Analysis: Russian Navy's Project 20380 corvettes to get Zaslon radar

In late August 2020, the Russian Defense Ministry signed a contract for the construction of close to ten project 20380 corvettes. They will be equipped with multifunctional Zaslon radars to detect air and sea targets at hundreds of kilometers. Experts said the radars will make the corvettes independently find and destroy the adversary without guidance from the air, the Izvestia daily writes.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001The corvette Steregushchiy in 2018. (Picture source:

Defense Ministry and industry sources said all the new corvettes will be equipped with Zaslon. It can detect stealth craft at a distance of 75 km and easy targets at 300 km. It has been decided that most new project 20380 corvettes would operate in the Pacific Ocean.

Zaslon antenna is installed in the mast basis and resembles a pyramid with numerous facets. Each of them hides a stationary receiver-transmitter to monitor moving objects. Radar operators can see an exact and uninterrupted picture of the air, surface and ground situation in real-time. Traditional radars interrupt it because of rotating receiver/transmitter. The new radar has a control panel and high-frequency radio-technical devices.

Project 20380 corvettes were designed in post-Soviet time and are produced in big numbers. The Russian Navy operates six of them. The Steregushchy, the Soobrazitelny, the Boiky and the Stoiky serve in the Baltic fleet. The Sovershenny and the Gromky are in the Pacific fleet. The construction of the Retivy and the Strogy is nearing completion in St. Petersburg. The Aldar Tsydenzhapov and the Rezky will join the Pacific fleet in the coming years.

Defense Ministry sources said it was decided in 2019 to suspend the construction of corvettes, but the decision was later revised. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu visited Amur Shipyard on August 12 to inspect whether it can produce another six corvettes in eight years.

A contract for continued construction was signed at Army-2020 forum. The number of corvettes was not disclosed. Those built by Amur Shipyard will join the Pacific fleet, expert Dmitry Boltenkov said.

"In Soviet time, a powerful group of warships was deployed in Kamchatka. However, all big ships were decommissioned in the 1990s. It is necessary to reinforce the direction. Two project 20380 warships operate in the Pacific Ocean and another two will be added in the coming years. But they are clearly insufficient. Modern corvettes have to protect Primorye region, Kurile Islands and Kamchatka where Russian SSBN are deployed," he said.

Corvettes of project 20380 are built with stealth technologies. The superstructure is made of composite materials to decrease the signature. The full displacement is close to 2.2 thousand tons, the speed is 27 knots and the cruising range is 4 thousand miles. The main armaments comprise antiship and antiaircraft Uran and Redut missile complexes, 100mm A-190 artillery gun with a rate of fire of 80 shots per minute, the Izvestia said.

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