The project IRA 22800 with the code "Karakurt" is one of the most interesting domestic developments of recent years. This project proposes the construction of ships of the near-sea zone with a displacement of about 800 t and a developed armament complex, including several types of guided missiles. Depending on the assigned combat tasks, "Karakurt" will be able to work independently or as part of ship groups. In the latter case, they will be able to complement the already existing ships of various types.
The development of the Karakurt project was carried out by the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau (St. Petersburg). The basis of the new project was the groundwork for some previous ships of similar purpose. So, the new 12300 rocket and artillery boat projects and the Buyan-M MRK 21631 had a great impact on the new small rocket ships. At the same time, new ideas and solutions were used in the 22800 project aimed at obtaining certain results. In particular, it was planned to improve the seaworthiness of the new ship in comparison with the existing samples of similar classes.
The 22800 project was completed several years ago, and was already presented to the general public quite a long time ago. Nevertheless, for obvious reasons, the ship "Karakurt" is being demonstrated only in the form of advertising images and layouts. However, in the very near future the military department will have to show the lead ship of the project, the construction of which is already coming to an end.
About two years ago, in August 2015 of the year, it became known that the command of the Navy intends to order the shipbuilding industry 18 of small rocket ships. In the future, this information was confirmed several times by officials. It also soon became known that the existing fleet plans would be carried out with the help of several separate orders. The construction of the new “Karakurtov” was supposed to be entrusted to several shipbuilding enterprises at once. It is curious that at some point there was a misunderstanding, as a result of which there were reports in the press about the construction of 18 ships by just one factory.
The first order for the construction of small rocket ships of the 22800 project appeared at the end of 2015. The contractor under the new contract was the Leningrad shipbuilding plant “Pella” (St. Petersburg). According to the signed document, by the end of the decade, this enterprise will have to build 7 from 18 of the required Karakurt IRCs. To speed up the work under this contract, it was decided to lease the production capacity of other enterprises located in other regions to Pellet.
The first two ships of the 22800 project were laid in St. Petersburg on December 24 2015. Representatives of the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the command of the Navy took part in the solemn ceremony. The first ships were named "Hurricane" and "Typhoon". Bookmark the five remaining ships of the contract was to be held in the foreseeable future.
During the ceremony of laying the first "Karakurts" several interesting statements were made. So, it was claimed that these interregional companies will be built taking into account the policy of import substitution - the engines for them were ordered to the Zvezda machine-building plant (St. Petersburg). In this context, new ships were viewed as a less expensive alternative to the 11356 project guardians, whose construction is being delayed due to the disruption of the supply of imported power plants.
The third ship ordered to the Pella enterprise has been under construction in Crimea since May of last year. For the speedy fulfillment of the entire contract, it was decided to lease to the plant a part of the production capacity of the More company (the city of Feodosia). 10 May 2016, there was a laying of the ship "Storm". 17 of March this year, Theodosia shipbuilders laid the Okhok MRC, which continues the series. Both ships are built with the active participation of specialists from St. Petersburg.
29 July and 24 December last year at the plant "Pella" were laid two more ships of the project 22800 - "Flurry" and "Storm". In the near future, the construction of the seventh ship, which, according to some data, received the name "Cyclone", should begin. The bookmark will take place at the end of 2017, at the Crimean shipbuilding enterprise. As with the rest of the series, construction will have to be completed at the end of this decade.
In early August, 2016, it became known which plant would build the following new types of MRKs. The contract for five new Karakurts was awarded to the Zelenodolsk plant named after A.M. Gorky. In the future, however, for a long time, new information about this order was not received. In some sources, however, they even managed to appear the alleged names of the ships, but accurate data on the progress of work was missing.
Later, from unofficial sources, it became known that the first ship of this order had already been laid and is being built at the Zaliv plant (Kerch). As in the case with the company "More", it is about the transfer of production capacity under the control of another plant. At this time, the tenant capacity and the performer of the order is the Zelenodolsk plant.
Not so long ago, the annual report of the Zelendolsky plant was published, which provided information on the current work on the construction of various ships, including the RTOs of the 22800 project. According to this document, last year the first two “Karakurts” were laid out with 801 and 802 serial numbers. The names of the ships, as well as the site for their construction and the success achieved so far, have not yet been specified. The timing of the construction of three other small rocket ships also remain unknown. However, previously published information suggests that they will be laid in the very near future.
The result of the fulfillment of two orders by the forces of the Pella enterprise, the Zelenodolsk plant and the production capacities transferred to them will be the emergence of 12 new small rocket ships of the Karakurt type. In the future, the shipbuilding industry will have to build and transfer to the navy another six similar ships. Which companies and when they receive such orders is not yet specified. Apparently, the next order for the 22800 project ISCs will appear only in the early twenties. Any enterprise that has already participated in the construction of such ships can receive it.
12 ships of the 22800 project have been contracted at the moment, and two thirds of this number are at different stages of construction. The rest will be laid over 2017-18's. Plans have already been announced for the completion of construction and the introduction of new RTOs into operation. According to current data and the latest statements of the responsible persons, the transfer of "Karakurts" to the fleet will begin this year. In the near future, the Navy will receive several such ships a year.
Construction of the lead ship "Hurricane" is coming to an end. In August, it is planned to launch it, and a little later it will be released for testing. According to the available schedule, the flag raising ceremony will take place in December of this year. The next year is scheduled to surrender "Typhoon". Also in the 2018 service, the first ship under construction by the Zelenodolsk plant can start. In 2019, the fleet will have to receive Storm, Flurry and, probably, one of the Zelenodol Karakurt. The last of the 12 ordered ships will join the Navy in 2020-21.
Probably, as the stocks and assembly shops become free, the Ministry of Defense will order new ships from the 22800 project. For understandable reasons, their construction will not end until the early twenties, and the full implementation of existing plans will continue until the middle of the next decade. As a result, the Russian Navy will receive all the desired 18 small rocket ships of the 22800 "Karakurt" project.
The Karakurt project proposes the construction of a small displacement ship designed to work in the near-sea zone. Such ships must act both independently and as part of the formations. In accordance with such requirements, the overall appearance of the project was formed.
The Karakurt MRC has a total length of 65 m with a maximum width of 10 m and a normal draft of 4 m. Displacement is 800 t. The hull lines are formed in accordance with the requirements of seaworthiness and the intended role of the ship in the fleet. Also used a superstructure of complex shape, formed by large-sized panels and reducing the visibility of the ship for the detection of the enemy. It is proposed to use an integrated mast, which has space for installation of four phased antenna arrays and other electronic equipment.
The Karakurt type ship receives a combined main power plant built on the basis of diesel and electric engines. With its help, allegedly, it will be possible to get the maximum speed at the level of 30 nodes. Cruising range at economic speeds - up to 2500 nautical miles. Autonomy will be 15 days.
According to well-known data, the 22800 project's IRCs should be equipped with the Sigma-E ICSE and the Track-E AMKOI. It is suggested to monitor the situation and find air or surface targets with the help of several types of radar stations, including Mineral-M.
Main shock weapons "Karakurtov" will become guided missiles P-800 "Onyx" or "Caliber". To launch them, the ship is equipped with a universal vertical launcher 3С-14 with eight missile cells. As in the case of other domestic small rocket ships of new types, the installation is located in the superstructure, behind the bridge. In this case, the installation with two rows of cells, four in each, is placed across the hull, and not along, as on other ships. The 3-14 units may include anti-ship or cruise missiles to attack ground targets. The exact composition of the ammunition and the number of missiles of various types depends on the task.
In the bow of the ship, before the superstructure, there is a place for installation of a tower artillery installation. The 22800 project provides for the use of 76 or 100 mm guns. The unit has remote controlled drives and automatic recharge.
The first two ships "Karakurt" equipped with anti-aircraft missile and artillery complexes "Palash". Last fall, it became known that some changes were made to the project, which will be implemented during the construction of serial ships. The third in the series of MRK “Storm” will become the first carrier of the Pantsir-M missile-gun complex. All subsequent ships of the series will receive just such a weapon, while the head and first serial will remain with the "Palashi". By now, the Pantsir-M ZRPK has passed the necessary tests and has proved itself well, which made it possible to introduce it into the existing project.
The emergence of a significant number of small rocket ships of the new type should have a noticeable impact on the state and prospects of the Russian navy. Due to the small size of the new "Karakurt" do not impose special requirements for shipbuilding enterprises and therefore can be built on several existing plants. In particular, this is one of the reasons that the Navy can receive 5 ships in just the 7-12 years, and the construction of the remaining 6 "hulls" will be completed by the middle of the next decade.
Despite its small size, ships of the 22800 project may show high combat capability. They can operate both in the near sea zone and on some rivers, which expands the areas of their possible use. The presence of the Onyx and Caliber missiles, in turn, ensures a high impact potential. With the help of such weapons, new IRAs will be able to attack ground and surface targets at long distances. The potential of small rocket ships equipped with modern weapons has already been demonstrated in practice several times.
An important advantage of "Karakurts" is their large number. It will allow to transfer such ships to all the main fleets, making it possible to use them in all strategic areas. In addition, each of the operational-strategic associations will receive several ships. The large number, availability in all fleets and high impact potential make the new 22800 project IRAs a promising and interesting military and political tool.
Until the mid-twenties, the Russian Navy plans to receive 18 new small rocket ships. To date, two thirds of these plans have been framed in the form of contracts, and a little less than half of the desired ships are already at different stages of construction. In the coming months, the head ship "Hurricane" will be put to the test. At the end of the year it is planned to take in the combat composition of the Navy. This event will be the first in a long and important program.
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