Admiral Gorshkov: Russian Navy warships armed with Mach 8 hypersonic missiles


Russia’s Admiral Gorshkov-class frigates are among the most modern in the Russian Navy today and are expected to receive the very latest Russian missile systems. The class is intended to be a cornerstone of the Russian Navy in the future and is designed to add to the global reach of the Russian Navy.

Class Specifications

The Admiral Gorshkov class for Admiral of the Soviet Union Fleet Sergei Gorshkov, which spearhead a massive build-up of the Soviet Navy during the Cold War into a blue maritime force designed to take on the US Navy. Officially known as Project 22350, Admiral Gorshkov may be better classified as a missile frigate due to its arsenal of anti-ship cruise missiles. With sixteen Vertical Launch System (VLS) cells, the class can carry a mixture of Kalibr cruise missiles or P-800 anti-ship cruise missiles. The lead ship of the class, the titular Admiral Gorshkovalso served as a test platform for the new Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, which could reach speeds of Mach 8. As announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his speech on July 31, Navy Day, the Admiral Gorshkov will be the first ship to receive the ship in active service, which is supposed to happen within a month, according to Putin.

In addition to its cruise missile armament, the Project 22350 class ships are crew with the “Politely Redut” anti-aircraft system and anti-submarine suite “Medvedka”. The class is also crew with a single 130mm A-192M gun located forward of the ship. Admiral Gorshkov-class ships are also designed to carry a single Ka-27PL submarine for anti-submarine warfare. According to Russian sources, the class has a significant operational range of 4,500 nautical miles, a top speed of 30 knots and a crew of around 180-210 sailors.

Development of the Admiral Gorshkov class

The pattern of the Admiral Gorshkov class was first accepted by the heads of the Russian Navy in 2003, and in 2005 the Admiral Gorshkov was commissioned by the Russian Navy, making it one of the first major naval development projects undertaken by Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Finally finished in 2018, Admiral Gorchkov was later joined by Admiral Kasatonov in 2020. Interestingly, the two frigates are the only two in the class that rely on Ukrainian-made engines, the planned additional supply of which was terminated by a broader disentanglement of Ukrainian and Russian defense industries after Russia’s 2014 capture of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine.

Subsequent iterations of the class currently in production would be designed to include 24 or 32 VLS cells, doubling the capacity of the Admiral Gorchkov. In 2018, Russian state media Tass reported that six examples of the class were to be delivered by 2025. However, this target is unlikely to be achieved on schedule. Since the commissioning of the Admiral Gorchkov and Admiral Kasatonovonly a third Example of the class (known as Admiral Golovko) had been launched. The Admiral Golovko has been vaunted by Russian media as the first in class to be powered by a Russian engine, giving it a “Russian soul”.

What is the place of the Admiral Gorshkov class in Russian naval doctrine?

In a way, the class namesake gives insight into the role the frigate is meant to fill.

Just like the Soviet Union Admiral Gorchkov strove to transform the Soviet Navy into a deep-sea navy capable of challenging the United States, the new naval doctrine signed by Putin on Navy Day shortly before his July 31 speech singles out the United States as the main challenge to Russian interests on the “global ocean”, which Russia seeks to counter by developing its own formidable navy capable of impose his will around him. the world.

Although not particularly long compared to similar vessels in Western navies, the Admiral Gorchov and her sister ships are designed to fit seamlessly into this anticipated long-term future for the Russian Navy, regardless of the financial and logistical pressures that will test future fleet development. A little after Admiral Gorchkovcommissioned, the ship took part in a world tour, to visit Djibouti, Sri Lanka, China, Ecuador, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago and Cape Verde.

It is more likely than not that Admiral Gorshkov-class ships will be spotted around the world for years to come as the Russian state attempts to carve out an identity as a global naval power.

19FortyFive’s Russian Defense Studies Editor, Wesley Culp is a researcher at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. He writes regularly on Russian and Eurasian leadership and national security topics and has been published in The Hill as well as the Diplomatic Courier. It can be found on Twitter @WesleyJCulp.


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