With Russia’s new warships now armed with advanced new generation missiles, the Navy is now working to arm its existing warships and submarines with Kalibr cruise missiles successfully combat-tested in Syria.
Even though many experts initially failed to appreciate the effect of Kalibr cruise missiles installed on small ships, the 26 Kalibrs launched at terrorist bases in Syria in October 2015 from Caspian Fleet corvettes proved that unlike massive destroyers, small missile ships can easily sneak up on the enemies and are much harder to detect than their bigger electronics-packed counterparts.
Also, a strike force of dozen or so small missile ships can be equipped with electronic jammers and, therefore, become harder for the enemy to spot them and fire at them.
A number of Karakurt-Class small missile ships will soon be added to the Navy’s existing fleet of Kalibr-armed Buyan and Gepard frigates.
Relatively small strike groups are ideal for performing lightning raids not far from shore, using their main armament and quickly returning to base.For longer-haul missions the Navy has a fleet of Project 11356 and 22350 heavy frigates armed with Kalibr-NK cruise missiles.
Experts believe that the Admiral Nakhimov nuclear-powered missile cruiser, currently being overhauled at Sevmash Shipyards in northern Russia, could carry Kalibrs and Tsirkon 3M22 supersonic anti-ship missiles.
Terror of the oceans
The Black Sea Fleet’s Rostov-on-Don and Novorossiisk diesel-electric submarines were the first to be armed with Kalibr-PL cruise missiles. The Rostov-on-Don was also the first to fire Kalibrs at Daesh positions in Syria substantiating the decision to install cruise missiles on small low-visibility subs.
Kalibr-PL cruise missiles could also be installed on Antey-Class nuclear submarines, up to 72 such missile on each one, and on the state-of-the-art Project 885 Yasen and Yasen-M multirole nuclear subs.Experts believe that once modernized, Russia’s multirole nuclear submarines will be brought up to par with the new-generation Yasen submarines.
This is pretty bad news for the US and its NATO allies who still remember how, back in the 1990s, Russia’s Shchuka multirole subs created a lot of nervous buzz off the US coast suddenly popping up right under the nose of US warships and disappearing just as fast.
Meanwhile, the first modernized Project 971M Leopard-Class worship is scheduled to enter service in 2018.