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The Project 22800 Karakurt-Class guided-missile corvettes under construction

Project 22800 Karakurt-class corvettes will become the basis for the development of small antisubmarine warfare ships. They will reliably defend the Russian coast from adversary submarines. The small ships will make it difficult to track Russian nuclear ballistic missile submarines close to the naval bases where they are the most vulnerable, the Izvestia daily writes.

The Project 22800 Karakurt Class guided missile corvettes under construction 925 001 Karakurt-class corvette (Picture source: Wikipedia)

The Defense Ministry decided to design antisubmarine ships on the basis of project 22800. Sources in the ministry told the newspaper the technical characteristics, arms and equipment were being specified.

The antisubmarine ships can operate in coastal waters of the Baltic, Black, Barents Seas and the Seas of Japan and Okhotsk, expert Dmitry Boltenkov said.

"The available antisubmarine ships were built yet for the Soviet fleet. It is time for a replacement. Karakurt hull is a good option for a future warship. It has a low signature due to stealth technologies. The ship has modern combat controls, guidance provision and communications. It will not take long to remake the ships. Sonars and antisubmarine weapons, such as rocket-assisted bomb launchers and Paket-NK to fight submarines and torpedoes are likely to replace Kalibr missiles," he said.

The sea hunters defend naval bases and coastal waters from submarines and subversions, former Navy Chief-of-Staff Admiral Valentin Selivanov said. "If hostilities begin, they have to clear the waters of the adversary. They also defend ballistic missile nuclear submarines which sail out for combat duty. The hunters will not make it possible to intercept our submarines close to the bases and will thus guarantee a retaliation strike," he said.

The crews of the corvettes and antisubmarine ships will be trained by one curriculum, except for cruise missile and antisubmarine operators. It will save time and money, Boltenkov believes.

The new antisubmarine ships will replace Albatros-class small antisubmarine warfare ships of project 1124 which were built for the Soviet Navy in 1970-1980s. Close to 90 ships of various modifications were produced. The Black Sea fleet still operates six ships of project 1124M. Another six are in the Northern fleet and eight in the Pacific fleet. The Baltic fleet operates project 1331 ships built in East Germany.

The ships have a good speed and seaworthiness and continue to defend seaports from hostile submarines. They also escort and defend Russian warships and submarines. The Navy is beginning to upgrade them. The ships will get modernized digital sonars and antisubmarine weapons. The power plants will be replaced. The upgrade will extend the life cycle for many years, however, the fleet needs modern antisubmarine ships, the Izvestia said.

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