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Lider-class Destroyer – A New Face Of Russian Surface Fleet

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The Russian military leadership continues employing its maritime doctrine, an important part of which is the strengthening of the surface fleet.

As was recently revealed, Moscow is planning to build two units of project 23560 (i.e. Lider-class nuclear-powered destroyers) by the end of the 2020s.  Preliminary design of the project is complete and was accomplished by the Severnoye Design Bureau. Research and development work and planning for the construction phase are ongoing.

In accordance with the state rearmament program for 2018-2027, the structural design work on Lider-class destroyers must begin in 2021. According to prior assessments, construction of one ship would require approximately seven years.

It is planned to float off the lead ship of the class and a first serial destroyer by the end of the 2020s. Every destroyer will reportedly cost about RUB100 billion (about USD1.5 billion).

Lider is an ocean-going guided missile destroyer. It is smaller than Russian Kirov-class battlecruisers, but larger than US Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyers.

Supposed technical specifications are as follows:

  • Displacement – up to 20,000 t.
  • Approximate length – 230 m.
  • Beam – 20 m.
  • Draught – 6.6m.
  • Speed – about 32 knots.
  • Crew – 300 persons.

The ship will be capable of carrying over 100 missiles of the type Zircon, Onix, Kalibr, or a combination of these three. Experts say that Lider also may be armed with an upgraded version of the current missile being used in the Kinzhal hypersonic complex.

Air and missile defense of the ship will be provided by naval versions of the S-500, S-300, and Pantsir systems as well as the Poliment-Redut medium-range surface-to-air system, developed by Almaz Antey especially for new generation ships.

The air group will consist of 2 helicopters – most likely Ka-29 or Ka-52K.

Anti-submarine warfare and anti-torpedo defense will be provided by the Paket-NK torpedo system. Paket-NK torpedoes are designed to destroy both submarines and torpedoes in the near field of the ship.

Some of the weapon and counter-measure systems of Lider are already being tested in active ships of the Russian Navy.

Operational range and life of the ship will drastically increase due to the included atomic energy power plant. It is expected that the destroyer will be fully designed for use of stealth technology, to include employment of composite materials in the main deck, superstructure, and outline of the ship.

Military sources say that Lider will be a combined guided missile destroyer, large anti-submarine warship, and guided missile cruiser, able to complete tasks of Project 1155 anti-submarine destroyers, Project 956 anti-surface destroyers and Project 1164 cruisers. Lider-class destroyers will become the most capable ships of the Russian Navy, excluding battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy and other ships of the same class.

It should be noted that since the collapse of the USSR, Russia has yet to build such large ships. Nonetheless, it has the experience of successful modernization of large ships built in the Soviet period. This experience will be employed in the design and development of new destroyers.

Estimating the supposed technical specifications of Lider, some experts say that they include common elements of the arms race. This project is a yet another attempt to catch up technical capabilities of the leading Western navies. Nonetheless, the decision to build Lider-class destroyers is determined by the modern course of development of the international relations and Russia’s growing need to strengthen its ocean-going component of the surface fleet.

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Daniel Miller

why the fuck are they calling it a “destoyer”? this thing is 5000tons heavyer then the Slava.

You can call me Al

Because it destroys things ?. Size does not matter apparently.

Daniel Miller

Ummm yes it dose the tonnage of a ship determines its class anything above 12.000tons is a cruiser.

You can call me Al

Chill out – I was just having a laugh and a bit of banter.

Peter Williams

Actually 20,000 tons makes it a battleship or battlecruiser, but it’s designed to operate as a heavy destroyer. Russian and prior Soviet naval terminology is derived from a totally different naval philosophy to Western navies.

No Western navy has corvettes and they laughed at the Caspian Flotilla corvettes until they launched their Kalibrs at Syria.

Arseniy 'Motorola' Pavlov

It is a Cruiser. By the same standards, Gorshkov class are destroyers rather than frigates.

Daniel Miller

well yes they are.


“The ship will be capable of carrying over 100 missiles of the type
Zircon, Onix, Kalibr, or a combination of these three. Experts say that
Lider also may be armed with an upgraded version of the current missile
being used in the Kinzhal hypersonic complex.”

it’s a floating weapons platform. no more, no less.

Daniel Miller

You can say the exact same thing for all warships


Because Russian navy dont care about your opinion..

Daniel Miller

Its not a opinion its a fact and the Russian navy is not calling it a destroyer to them its just a Project for now. Only retarded media and morons like you think its a “destroyer”


I would call a ship that carries over 100 cruise missiles, including hypersonic, one hell of a destroyer.

Daniel Miller

Its not a destroyer its a cruiser


20,000 TONS is not a destroyer by western standards ? maybe just a Russian thing


Who cares about western standards? Western standards are designated around carriers being the centerpiece of naval power. Russians have missiles the exceed the range of carrier borne aircraft, therefore not spending tons of money on aircraft carriers is understandable. Building capital ships like Lidder and modernizing Kirov class battle cruisers will provide the Russian navy with significant offensive and defensive capabilities, whereby task forces of frigates and corvettes can be built around them.

US archaic naval strategy and effort is directed towards building aircraft carriers that deploy aircraft with range of 4-700 kms, while Russia builds long range antiship missiles, supersonic and hypersonic, and deploys them on a wide range of ships, in most cases outranging the capability of the carrier borne ships.

Charlie rad

Military guidelines are grey.
For instance the USN Zumwalt class destroyers are nearly 16,000 tons.
The Lider is UP TO 20,000 tons. Etc.

You can call me Al

“by the end of the 2020s”…. no chance, you need them now.


Yeah that really bothers me about this too, and Russian shipbuilding in general. It always seems to take far longer than it should. Meanwhile the Chinese are cranking them out at breakneck pace, so maybe Russia should use Chinese shipyards to build the hulls; then outfit them with Russian equipment, radars, engines, weapons etc.

Russia builds combat vehicles, aircraft and submarines fine, but surface vessels always take forever.

You can call me Al

I totally agree…If they have this so called partnership with China, they need China to speed up their production – BUT they are full spewing out the new Chinese ships.

So, now what ?.

Augusto Fernandez

hello, RUSSIA could parter with India in ship building. and yes why is that, a 100 meter boat take 2 years in the building, and 2 more years to put in active service.?

paul ( original )

Yes my thought also is that the war will come far before then

Wolfgang Wolf

wrong voice-over… Lider is the russian verson of “leader” and you speak it like that…

Charlie rad

For you head line only readers.
Watch the video. It explains in detail.

Victor Scarpia

Designations of destroyer, cruiser or battleship are somewhat arbitrary. During WW2 to the 1960s, destroyers were 2000 to 4000 tons displacement. They have gotten bigger since then, Arleigh Burke class built from 1990 to present are between 8300 and 9600 tons, RN Type 45 are are up to 10,400 tons and as mentioned earlier, Zumwalt class are 16,000 tons.

Seven years for construction of a nuclear powered warship are not excessive…construction of the first Zumwalt class began in 2009 and commissioning was in 2016, and it is not nuclear powered.

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