Monday, November 4, 2013
Sovremenny Class Destroyer Type 956
The Sovremenny class destroyer is the principal anti-surface warship of the Russian Navy. Soviet designation for the class was Project 956 Sarych (Buzzard).
Its primary role is to attack enemy warships while also providing sea and air defense for warships and transports under escort. It complements the Udaloy-class destroyers in anti-submarine operations.
The project began in the late 1960s when it was becoming obvious in the Soviet Navy that naval guns still had an important role particularly in support of amphibious landings, but existing gun cruisers and destroyers were showing their age. A new design was started, employing a new 130 mm automatic gun turret. Single- and twin mounts were developed, and the twin mount chosen for its superior rate of fire. In 1971 a go-ahead was given for the Severnaya design bureau to design "a ship capable of supporting amphibious landings". At the same time, the US Navy was constructing new large Spruance class multirole destroyers. To respond to this new threat, Project 956 was updated with new air defence suite and new, powerful 3M80 anti-ship missiles. Although the Soviet Navy had largely moved to gas turbine propulsion for its new warships, steam turbines were selected instead for Project 956: partly because production of naval gas turbines would have been insufficient for entire program. Lead ship of the class, Sovremenny was laid down in 1976 and commissioned in 1980. A total of 18 have been built for the Russian Navy but only 5 remain in service due to lack of funds and trained personnel. All the ships were built by Severnaya Verf 190 St. Petersburg.
These ships have a maximum displacement of 7,940 t. Dimensions are: Length 156 m, Beam 17.3 m and draught is 6.5 m. They are armed with an anti-submarine helicopter, 44 air defence missiles, eight anti-ship missiles, torpedoes, mines, long-range guns and a sophisticated electronic warfare system.
There are a total of three versions of this class: the original Project 956 armed with the 3M80 version of the Moskit anti-ship missile, and its successor, the Project 956A, which is armed with the improved 3M80M version of the Moskit anti-ship missile with longer range. The main difference between the two is that the missile launching tubes on Project 956A are longer than that of Project 956 to accommodate the increased size of the newer missile, and these launching tubes can be used to fire / store the original 3M80 as well. A third version, Project 956EM, later developed for the People's Liberation Army Navy was the latest development of this class.Chinese media called the ship "carrier killer".