The lead vessel in a new class of patrol vessels designed for maritime security was laid down in a ceremony at Russia’s Zelenodolsky shipyard () Wednesday February 26, 2012. The vessel, to be named ‘Vasily Bykov’ will be the first diesel-powered patrol ship.
The new generation, 1,300-ton ship will have a range of 6,000 nautical miles on missions up to 60 days at sea. It will be manned by a crew of 80 sailors.
The ship will be armed with a single 57mm cannon, heavy machine guns, air defense systems, radar, electronic warfare and electronic countermeasures (ECM). The large deck can be configured to accommodate a pair of weapon launchers as an option. These weapons can include two torpedo launching tubes, a Shtil-1 air defense system with two launchers, two Club-N cruise missiles or two Uran-E anti-ship missile.
Powered by diesel or combined diesel-gas turbine, (CODAG), the 94 meter vessel can reach a top speed of 30 knots. The vessel is designed with a ‘telescopic hangar’ and aft deck supporting helicopters weighing up to 12 tons.
The new class is intended for economic zone patrol, search-and-rescue operations, anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, environmental monitoring, as well as coastal defense and escort service. Six ships of the new class are expected to be built by 2019.
Based in Tatarstan, theshipyard is building medium size vessels for the Russian navy and export customers. On the same day the shipyard laid the new patrol boat it also announced it will build two additional Gepard-class frigates for the People’s Navy. These vessels will be delivered in 2017. This brings the cumulative number of frigates that has contracted to six. The first hulls for these vessels are already under construction at the shipyard. Vietnam received first two Gepard-class frigates from Russia in 2011 under a contract signed in 2006. A follow-on order for two more frigates was signed in 2013, for which work is currently underway.