The lead ship of the Russian Navy’s 4,550-ton Project 22350 frigates, Admiral Gorshkov, has started the final set of state trials, Russian Severnaya Verf, part of United Shipbuilding Corporation, announced on Monday.
The frigate headed for the Northern Fleet’s practice region where the crew, together with navy and shipyard officials, will test the anti-aircraft and torpedo weapon systems.
Designed by the Severnoye Design Bureau, the 130-meter frigates displace 4.500 tonnes and have a cruising range of over 4,000 nautical miles. The ships will be equipped with anti-submarine and anti-ship missiles, a 130mm universal gun-mount and an embarked helicopter.
Admiral Gorshkov is expected to be commissioned at the end of this year, four years later than initially planned. In addition to other technical issues, the frigate was postponed due to a greater amount of “high precision” weapons systems testing the Navy wanted to undertake, media reports from last year said.
Other frigates in the class will also be postponed as all units were expected to be fitted with Ukrainian-built gas turbines. Only five turbines were delivered however (three for Project 11356 ships and two for Project 22350 ships) and following the 2014 Crimea conflict, Ukrainian company Zorya-Mashproyekt refused to deliver the remaining turbines.
Russia will now have to wait for Russian company NPO Saturn to develop new gas turbine engines for the ships. Project 22350 ships will be the first to receive the turbines which the company is expected to start delivering in 2018.