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Portugal Navy's tracks Russia Navy corvette Merkury in Atlantic Ocean.

| 2023

According to information published by the Portugal News on August 20, 2023, the Portuguese Navy has been closely monitoring the movement of the Russian Steregushchiy-class corvette Mercury as it transits off the coast of Portugal.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Russian Project 20380 corvette Merkury. (Picture source: Portuguese Navy)

The Navy's vessels, the Viana do Castelo class patrol vessel NRP 'Figueira da Foz' and NRP 'Dragão', have been assigned to oversee the Steregushchiy class ship's journey.

About the corvette

With a standard displacement of 1,800 tons and a full load displacement of 2,200 tons, the ship measures 104.5 meters in length. Its beam is 13 meters overall, narrowing to 11.6 meters at the waterline, and it has a draught of 3.7 meters.

Powering the Merkury are four Kolomna 16D49 diesel engines, delivering a combined 23,664 hp (17.6 MW) through a 2-shaft CODAD propulsion system.

This allows the ship to achieve speeds of up to 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph). With a range of 3,800 nautical miles at 14 knots, the vessel can sustain operations for up to 15 days, accommodating a crew of 90.

In terms of sensors and processing systems, the Merkury is equipped with the Furke 2 air search radar, with later models featuring the multi-purpose Zaslon radar in X- and S-bands.

For surface search, it utilizes the Granit Central Scientific Institute Garpun-B/3Ts-25E/PLANK SHAVE radar and the Monument targeting radar. The ship's fire control is managed by the Ratep 5P-10E Puma system for its A-190 gun.

Its sonar capabilities include the Zarya-M suite, with a bow-mounted configuration and the Vinyetka low-frequency active/passive towed array. For navigation, the ship relies on the Gorizont-25 integrated system.

The Merkury's electronic warfare suite, the TK-25E-5 ECM, is complemented by four PK-10 decoy launchers for countermeasures.

When it comes to armament, the ship is heavily equipped. It features either a 100 mm A-190 Arsenal or a 130 mm A-192 naval gun. For close-in defense, it has the Kashtan CIWS-M or two AK-630М CIWS, depending on the project variant.

The ship can launch Kh-35 missiles from its 2x4 launchers and has 12 Redut VLS cells, which can be quad-packed with the 9M100 variant. For anti-submarine warfare and defense against torpedoes, it has 2x4 330 mm torpedo tubes for the Paket-NK system. Additionally, the ship is armed with 2x14.5 mm MTPU pedestal machine guns.

The Merkury also boasts aviation capabilities with a hangar designed for the Ka-27 Helicopter and a launch pad suitable for the UAV Orlan-10.

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