Russia's Next Battleground: Arctic Littoral Waters

January 28, 2022 Topic: Russian Navy Region: Eurasia Blog Brand: The Reboot Tags: Russian NavyCorvettesDefense TechnologyNATOSea Power

Russia's Next Battleground: Arctic Littoral Waters

The Russian Navy is preparing for Arctic combat.

 

Here's What to Remember: Perhaps the most important part of the eleven-week long mission was for the Russian Navy to show that its warships can operate for such lengths far from Russia’s littoral waters.

Some Russian sailors may have returned home in time for Christmas. This week a group of Baltic Fleet warships that included the Project 20380 multi-purpose guided missile corvettes Boiky and Steregushchiy returned to their homeport of Baltiysk following a long-distance deployment mission in the North Atlantic.

 

The Russian Navy’s Baltic Fleet said the two vessels successfully accomplished the mission, which included multiple drills. 

During their deployment that lasted seventy-seven days, the corvettes Boiky and Steregushchiy covered a total distance of almost 9,500 nautical miles,” Baltic Fleet spokesman Roman Martov told Tass earlier this week. “In the Atlantic Ocean, the warships’ crews held drills for air, anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) defense and practiced assigned tasks.”

During those exercises, the crews of the two corvettes dealt with the tasks of searching for, detecting and destroying a notional enemy’s submarine with anti-submarine armament in interaction with the crews of Ka-27 helicopters, which operated from the vessels.

The two warships also conducted drills that included delivering a missile strike from the Uran anti-ship missile systems against the simulated enemy’s naval groups with electronic missile launches. Additional training included the corvettes’ personnel and anti-terror squads to ensure readiness to defend the ships against saboteurs or another amphibious raiding party.

Perhaps the most important part of the eleven-week long mission was for the Russian Navy to show that its warships can operate for such lengths far from Russia’s littoral waters.

“The basic task of the deployment by the corvettes Boiky and Steregushchiy to the Atlantic was to ensure the constant naval presence of the Baltic Fleet’s ships in the area of its responsibility,” Martov added.

Best in Class 

The Russian Navy currently operates six of the Project 20380 multi-purpose guided missile corvettes, while two additional warships of the class are under construction. A total of twenty-four have been planned. The warships are used in green water/littoral zone operations, patrol coastal waters, for engagement of enemy surface ships and submarines and can provide gun support for landing operations.

The vessels have a steel hull and composite material superstructure, along with a bulbous bow and nine watertight subdivisions. The corvettes utilize a combined bridge and command center.

The Project 20380 corvettes were developed by the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau in St. Petersburg, and are armed with multi-purpose artillery guns, surface-to-air missile/artillery systems, supersonic missiles, automatic artillery launchers and other types of armament. The Project 20380 corvettes also carry a Ka-27 helicopter.

The Steregushchiy is the Project 20380 lead corvette, and she has been operational in the Baltic Fleet since February 2008, while the Boiky is the Project’s third warship and was the second serial-produced ship. She has been in service since May 2013. The corvettes were part of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s calls for an upgrade to the Russian Navy in 2013.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military HeaddressThis article is being republished due to reader interest. 

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