Gremyashchiy-Class Corvette “Provornyi” Engulfed in Flames

A fire erupted on the upper deck of the vessel under construction at Severnaya Verf Shipyard in St. Petersburg on Friday, 17 December. The Provornyi is a Gremyashchiy-class corvette that was to be commissioned in 2022. With the recently commissioned Gremyashchiy it is the second ship of the six ships ordered in total. The cause of the fire is yet unknown.

The fire engulfed the upper deck of Provornyi. / YouTube

The fire erupted on the evening of 17 December, according to Maritime Bulletin, the fire was major, covering some 80 square feet. The representatives of Severnaya Verf Shipyard, however, claim it was much larger. Its proximity to gas cylinders nearby was of major concern as an explosion was feared. Almost 200 firefighters participated in the action to put out the fire. Three people were reported injured with one person hospitalized.

Photographs of the fire-damaged wreck suggest the vessel has been gutted and suffered extreme heat damage. This could negatively effect the metallurgy of the hull.

The assessment of the damage by Severnaya Verf, however, state that the vessel is salvageable and that the superstructure of the ship will need to be replaced. Negotiations are underway with SNSZ to build a new one. However, it is claimed that thanks to the mounted fire insulation between the superstructure and the deck, the hull was not damaged and the Provornyi will be rebuilt but its commission date is likely change due to the necessity of additional work. There are some speculations about a special commission gathering to establish the cause of the incident, with the prosecution already forming an indictment over inappropriate safety measures undertaken at the construction site.

Provornyi is a Gremyashchiy-class corvette that is armed with UKSK VLS cells for Kalibr, Oniks, Medvedka, or Zircon anti-ship/cruise missiles. All of the Gremyashchiy-class corvettes are supposed to be delivered to the Russian Pacific Fleet by 2028. Besides the Severnaya Verf Shipyard, the OJSC Amur Shipbuilding Plant is the second enterprise responsible for the build of the remaining six corvettes.