The newest invisible corvette “Boikiy” of project 20380 has been given to the Baltic Fleet. The navy flag of Russia was solemnly hoisted on the ship which is standing in St. Petersburg now.
Project 20380 includes three ships in general: the main corvette, “Guarding”, was given to the Baltic Fleet in February 2008, another one was called “Smart” and joined the fleet in October 2011.
All corvettes of the project are armed with 100 mm universal artillery systems, anti-aircraft missile and artillery systems, supersonic missiles and automatic gun mounts. The air group of the ship also includes one helicopter Ka-27PL.
According to its tactical, technical and combat characteristics the corvettes of project 20380 are considerably superior than other ships of the same class. Main their features are functionality, good stealth, compactness, high level of automation and systems integration.
The corvettes of project 20380 promise to become the main power of the Russian naval forces in the coastal zone.
Compared to the previous corvettes of the same class these ships have almost four times smaller flow resistance and a helicopter hangar firstly placed on a small ship. Another innovation is a single information system owhich controls all armament and electric equipment of the vehicle. And it is not called an escort vessel anymore, but a corvette.
This project can already be called successful.
“Boikiy” is undergoing its final tests now while two other ships of the projects have already been put into operation. Four more corvettes are to be built soon while in general twenty ships were ordered.
The two main features of project 20380 are a well-designed hull and a single electronic automation system. These two features determine combat characteristics and armament system of the ships, working conditions of the crew, reliability, maintainability and upgraidability of the vehicles.
Configuration of the vehicle hull had been designed from the ground up and the result was a success indeed: flow resistance at full speed (27 knots or 50 km/h) decreased for 25%. It let them use a less powerful but lighter propulsion system and thus to release more than fifteen percent of displacement for a higher combat load. That’s why these light ships have a large variety of weapons and even a helipad, a hangar and a 20 tonned supply of fuel for the anti-submarine helicopter “Ka-27”.
Less powerful propulsion system produces less noise providing better stealth for the vehicle. To make engines less noisy some mechanisms previously used for submarines were adapted.
Another advantage of the corvette is an opportunity for the captain of the vehicle, its steerer, officer of the watch and combat commanders to work together at the same place, promptly coordinate their decisions and implement them.
The corvette has a system able to coordinate work of the weapons and detection systems functioning in the division. Its technical characteristics are not revelaed but we can only say that each new vehicle has a more improved system.
Use of such system becomes especially reasonable when combined with a helicopter which has an undeniable advantage of better observance of underwater situations compared to the ships.
Today this system is stationary but it’s going to become portable soon. Figuratively speaking all tactical information will be concentrated “in the suitcase of the admiral”.
Target detection means are operated by several officers.They also have a mapserver and all maps are available at any post where necessary – from the deck-bridge to the helicopter hangar.
Maximum automation of all systems allowed to considerably reduce time needed for decision-making, make work of the crew less complicated and decrease its number to 100 people.
The post of the captains mostly consists of screens. Here any information related to condition of the ship systems, its weapons, targets, navigation etc. can be shown.
The corvette can maintain the ordered course by itself but a sailor is always on duty at the rudder.
More than a thousand of various companies from all over Russia participated in the construction of the corvette. Each separate component has to demonstrate perfect compatibility with all systems of the ship.