MAJOR: Russia’s New Frigates Will Have Far Greater Firepower Than America’s Cruisers and Heavy Destroyers
MOSCOW – Russia’s expanding shipyards have laid down a number of new frigates under the ambitious Admiral Gorshkov-class warship program. Fifteen of the 5,400-ton ships are planned of which three have been completed and four more are under construction.
Supplementing the original Project 22350 Gorshkov-class ships, the Russian Navy is planning to commission a heavy class of frigate which borders the weight range of destroyers, the 7,000 ton 22350m, which is also designated the Gorshkov-class.
While the initial Gorshkov Class deployed 72 vertical launch cells for both surface-to-air and cruise missiles, the new heavy frigate being built under the 22350m program can reportedly deploy 120 vertical launch cells – giving it more firepower than the American Arleigh Burke Class ships which deploy 90 or 96 depending on the variant.
The new Russian warship’s hangar deck will be able to accommodate two Ka-27 helicopters and will integrate a heavier and more capable sensor suite to the original 22350 Gorshkov-class ships. While the frigate’s firepower is comparable to American cruisers, its endurance is considerably lower meaning it cannot deploy for extended periods and is not well suited to long-range power projection operations.
Russian Zircon Hypersonic Cruise Missile
These missiles will be key to Russian frigates’ ability to project power at sea against and challenge far heavier warships and fleets several times its size while retaining over three times the anti-ship engagement range of their Western counterparts and over ten times the impact speed when using the new missiles.
Source: Military Watch Magazine