Tsydenzhapov” was handed over to the fleet at the end of last year, “Sharp” should be ready by the end of this year. Both ships were built at the Amur shipyard.
One of the main advantages of the new ships of the series is the integrated Zaslon radar station. They are capable of effectively detecting stealth vehicles at a distance of 75 km, and simpler targets at least 300 km away. The antenna unit is fixed at the base of the mast and looks like a pyramid with a large number of faces. Hidden behind each face are stationary transceivers that track the movements of various objects. Radar operators can receive on screens an accurate and continuous picture of the air, surface and ground conditions in real time. In traditional installations, it is interrupted due to the rotation of the transceiver unit. The complex includes a control room, a command post, posts of high-frequency and radio-technical devices.
“The radar of this corvette is so powerful that it can even track the shells fired from the cannon,” military historian Dmitry Boltenkov explained to Izvestia. – In the 165th brigade, he will be the largest ship. He has excellent driving characteristics and powerful weapons. And the radar equipment will be used in the interests of the entire group in Primorye and the adjacent water area.
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In the Pacific Fleet, a difficult situation has developed with the renewal of the ship’s personnel, noted military expert Vasily Kashin.
– This is especially true for surface ships. At the same time, the Pacific Fleet is involved in numerous activities to ensure Russia’s foreign policy – joint exercises, visits, patrolling off the coast of Somalia, Syria and many others, – said the specialist. – And not always enough ships are available for this. Once, joint exercises with the Chinese did not even take place at the appointed time, because there were no ships to send. So the fleet is working there with full force. To ensure all this activity, in addition to performing the actual combat missions, new ships are needed in Vladivostok.
Vasily Kashin believes that the Asia-Pacific region is becoming more and more important and the situation there is rather tense.
– We are starting to interact with the PRC more and more. The number of joint exercises increased, and there was joint patrolling of bombers. Today, the Asia-Pacific region is becoming the main arena of modern world politics, the expert said. – Not everyone is aware of this yet, and the Atlantic is increasingly turning into a periphery. Therefore, the fleet is needed there. The Pacific Fleet is actively involved in supporting Russian foreign policy, and the renewal of surface forces in the Pacific is long overdue.
The most massive
The ships of the project 20380 were designed according to the latest technology using stealth technology. Their superstructures are made of multilayer composite materials, which seriously reduced their radar signature. The underwater part of the hull received contours, which made it possible to reduce the water resistance at a speed of about 30 knots by about a quarter. Due to this, the ship became faster by 1.5-2 knots.
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The corvettes are armed with the Uranus anti-ship missile system with launchers for X-35 missiles with a firing range of up to 260 km, as well as a universal 100-mm artillery unit A-190 with a firing range of 21.3 km and a rate of fire of up to 80 rounds per minute. To protect them from air attacks, they will be equipped with the Redut air defense system. Now it is the most powerful air defense system with which naval ships are equipped. It can simultaneously strike 16 targets at a distance of up to 400 km. Its tactical and technical characteristics may be in demand not only by the fleet. “Redoubt” will allow to cover coastal cities, naval bases or especially important areas with an “anti-aircraft umbrella”.
The corvettes are equipped with an automatic control system (ACS), which allows transferring any data from one ship to another in real time. ACS can intelligently distribute targets between several floating craft, ensuring that the same ship, aircraft or cruise missile will not be attacked twice unnecessarily.
As Izvestia previously reported, in 2019 it was decided to suspend the construction of ships of this project. However, it was then revised. In August 2020, during a visit to the Amur shipyard, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that he had arrived at the enterprise, among other things, to understand whether it was capable of launching six more corvettes in eight years.