Surface Forces: Russian Guided Missile Corvette Cancelled

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August 7, 2023: In July 2023 Russia canceled construction of the Derzky, the first of the first Project 20386 stealthy missile armed corvette and the entire class of 10 such ships. These 3,400-ton ships are armed with a 100mm cannon and two 30mm autocannon for defense against missiles or hostile small boats. There are also two 14.5mm machine-guns. There are launcher cells for eight cruise or anti-ship missiles as well as smaller cells for 16 anti-aircraft missiles. There are launch cells for eight anti-torpedo or anti-submarine torpedoes. There is a helipad and hangar for a Ka-27 helicopter, Top speed of these ships is 56 kilometers an hour and max endurance is two or three weeks. These were numerous radars, sonars and other sensors and navigation devices. Crew size is about a hundred officers and men.

The Derzky turned out to be more expensive to develop and build than anticipated. The original service date for the Derzky was 2025, but as the problems piled up that date was pushed farther in the future while the costs for each of these Corvettes kept climbing. There were attempts to control and reduce the costs. This proved impractical and when the Derzky-class was canceled the lead ship was ordered to be completed as cheaply as possible, which meant removing many of the features that made the Derzky unique, expensive and difficult to build.

Since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russia has had problems dealing with ambitious new ship designs that were too expensive and complex to complete. Even with access to Western tech after 1991, Russian shipbuilders didn’t have the facilities or skilled workers to build the Western-style warships the navy wanted. The Derzky is one of several overly ambitious shipbuilding efforts that had to be modified or canceled. The Russians have to learn to build what they can, not what they aspire to. That approach has worked with Russian nuclear submarines, bot the attack versions and the larger ones armed with ballistic missiles. Submarines operate in a more difficult (under water) environment and that imposes some discipline on the design and production process.

 

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