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Russia plans to upgrade Admiral Vinogradov antisubmarine ship.

| 2020

The Russian Defense Ministry plans to upgrade the Admiral Vinogradov big antisubmarine warfare ship of project 1155. It has been decided to arm it with Kalibr and Uran missiles and later with hypersonic Tsirkon. The Admiral Vinogradov will have the air defense reinforced. It is to operate in the Pacific fleet, the Izvestia daily writes.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001

Russian navy's  Pacific Fleet Udaloy-class guided missile destroyer Admiral Vinogradov (Picture source: Wikipedia)

The Admiral Vinogradov will be the second project 1155 warship to be upgraded. The first one was the Marshal Shaposhnikov, which began running trials in 2020. It is armed with Kalibr and Uran missiles.

Defense Ministry and industry sources said the decision in principle to consider the upgrade of the Admiral Vinogradov had been made. The final decision will follow after the state of the warship and the amount of work are specified. Sources said the warship will have bigger firepower than the Marshal Shaposhnikov. It will get launchers for Kalibr and Tsirkon missiles, as well as a reinforced air defense. It is likely to be armed with Pantsir-M antiaircraft complex.

Open sources reported a potential upgrade of the Admiral Vinogradov in 2019. It had to get modern navigation and communication means, radars, Kalibr and Paket complexes. However, there was no official confirmation.

Project 1155 warships have been the backbone of the Russian Navy for a long time. They numerously participated in humanitarian operations outside the national territorial waters. The Admiral Vinogradov joined the Navy in 1989 and engaged in combat missions. It protected vessels against sea pirates in the Horn of Africa.

In 2019, she made a long sortie to Asia and the Pacific Rim and in late November 2020 prevented an intrusion of the US John McCain destroyer into the Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan.

“Project 1155 warships were initially built only for antisubmarine warfare. The basic option does not have air defense and attack capabilities,” expert Dmitry Boltenkov said.

Now, the Navy will have a properly armed frigate capable of a broad range of missions. It can strike at ground targets and warships. The level of antisubmarine operations will increase, the expert said.

The Russian Navy badly needs such warships. “Modern project 22350 frigates are being built. Ten warships have been ordered, but the construction will take a long time. Only two frigates are operational. Therefore, upgraded project 1155 warships will engage in the main missions while the series of frigates is being built,” Boltenkov said.

The Russian industry faces problems with the construction of green-water big ships, former Navy Chief-of-Staff Admiral Valentin Selivanov said. “So far, we have built the Admiral Gorshkov and the Admiral Kasatonov frigates. The construction took many years. It is hard to say when new warships are constructed. Project 1155 warships were built over 30 years ago when submarines were considered the main threat. Technical means have progressed a lot in decades. It is the right decision to upgrade the frigates,” he said.

The upgrade will extend the life cycle for at least five years. “They will be multirole warships. On the one hand, they have powerful antisubmarine arms — torpedoes and bombs. I am sure the upgrade will give them the latest detection means. On the other hand, missiles will develop them into attack warships. The big size allows installing powerful antiaircraft missiles complexes. It is a good cost-efficiency choice. The upgrade is more appropriate than the construction of a new warship, which is ten times more expensive and takes a long time,” Selivanov said.

A total of twelve project 1155 ships were built (plus one by upgraded project 11551). The Navy currently operates seven of them. The Marshal Shaposhnikov, the Admiral Vinogradov, the Admiral Panteleev, and the Admiral Tributs are in the Pacific fleet. The Vice Admiral Kulakov, the Severomorsk and the Admiral Levchenko operate in the Northern fleet. The Admiral Chabanenko of project 11551 is in a shipyard, the Izvestia said.

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