British observers note that since 2006, Russian shipbuilders have managed to launch only two Project 22350 frigates. The third ship, Admiral Golovko, just completed testing at the end of November.
The Commander of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, announced that the series of Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates armed with Zircon supersonic missiles will consist of 10 ships. At the same time, Naval News observers in their article dated December 15 noted that the pace of construction of Project 22350 frigates is extremely low.
According to Evmenov, the “10 ships of the class” include ships already in existence and those under construction. Currently, the Russian Navy has two frigates of this class in service: Admiral Gorshkov and Admiral Kasatonov. The third, Admiral Golovko, returned to the shipyard on November 23, having completed state trials for its final inspection.
“Most likely, the flag on it will be raised at the end of this year,” journalists write.
It is reported that Admiral Golovko is the first Project 22350 frigate equipped with a power plant entirely manufactured in Russia. On the first two ships, gearboxes, gas turbine compressors and control systems were manufactured by the Ukrainian company Zorya-Mashproekt.
As for the timing, construction of the prototype began back in 2006, and during this time only two ships were put into operation – Admiral Gorshkov entered service only at the end of 2018, and Admiral Kasatonov – in 2020.
“The reason for this was technical problems that arose during construction, as well as problems with the 9M96 Poliment-Redut anti-aircraft missile system and the Poliment radar complex, which were developed simultaneously with the ship project,” observers emphasize.
The problem worsened after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, when supplies of powertrain components from Ukraine were stopped. As a result, the production of Russian substitutes for Ukrainian mechanisms has only recently begun.
Currently, experts write, the Amur Shipyard can take part in another Russian Navy program for the construction of Project 22350M ships. Despite the similar number, in fact it is almost a completely different frigate, with greater displacement and firepower. However, no ships have been ordered yet, and it remains to be seen whether construction will even begin if Russia shifts its economy to a war footing.
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