Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov has fired a Kalibr cruise missile at a target over a reported distance of 700km (435 miles) in the Barents Sea, the Russian Northern Fleet press office reported on this week.

The class is the successor of the Krivak class but unlike their Soviet-era predecessors the new ships are designed to perform multiple roles. The ships are to be able to execute long-range strikes, conduct anti-submarine warfare and to carry out escort missions.

The Barents Sea is north of Norway and Russia and is located within the Arctic Circle.

“The combat exercise was performed at one of the Northern Fleet’s combat training ranges in the Barents Sea. The missile was launched towards the Chizha range in the Arkhangelsk Region. The target, against which the fire was conducted, stayed a distance of over 700 kilometres,” the press office said in a release reported by ITARTASS.

Also, during the exercise, the frigate’s crew held anti-submarine warfare and air defense drills along with some ship damage control exercises say the Russian Navy. Over the entire period of state trials, the warship reportedly performed 16 firing exercises.

The Admiral Gorshkov was commissioned on July the 28th, 2018.


    • I think kalibr is one member of an entire family of anti ship and land attack missiles which reuse components and which come in ship launched, submarine launched and air launched variants. They sell derated versions for export. Wiki has an informative entry. I think all are subsonic and have long range. There is also a coastal defence version which can be packed in standard road containers. Seems to me these will eventually get into the hands of rogue states and terrorists so even a River 2 doing ‘constabulary’ work needs to be able to embark Sea Ceptor if circumstances warrant it.

      • Interesting. I was unsure upon reading article as it mentioned Cruise missile. I assumed, probably wrongly, that ASM are not cruise missiles but faster pop up missiles or launched high then descending low to evade detection as long as possible.

        Wouldn’t a slower missile be easily negated by CIWS or ships SAM?

        Can River 2 embark Ceptor?

        • i’ve written before, and to my m.p, who kindly sent me a copy of the political manifesto churned out in the ‘year of the royal navy’ spouting the expected guff about the Q.E.
          THE FIFTH GENERATION F 35 AND THOSE NEW SHINY FANNY BOATS(RIVER BATCH 2. i despair over the utter ignorance you get from the m.o.d when they do actually reply to a letter,(immediately clear that yours has not even been read properly) which accounts for the feeling you’ve wasted your time trying to make any sense of whats going on.

          • Andy I know exactly what you mean. I have written to my own MP 3 times and the defence secretary twice and all the responses were the same almost to the word.
            £178 billion equipment budget
            Expanding Royal Navy
            2% NATO target.
            All utter guff. The reality is inadequate numbers of warships and subs and those we have are under armed compared to our potential adversaries.
            The MOD and HMG are asleep at the wheel.
            Meanwhile Russia and China continue to grow their navies and deliver dozens of platforms capable of long range cruise and anti ship missile strikes. Our few capable assets eg the type 45 and the coming type 26s would be quickly overwhelmed.
            It seems as the 2% budget standard is only acheived due to Osbourne’s creative accounting, which included bunging the nuclear deterrent, armed forces pensions and some litigation and legal costs into the core defence budget, the only way out of this madness is to get to 3% GDP to defence ratio and damn quickly.
            However looking at the utter mess, squabbling and lack of leadership from our politicians it would seem no such sensible measure is forthcoming.
            BREXIT is the only bandwidth the government have and what an absolute mess they are making of it.

  1. I’m no expert having simply a lay person’s interest in our armed forces and the navy in particular, but isn’t a tad worrying that they have what appear to be better armed frigates than our destroyers.

  2. Worries me that our handful of destroyers and frigates have no offensive missile capabilities when Russia can field cruise missiles like that. We’re putting all our eggs in one basket relying on F35 for ground attack and Astutes for anti ship combat.

    If that’s the road we’re going down then we need at least 10 Astute, preferably 12, and at least 2 extra squadrons of F35.

    • So with that range, to hit our ships the Russian vessels will have to come out into the Norwegian sea or further to launch against our ships? Making them themselves vulnerable to the NATO line of SSN’s.

      To be honest I thought the Russian doctrine was to use naval aviation and their subs away from their waters.

      Do their subs carry this long range system?

      • Is there even a NATO line of SSNs anymore?
        Sure the US could deploy a line of 3-4 SSNs along GIUK gap but the RN used to commit 1-2 subs at all times to this duty. Not sure with only 7 SSNs 2-3 max in operational service at any one time we have the critical mass to do these enduring patrols anymore.
        I would advocate refit and retain the final 3 Trafalgar class until a follow on batch of astute batch 2s can be built concurrently with the Dreadnought programme.
        That is the only way to get sub numbers back upto where they should be 10+ SSN hulls

        • No idea.

          US/UK kept an eye on sub movements through places like JMF at St Mawgan ( now closed ) so the current version of that informs if extra SSN need to move to the area if the threat has increased.

          Otherwise absolutely agree more SSN over everything else in my opinion.

    • not going to happen, i think the offer of a retiring t23 to australia in exchange for one of their collins class ssk would make sense, given the ten fold increase in russian submarine activity around the u.k waters, the more ‘sub killers we have the better, the expectation in the astutes capability doesn’t hide the fact that we’ve not enough of them. i’d swap 6 retiring t23’s on a one for one basis for their 6 excellent collins conventional submarines and increasing our submarine capabilities, as the t26 and t31’s come into service.

      • Hardly a fair swap. The T23 cost about 130 million pounds sterling per ship. The initial Collins program cost the Australian taxpayer over $5 billion which equates to around 467 million pounds per boat and that’s before the current round of sonar and other upgrades now underway. So that’s equivalent of up to four T23s for one Collins.

        Though exactly what you would do with one orphan class boat is a bit of mystery. You’d need two at least to call it a capability so 2 boats for 8 T23s? By the way the maintenance cost per boat is $105 million per annum (around 60 million pounds or 360 million pounds yearly for all six).

        Why Australia would possibly want the second hand T23s is something of a mystery, given we have committed to building 9 Hunter Class (T26). Granted they may still have an edge of the ANZAC class frigate/Seahawk Romeo combination in the ASW role but the ANZAC has far superior radar and longer range missiles and IMO a more survivable all round platform in the South China Sea.

        Still the Canadians seem happy to buy the RAAFs second hand FA18A Hornets , so why not (although you may be waiting a while for delivery since the first of the French designed Shortfin Barracudas isn’t due to be in service, if it arrives on schedule, until 2033 and the best of the Collins boats will be retained into the 2040s). Can you make out the cheque in pre-Brexit pounds please?

        Also if you’re interested we also have a bridge in Sydney we could sell you.

        • LOL. Were a bit like a kid in a sweetshop here. Could I have one of those and one of them. At the last count we’d have 3 different classes of carrier, 15 different classes of escorts and god knows how many different tanks, guns and aircraft. None of which have come from me of course !

      • Andy the Collins class is a non-starter sorry mate- by the time the Aussies have finished with them. When they get their new Barracuda class- they will be well passed it and ready for the scrap heap or otherwise known as sold to Brasil.
        Trafalgar class is within our gift to refit, repair and keep in service for another 10+ years- they are still as quiet as a fart in a library and easily able to handle current Russian and Chinese SSNs- although the technological gap is closing.

  3. For only 3600t they seem to be armed pretty well, They have land atack cruise missiles, surface to air missiles, torpedoe tubes, anti-ship missiles, anti-submarine depth charges and rocket launchers, lots of decoys and counter measures, 2 AK-630 CIWS and 1 AK-100 naval cannon. And a bunch more guns, and also hand held Verba infa-red surface to air missiles.

    That got me wondering will HMS QE or any Royal Navy warships have hand held surface to air missiles aboard? Like star streak ect? Seems like a cheap and easily available option if all else fails…I really hope HMS QE will have some aboard in future just incase.

    • Cam, It’s always amazed me just how much Bang they can pack In to their Ships and, They look great too, most of them.

      • Also, I was reading up on the new Italian Navy’s “Trieste” a while back, @33000 Tons and armed to the teeth , Just like the Pesky Rusky’s. I hope our latest “Leaders” have got it right.

      • Same here, the Russians seem to make the most of the warships they have and fill them up to the teeth and rightly so. Even though Russia really needs to because we have NATO and USA on our side. I wish we done the same though, all our warships should atleast be slightly multi role and for eg type 45 should have some kind of defence against submarines (helo not included) maybe torpedo tubes ect to give the RN more capability and teeth. From what I read the type 26 frigate seems to be far better at multi-role. Land atack, anti-air, torpedo tubes, well I hope for the price they are.

    • Star Streak would be a good idea, especially having seen the footage of the Flankers swarming HMS Duncan. The system lends itself to dealing with situations like those if they turn hot at close range.

      • I recall a photo of a lad with Blowpipe on deck in the Falklands.

        Haven’t our systems failed already if an enemy aircraft is in visual range like that?

        I assume it would be no problem to install Starstreak LML on deck?

      • Exactly what I thought, we build the “Star Streak” system in the UK and I’m sure there’s a newer better version now, so we could get a good price, but I’m sure we have a few lying around, the MOD did order 300 extra systems not long ago. Perfect for extra defence of ships, every RN warship should have star streak or similar system embarked with a dedicated volunteer team onboard trained to use them in a secondary role and just for emergency situations just like fire fighters have.

          • We used to deploy FF and DD with a Bootie AD team with Javelin. I cannot remember StarStreak being on board except for Bulwark which was a special case having a load of Booties and all there kit on board anyway.

            MSI did have a combined 30mm/starstreak mount proposal many years ago. It was never taken up by the MOD

          • Not sure starstreak shoulder launched SAMs will be any good against an anti ship cruise missile. Line of sight, targeting and obtaining lock on would be desperately difficult and the operator would likely only have 2-3 seconds from visual recognition until impact.
            Much better to actually arm our ships correctly with adequate CIWS and layered SAM defences.

          • I don’t think anyone was suggesting their use for ASM Mr Bell!

            Close in Aircraft, Drones and the like if for some reason all the other defences have failed as an extra last ditch.

            As Evan P said “If it becomes hot at close range”

            In my view, given their relative cheapness compared to other systems, CIWS should be as standard on all escorts and RFA.
            None of this only fitted if in a threat area lark.

  4. Seahawk sigma mounts with LMM would be good for cheap drone work if out of range of guns.
    You’re in deep doo doo if you’re relying on manpads!

  5. Fine looking ship, problem for the Russians is that they can barely produce any(of this class and any other major units). They’re only now starting to sort out just the propulsion sourcing problem. This article is from 2015 and shows how badly the RF needed the Ukrainians and partly why they threw such a tantrum when their “man in Kiev” was deposed.


  6. Arming ships to the gunnels with weapons is not necessarily the best option, for one they require extra crew to operate and maintain, they deteriorate requiring more frequent exchange and updating, the additional fire control can also add to the complication in maintenance. History has shown that russian vessels have not been as effective as thought, often launchers are inoperable with signs of painting over parts the would normally require movement, fire control systems not capable of interoperability with other systems and weapons time expired which frequently fail on launch. Saying that I do agree the UK could up armour some of our vessels, a strike facility is not too difficult, particularly weapons such as NSM.

    • The Soviets never really solved their problem with integrating radars and fire control systems. This resulted in every weapons system fitted to their ships requiring a separate radar and fire control which gave them that “Deathstar” look with masses of sensors and radars everywhere.


  7. Isn’t the arming just typical of the Russians though.

    The mentality was there in the war too. Mass firepower, brute force.

    Where’s the Germans had the sophisticated weaponry but against the juggernaut it was never enough strategically, only tactically.

  8. They can arm those tiny little frigates to the teeth ( that took 12 years to build and commission) because they don’t expect them to traverse the world’s oceans and come back in one piece, they’re perfect for the seas they expect them to patrol in and we could learn a lesson there. Lots of well armed little ships for local area ops, maybe a upgunned river type vessel. Could call it a t31

  9. HMG strategy appears to rely on strategy that Boris will only attack T45 with planes and a small number of missiles, OPV’s wont be attacked by anything other than rowing boats and that QE wont be anything at all because all its escorts have been conveniently attacked by things they can deal with.

    On more serious note, the concen I have is that vessels such as these can operate and launch their missiles at a range beyond the reach (combined radius) of F35 cw Spear 3……and even if marginally within flying radius of F35 and Spear 3 combined, the F35 would take what, @ an hour to get to missile release?

    A small pack would operate outside the effective radius of an Astute in terms of all the places it may need to be at the same time.

    Long range anti ship missiles needs to be a staple fitted on all Type 45 and Type 26.

    Type 31 could carry Spear 3 to give it some punch.

    • Seems ridiculous to me; the Mod is caught between penny pinching and being stuck on wars like Iraq and Afghanistan where ships were in uncontested waters. If we go to war against a peer enemy like Russia well be screwed in ship to ship combat. The entire fleet would be relying on one or two Astutes for its offensive capability against other ships.

      Little offensive capability and no depth to the fleet, basically assuming nothing will ever go wrong. Which is dangerous thinking.

      • Russia hasn’t the depth. Our main problem is their submarines. That is why one extra T26 so we have the numbers to maintain TAPS / APT(N) or whatever it is called now.

        Our trouble is in a couple of decades when we have to interdict China crossing the Indian Ocean (perhaps) and defending Australia and New Zealand. That’s why we can’t let capabilities like Diligence and Scott disappear, not for the platforms themselves more for maintaining the role for a future platform.

    • And never more than a 48, it would be unthinkable madness for them to deploy more than 48. There is just no way they would fire 50+ or god forbid 60+ missiles at a T45, why would they do that ?

      We need to take our major navel asserts being overwhelmed buy pure numbers of missiles fired at them and maxed out the missile load on out T45s going into harms way. I have no idea why we would have such a limited number of missiles on the primary air defence assets designed to protect our Carriers and other major ships.

      If we are buyiny the cold launchers and Seaceptors for the T23/T26 programme, it must be the right time to fill up every available bit of space on the on the T45s with these as well as adding more cells for sea viper ( on the 45s I would rather A70 for increased sea viper Aster loadouts, over MK41 for tomahawk etc)

      My understanding is Seaceptor cold launch cells are relatively simple and easy to fit in all sorts of spaces, the missile is radar agnostic.

      Would seem to be a cheapish way of adding to missile numbers, and providing an extra ring of protection.

    • That is good news Helions- it was all sour grapes as the European’s could not stand the fact their designs are not as good as the world beating type 26. Perhaps you would like to purchase some as well for the good old USN- they need a capable frigate to work alongside the Arleigh Burkes in contested peer on peer conflict.
      The littoral combat ship and the eventual frigate FFXG that comes out of that contract is probably not going to cut it.

  10. I’d like to see that Mr Bell. As I’ve posted before, having a common design such as the T26 sailing with the 5 Anglo navies (probably 4 with the RNZN purchasing the T31) would be not only a good idea commonality wise, it would also send a very powerful message regarding our unity. Especially since ASW is so important to catch up on capability wise.

    Problem is, the USN is trying to play catchup on a budget which requires an already in the water design at ~ 190 million per copy and that rules out the T26. I think the Fincantierri FREMM design has an advantage here. Especially since they are already building LCS Freedom variants.

    Our next large surface combatant is going to look more like a DDG1000 than an AB. It will probably be another AAW specific mission design with a secondary strike capability + DEWs. The focus on the LCS has really done a number on our blue water small combatant capability and we need a lot of them. Fast… Too bad the T31 wasn’t already in the water. Now THAT would have had a real chance winning the contract IMO.



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