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Russian submarine rescue ship Kommuna reportedly hit by Ukrainian Neptune missile.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by УНИАН on April 22, 2024, the Russian Navy's oldest active vessel, the submarine rescue ship Komuna, was struck by a Ukrainian Neptune cruise missile. The vessel, part of the Black Sea Fleet, had a distinctive role in supporting submarine operations and lifting significant underwater debris, including efforts post the sinking of the cruiser Moskva.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Russian rescue ship Kommuna. (Picture source: shnyagi)

Dmitry Pletenchuk, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Navy, detailed that the submarine rescue ship Komuna was not just any support vessel but had been continually upgraded to perform unique and essential tasks. It was involved in deep-sea operations and could lift heavy submerged objects, capabilities hard to replace under current conditions.

The attack occurred while the Komuna was harbored in Sevastopol Bay, a location chosen by Russian forces as a precaution against Ukrainian strikes on their fleet. According to Pletenchuk, the tactic of hiding combat ships behind auxiliary vessels like Komuna could have contributed to its targeting.

Additionally, Pletenchuk highlighted that the bay's defense included the Karakurt-class corvette Tsiklon, equipped with Pantsir-S systems, underscoring the strategic importance of the location and the assets stationed there. The loss of Komuna poses significant operational challenges for the remaining submarines of the Black Sea Fleet, as the vessel was integral to their support and salvage capabilities.

About the Komuna

The ship known as "Kommuna," originally named "Volkhov" until 1922, functions as an auxiliary naval vessel within the Russian Navy, specifically designed for submarine rescue operations with a catamaran structure. It stands out as the oldest vessel in continuous service within the Russian Navy and holds the same status globally for vessels still active in military roles.

As part of the Black Sea Fleet in 2023, the Kommuna has a displacement of approximately 3,100 tons and measures about 96 meters in length with a beam of 18.57 meters. The vessel's design includes a notable height of 8.40 meters and a draft that reaches 3.65 meters.

Initially powered by two 6-cylinder 2-stroke reversible diesel engines from the Riga-based Felzer & Co., each engine delivered 600 horsepower at 310 rpm. This setup was updated in the mid-1950s to include 600 horsepower engines from the Dutch company Werkspoor and saw another replacement in 1985 with engines from Russia's Kolomna plant of the same power output.

Capable of traveling up to 4,000 nautical miles, the Kommuna's crew has changed over the years. Its electronic systems, including various hydroacoustic stations, underscore its capability to perform under demanding conditions, making it a vital asset to naval operations.

Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Deep-submergence rescue vehicle. (Picture source: Myskillsconnect)

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