180829 mainUkraine’s Navy has been taking practical steps to revive its fleet, with the greatest possible reliance on domestic resources and capabilities.

 

As a result of the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula, the Ukrainian Navy has lost a lion's share of its maritime platforms. As a result, the fleet currently operates very few combatants, including its flagship frigate “Hetman Sahaidachny”, with a limited number of support vessels. In this context, the country has to regenerate its naval capability almost all on its own, using domestic technological developments that could be of interest to potential export customers as well.

 

The Navy has developed a three-echelon structure for operational deployment of its future combat craft fleet, which takes account of the present context, the Navy’s current operational status and the domestic industrial capacities. The three echelons will be deployed in (1) Ukraine’s coastal areas (out to 12 nm offshore), (2) littoral areas (200 nm offshore), and (3) blue waters outside the Black Sea.

 

Some practical steps to revive the national naval capacity have already been made, with a key focus placed on building the so "mosquito” fleet.

 

To date, the Navy has been augmented with six Gyurza-M class armored gunboats (four of which are now going through the testing and qualification process), and 12 more are due for delivery by 2020.

 

Beyond that, the Navy is expecting the delivery of the lead missile boat of the Project 58260 Lan’ (Ukrainian for ‘fallow deer’) series, due in 2019. Lan’ class boats will become the core attack element of the Navy’s “mosquito” fleet. At least three Lan’ series boats are planned for procurement, and two Centaur class amphibious assault craft are due to be finished and commissioned by the fleet in mid-2018.

 

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Ukrainian Navy is expecting the delivery of the lead missile boat of the Project 58260 Lan’ series. It will become the core attack element of the Navy’s “mosquito” fleet.

 

The Navy is in dialogue with the United States for two Island-Class offshore patrol boats, which are planned to be reconfigured for underwater anti-sabotage and mine-countermeasure roles, and an investigation is being conducted into the possibility of procuring from foreign markets mine-hunter vessels, ultra-small submarines and other classes of ships.

 

The Navy is also expecting to continue construction of the Project 58350 flagship corvette Volodymyr Velykyy, which was ordered by a Cabinet decision made in November 2017. Most of the naval systems, armaments and equipments for the ship will be sourced from foreign suppliers.

 

The new ships for the Navy (except the Island-Class speedboats) are all developed by the State Research & Design Shipbuilding Center (SRDSC), Mykolayiv, and most of them will be built at the shipyard Kuznya na Rybalskomu, Kyiv.

 

The 54-ton Gyurza-M Class armored gunboat was developed as a follow-on to the Project 58150 “Gyurza” technology by SRDSC.

 

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To date, the Navy has been augmented with six Gyurza-M class armored gunboats, and 12 more are due for delivery by 2020

 

The range of missions for the Giurza-M could include security patrolling of littoral waters; river and lake policing; fighting small hostile ships; protection of off-shore infrastructures; support for sea-to-land and border guard operations; support for maritime safety; and reconnaissance and logistics support.

 

The armaments package for the Gyurza-M includes two combat modules BM-5M.01 Katran-M supplied by Mykolayiv Machinery and Repair Plant. The BM-5M.01 Katran-M is a naval counterpart of the BM-3 Storm combat module that was originally designed for armored fighting vehicle applications. Each “Katran-M” module accommodates a 30-mm ZTM1 rapid firing gun, a coaxial KT 7.62mm machine gun, and two Barrier ATGM launchers, and a MANPAD system is additionally provided to defend against aerial attacks. Control of the weapons is performed with an EO fire control system.

 

Navigation is provided with the Kvant-Radiolocation Delta-M radar system. Other equipments include the small-to-medium caliber gun EO fire control system Sarmat and a laser warning sensor kit.

 

The Lan’-class fast attack boat has a top speed of 32 knots. It is equipped to perform surveillance of coastal areas and to fight hostile amphibious landing ships and corvettes. It has a range of 2,000 nm at 14 knots, which gives it the ability to conduct short-range tactical reconnaissance at sea, and to provide escort support for both civilian shipping and naval operations.

 

The main armaments, which will be sourced domestically and from imports, include 4x2 Neptune ship-to-ship missiles (currently under development), 57/76mm and 30/35mm cannons, and off-board countermeasures. It will be outfitted with different radar systems to deal with diverse frequency threats, and a combat information management system.

 

Seven Lan’-class boats, re-designed locally as TT-400TP Class, are operational with Vietnam People’s Navy, of which four are fully-fledged missile boats, while the other three are armed with 25mm 2M-3M cannons only.

 

The new armored Marine assault speedboat Centaur is designed for handling complex high-risk missions in littoral sea areas and river waters that involve Marine landing support and direct engagements with the enemy. Developed by SRDSC as an addition to its lineup of armored boats for international customers, the Centaur Class boats are now also built for defense and security organizations in Ukraine. If compared to the Gyurza/Gyurza-M Class armored boats, the Centaur has extended functionality for special missions. Combat craft in this category are currently needed desperately by the Navy for use in the Black and Azov Sea areas, as well as in major rivers.

 

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The speedboat Centaur is designed for handling complex high-risk missions in littoral sea areas and river waters that involve Marine landing support and direct engagements with the enemy.

 

Specifically for the Centaur, SRDSC developed a propulsion system with a Caterpillar diesel.

 

The Centaur can accommodate a full platoon-size unit, which is 32 Marines furnished with a full complement of small arms. This compares favorably with international counterparts, which usually have room for no more than 20 personnel. Troop dismount is possible either via the upper deck or the landing ramp, which is accessible by internal passages under protection of steel armor.

 

Centaur is armed with an integrated machine-gun and grenade launcher module. To suppress enemy resistance during Marine landing operations the boat would be additionally equipped with a MLR weapon. This mobile MLR system could be assembled from COTS components chambered for the air-launched S-8 unguided rocket, which is also suitable for launch from helicopters like Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-24 and Ka-29. There is also a system allowing fire to be conducted in single, two round or three round burst modes.

 

The SRDSC has a number of other projects of potential interest to the Ukrainian Navy. One such is the Corvette "Gaiduk-M ". Designed and equipped specifically for operation in inland seas, it is built with the use of stealth technology to reduce radar signature, and is well equipped with everything necessary for its missions.

 

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Corvette "Gaiduk-M " іs designed and equipped specifically for operation in inland seas. It is built with the use of stealth technology to reduce radar signature, and is well equipped with everything necessary for its missions.

 

The 1,200-ton Gaiduk-M is designed to perform a broad range of combat missions. It is armed to engage surface, submarine, aerial and shore-base threats, with armaments that include 2x4 antiship MM40 Block 3 cruise missiles, 8x1 Mica VL vertical launch air defense missiles, a 76mm OTO Melara cannon, an Oerlikon 35mm Millenium cannon, 2 x 12.7 mm machine guns and 2 x twin 324-mm torpedo tubes, with room also provided for 2 x RBU-type antisubmarine rocket launchers. The ship has a hangar and flight deck for a single helicopter not heavier than 8,000 kg.

 

The threat detection and surveillance assets include a SMART-S Mk2 three dimensional, multi-beam naval search radar and an OTH search radar.

 

AAW weapons control is enabled through the use of STING EO weapon control system and the TACTICOS Combat Management System. Electronic warfare suite is comprised of a radar jammer and console, and a countermeasure system against laser-guided missiles. Other systems include a bearing gyro compass, a counter-sabotage sonar, a navigation radar and an integrated bridge system. Lean manning (52 crew) is achieved courtesy of extensive automation.

 

The Ukrainian Navy, despite the current challenges facing it, is growing steadily, although not as fast as would be right in the present threat environment. Nonetheless, there is a process already under way, and Ukraine’s Navy will, sooner or later, become strong enough as to be able to protect Ukraine’s economic and security interests in the Black and Azov Sea regions.

 

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