Russia’s state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation launched the to-be Admiral Golovko, the third Project 22350 frigate, on the 22 May, at St. Petersburg’s Severnaya Shipyard.
Admiral Golovko’s launch comes two years after the commissioning of the lead frigate in the class, the Admiral Gorshko. Admiral Kasatonov, the second ship in class, completed its trials back in April of this year. The fourth frigate, the Admiral Isakov, is currently under construction. All four are set to join Russia’s Northern Fleet operating in the Baltic sea.
The fitting-out process for the Admiral Golovko is expected to finish sometime next year, with mooring trials set to start in June 2021. Two months after that the ship’s crew will move aboard if all goes according to schedule. Sea trials are expected to start in early 2022.
The commissioning of the Admiral Golovko is possibly more significant than both ships preceding it, as Russia has had to overcome the disruption of its supply chains due to the repercussions of its international policy. The previous two ships were fitted with Ukrainian-made gas turbine engines, whilst the Golovko is the first to be powered by a Russian-developed and built powerplant. The engine is rated at 20,500 kW and works in tandem with two diesel engines, producing a combined total of 48,800 kW.
Project 22350 frigates are some of the Russian Navy’s most advanced surface combatants. They displace 4,500 tonnes and are capable of achieving speeds up to 29 knots, with a range of 8,980kms, with a maximum endurance range of 30 days at sea. They are equipped with both Oniks and Kalibr anti-ship cruise missiles, along with Pilement-Redut naval air defense systems, torpedoes, and carry Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopters.