It isn’t a late Christmas present for Moscow, but it could be the next best thing. In March, the Russian Navy will reportedly receive its latest Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov-class missile frigate, Admiral Golovko – the first ship in the class to be equipped with a domestic powerplant, rather than one imported from Ukraine.
“Under the existing plans, the Admiral Golovko is set for its delivery in March. A decision on the exact date will be made by the Navy’s Main Command,” a source in the Russian defense industry told state media outlet Tass on Tuesday.
According to the reports, Admiral Golovko is the Project 22350 third-built and second serial-produced frigate. When she enters service in the coming weeks, the frigate will join the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet, which currently operates two warships of this Project: Admiral Gorshkov and Admiral Kasatonov.
This latest frigate was named after Arseny Golovko (1906-1962) who was commander of the Soviet Northern Fleet during the Soviet Union’s 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War (World War II) against Nazi Germany.
In December, the Kremlin announced that Admiral Golovko completed the first stage of shipbuilders’ sea trials in the Gulf of Finland and returned to her berth at the Severnaya Verf Shipyard (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation).
That first deployment at sea lasted 10 days, during which time the warship’s crew and its acceptance/delivery team checked the vessel’s maneuverable capabilities and the operation of its assemblies, mechanisms, and systems.
When she enters service, Admiral Golovko will be among one of the Russian Navy’s most capable vessels – as frigates of the class are armed with the Kalibr-NK and/or Oniks cruise missile systems as their basic strike weapons, and with Poliment-Redut air defense missile systems.
In addition, she will eventually be armed with Tsirkon hypersonic missiles.
The frigates were developed as multi-purpose combat ships capable of effectively fighting enemy surface ships, aircraft, and submarines and delivering strikes against ground and coastal installations from a range of over 1,500 km. The warships of Project 22350 displace 4,500 tons and can accelerate to 29 knots.
Russian Show of Force
Admiral Golovko’s sister ship and lead vessel of the class, Admiral Gorshkov, is currently on a multi-month deployment, under the command of Northern Fleet Missile Ships Division Commander Captain 1st Rank Oleg Gladky. In late February, the frigate head will to South Africa to take part in joint naval drills with the African nation along with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
Admiral Gorshkov recently conducted test launches of the Tsirkon (3M22 Zircon) hypersonic missile at a target simulating an enemy warship more than 900 km (560 miles) away.
The drills, which took place early this week, took place in an undisclosed part of the Western Atlantic, the Russian Defense Ministry announced.
Author Experience and Expertise: A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.