Russian Shipbuilding Struggles With Production Problems Of Karakurt-class Missile Corvettes

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Russian Shipbuilding Struggles With Production Problems Of Karakurt-class Missile Corvettes

Project 22800 Karakurt. IMAGE: Curious / forums.airbase.ru

Written by Maksim Klimov; Originally appeared at VPK, translated by AlexD exclusively for SouthFront

The “Karakurts” came to a halt awaiting the diesels

When in 2014 it became clear that the Ukrainian turbines, and accordingly the new frigates of the Navy’s Projects 11356 and 22350 would not be received in the near future, the fleet urgently launched a new small missile ship-corvette (MSC) “Karakurt”. Project 22800 almost became a major success of domestic shipbuilding. Created in just three years, the leading “Karakurt” could go beyond the test and be accepted by the Navy in 2017. And today, there would be several such MSCs in the ranks.

However, shipbuilders and the fleet received a full-fledged knockout, and not from foreign suppliers, but from their colleagues; the main propulsion plant (MPP) with domestic M507 diesels were not delivered in time for what the “Star” public company was responsible for. Despite the statements of “Star’s” former chairman of the board of directors about the readiness and ability to fulfil the large contract for propulsion plants for the 19 MSCs of the new project, it turned out that the goal was to receive and secure advances backed by hope; the strategic enterprise will not go bankrupt.

“Star” not only disrupted the timing of delivery of the MPPs for the main MSC of Project 2280, but also could not provide the production of plants for more than one ship per year. The already build ships stood at the completion embankments waiting for diesel engines. To remedy the situation, the issue was raised by equipping the “Karakurt” with Chinese diesels; however, the inevitable decrease in the performance characteristics of the ships ruled out this solution. All the more so as the Ministry of Defence already allocated funds to “Star” for the hydraulic power units (HPU). There was talk that the necessary equipment would be able to be produced at the Kingisepp Machine-Building Plant, which previously specialised in the repair of marine diesel engines. However, production from scratch is a fundamentally different level of complexity. And so far none of the new diesel M507 from the Kingisepp plant has yet emerged. Accordingly, the already built MSCs are doomed to long-term lay-up at the completion embankments, and the plants are forced to bear large financial losses due to the credit load on contracts for the “Karakurt”.

Today the only possible solution would be the use of used diesel engines from ships of the active inventory with their maintenance and temporary installation at the Kingisepp plant in Project 22800. There are simply no other options. On the other hand, the diesel series M507 is the development of more than half a century ago, and they still have unique specific indices, albeit with a very complex operation. And probably, it makes sense not to force the Kingisepp plant to come out at any price for mass production, but to give the opportunity and time for normal development in a series of engines in an upgraded form.

There is a question to the military office of the public company “Star” at the time of signing the contract. The fleet, the shipbuilding plant “Pella” and the Central Maritime Design Bureau “Almaz”, until he summer of 2018, did not have reliable and objective information on the scale of the disaster at the “Star” and, lulled by the reports about its leadership, hoped for a timely execution of contracts. But the military commission had to know the situation as it is and report it, in order to prevent the signing of an unfeasible contract.

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  • Barba_Papa

    I reckon that Putin worked wonders bringing the army, the air force and the nuclear deterrent back from the brink of disaster that Yeltsin left them in, but that the Russian navy kinda became its forgotten stepchild, last in line of military priorities. Hopefully budgets will allow for that to be changed. In the US and UK this would probably have never happened, as both countries have placed the bulk of their nuclear deterrent on nuclear SLBM submarines, but the Soviets and by extension the Russians as well never did. Preferring mobile ICBM launchers instead. Which kinda makes sense in that huge country.

    • You can call me Al

      Very true, nice comment.

      • Jens Holm

        I dont think so at all.

    • Jens Holm

      Jeltdin did not do that. Sovjet silently and systematicly collapsed by total mismanegement of the worst kind.

      Gorbatjof as well as Jeltzin could not save anything, which for decades were driven by seniles and some even old in WW2.

      If USSR should have a chance to live longer people like Gorbi and Jeltsy should have taken over the whole infertile system many yéars before making reforms. They were not allowed.

      Its about the whole system and dividing the responsability to many persons. I can sompare directly to the nepotistic know all system in Syria. Those are closed in exact same way and are not even able to make the cake to share for themselves better.

      • Nosferatu

        Bulshit. USSR was in good condition before Gorbatschew the traitor took over, even if Chruschew too was dismantling Stalins heritage…..

        • beypuutyina

          was not

          • Nosferatu

            “USSR is economicaly growing twice as fast as us” Ronald Reagan 1984

          • beypuutyina

            hahaha, electorial false speech

          • Nosferatu

            think what you want i was growing up in a socialist state and life was better back then……..

          • beypuutyina

            i was growing up in sicialism, too. but it was dying system, not flourishing. There was a hard economical reason, why has fallen. Over the whole Earth.

          • Nosferatu

            There is a lot you dont understand. Unfortunatelly i am too busy now to explain it to you….

          • beypuutyina

            you can later

          • beypuutyina
  • You can call me Al

    There is a solution and that is to subcontract the hulls and the new turbines. FFS Russia, get a grip, you have a solid military in general, but the surface ships are needed. Subcontract to China + other allies.

    • χρηστος

      its a matter of tranfering technology as well. chinese are known ‘thieves’. if they built Russian turbines rest assured that in a couple of years they will be signing contracts with allies for their ‘own’ design turbines.

      • You can call me Al

        I was quite clear on the hulls only + turbines wherever, but I would assume China as well.

        Regards the turbines – so what if they copy them now UNDER LICENSE, it is better than producing 1/2 a year.

        • χρηστος

          yes i got your point and its a solution. its just that china is not to be trusted like that. i read recently that they bought from france the crotale air-defence system for ‘evaluation’. the Frence were very happy because the system was great so they thought that a massive order was the next step. a few years later china produced an ,even, advanced version of th system and exported it as well……

          • You can call me Al

            I totally agree, but if you cannot trust your closest BIG ally, who can you trust.

            As for the French, you story makes me laugh; because they are one of my top 10 hated nations.

            Catch you next time, Cheers.

          • Jens Holm

            Well, You are not familiar with, that Russia is so much behind in things, that China see almost nothing to steel. Even Shell and BP drilles the advanced uptaking of gas and oil.

            You seemes to be russian in a very isolated context to me.

            You should do as the chinese and take in the good parts of us only.

            When danes and many others try to make productions in You land many gives up even they cheep produce, what You neeed and people ask for. You are filled up with totally random ineffective systems, where poeple having no idea about things decide for billions as it was their money. Things which should take months take years.

            You are random taxes by the tax authorities. For years You are taxfree abd suddeenly they arrive and take everything down to You last shirt. Production is stabile taxes, so You can plan for next and next year. Above that You find corruption from the highest ranked to the lowest, where You are treated as You are a hostage by people living doing only spoiling Russia for the rest of the population.

            Thats my version, but I hear this from danes. Its totally un-acceptable. Even Your farmers know, that if You dont feed the cow well, it will not give milk.

      • Barba_Papa

        So buy Chinese designs instead? Why reinvent the wheel when you want to rebuild Russian carrier operations, buy a couple of Chinese carriers instead once they come off of the lines? And some of their heavy destroyer/frigate class ships as well? That way you can focus Russian infrastructure on other ship designs.

        • χρηστος

          indeed but think of stories like ‘russia buys from china cannot construct its own’

          • Jens Holm

            Well, thats an internal thing, which here in Denmark is reduced the last many years.

            We do produce a lot of advanced things to the world market making a lot of money – BUT those are parts of bigger constructions. So we are kind of proud of our own part and do accept, that the rest is made anywhere else.

            You have a computer. Even its one unit, its made in a least 50 countries and by patents from many devellopers. But You use it. Dont You.

          • Barba_Papa

            As opposed to stories like ‘rusting Russian hunk of junk carrier has to be towed on its way to Syria?’ ;-)

            It’s to be damned either way. Either derided for buying Chinese, or derided for operating a hunk of junk that will not be replaced for a very long time. If ever. At least with the former the Russians could get some working ships out of it. Shame is temporary, working carriers last forever!

        • You can call me Al

          We Brits have a couple of idle carriers. To you my boys, 6 billion for both.

          對你們我的孩子們,兩個人都是十億
          Duì nǐmen wǒ de háizimen, liǎng gè rén dōu shì shí yì

          Sorry Chinqs, Google translate.

          • Garga

            Me no Chinglish, me love ship long time!

            Now I understand what you meant a few days ago! Google says nothing about 6.
            Are boats suitable for fairs?

          • You can call me Al

            LOL

        • Jens Holm

          It make sence, if those ships are needed. You get something, which already work from day 1.

          Much prodution in west often is kind of joint venture. Several countries order expensive stuff together. By the volume and as an already tested production, every unit often becomes cheeper as well.

          And yes, You then can fokus on other productions. As I see Russia, they certainly need that very much.

          If I look at the Russians, they are very good in missiles incl. the ones for the space. If they improved that sector, they could get money to pay for devellopment and paying fx those ships.

          I see the can make good products as well. Fx the Armata seemes to be the best in the world or one of the best. But its so expensive because of their ineffectivity, that they hardly can effort to produce them as well as they have no rich buyers. They should invest in “good for the price” tanks and by that might be able to sell small flocks of them instead.

          The best of course would be if we all instead made less weapons and used our heads and hands for something else. USSR partly collapsed, because they could not effort using that much money on the military complexis(and maybee space).

          • Barba_Papa

            Thing with joint venture arms production is, that rather then the price going down, it tends to go up. Because rather then having to meet the requirements of only 1 end user, it now has to meet different requirements of multiple end users. Take Tornado and Typhoon. The UK wants to use one way, with British weaponry, the Germans had their own ideas and probably just wanted to stuck standard NATO weapons under it (read American), and as cheap as possible, and I’m sure the Italians and Spanish had their own ideas as well. Meanwhile France, being a single end user, produced in Rafale an aircraft that was as good, if not better, with far less hassle.

            As my old IT teacher used to say, its far cheaper for an organization to adopt itself to a new piece of mass produced software, rather then opt for a tailor made piece of custom software. Because mass produced is both cheaper and will probably get supported for longer. Whereas custom costs more to develop and you’ll pay more for support. So in that sense if the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain had opted for a single common standard and told their air forces to get with the program and adapt, both Tornado and Typhoon would probably have been finished earlier and for less money. So if the Russians were to get Chinese built aircraft carriers, just adopt whatever doctrine and aircraft types the Chinese would chose to use. Chances are it will be based around a Sukhoi clone anyway.

            But methinks the biggest for joint ventures is to spread the political risk. If one country builds an aircraft it can be cancelled, if there are other countries involved it becomes harder to cancel so there’s a bigger chance the project will be finished. Considering how many promising designs the UK alone already nixed in the 60’s and 70’s there’s probably some value to that.

      • Jens Holm

        Very funny. There is not much to steal from Russia in those matters. The Chinese steal from develloped ones.

        • χρηστος

          well thats not entirely accurate. Russia has developed a lot of techs on military equipment. China has just recently developed its own aircraft carriers, and 5th generation aircrafts. everything else was just copies of Russian and European stuff.

    • Ivan Freely

      The Russians should subcontract China to build them proper shipyards. Building hulls is also a good idea.

      • You can call me Al

        Wow, the shipyards better though. Thanks for the info.

      • beypuutyina

        what kind of superpower is, which is not able to build alone?

  • 1691

    Apparently, this article comes from “Military Industrial Courier”- VPK however, it is not there. I did some search on the author and found nothing in the site: neither the article nor the author. It is interesting that a certain Maxim Klimov is a Goldman Sacks partner in Moscow. Interesting but not trustworthy.

  • SFC Steven M Barry USA RET

    Looks like somebody needs to be shot.

    • Jens Holm

      That seldom solve things. Its needed to learn a lot of new things, where fx diesel engines are only a symptom. Thats what I think.

      • John Whitehot

        when’s the last time you got an upvote? not that i care about upvotes, but it should be clear that besides your other identities nobody likes your garbage.

    • beypuutyina

      ouch, you think in russia is stalinism? :))

      maybe they will use polonium, navichok … :P

  • evald
    • Ivan Freely

      Mina? LOL

  • Jens Holm

    I certainly hope for the russians, this is totally fake.

    If not Russia has regained almost nothing and learned nothing as well bu its collapse. I am afraid but also kind of happy that even the great Russia military forces in most things are that low and remain so.

  • beypuutyina

    As written 1000x, russia has no money, no technology for modern fleet.

    It is a joke to replace frigattes with corvettes. Corvettes are near-shore boats, not optimal for sees (like caspian) and absolutely wrong for ocean.

    • Mike

      The return of russophobe idiot solomon kupek, how is going you kike faget.

    • AM Hants

      Russia – creditor nation, who paid off the $45 billion, Soviet Union debt, no help from the other 14 member states in the Soviet Union.

      Russia who can afford to provide freed healthcare for her people, plus, educate them to university level, courtesy state funding.

      Russia with minimal debt (GDP Debt 20%), flat rate 13% tax), healthy currency reserves and not forgetting gold reserves, larger than Soviet Union times. Plus, Russia who is in control of her vast wealth of natural resources.

      Russian Defence Budget $47 billion – with the second largest, but, most powerful military. The new hypersonic weapons leaving all that the 29 members of Nato have, between them, obsolete.

      US Defence Budget $717 billion – largest and most expensive military, but, not the most powerful. Funny, the US is the world’s largest debtor nation with over $21 trillion, national debt, not Russia.

      • beypuutyina

        russia undergone bancrupcy and west was so good, that alllowed to amortize whole debt. therefore is able to exist russia.

        • AM Hants

          Darling, so last century.

          Remember, the Yeltsin years, when Russia was bankrupt and defaulted, then along came Saint Vladimir. Tore up the Product Sharing Agreement, which enabled Russia to take back control of her vast wealth of natural resources. Thus, leading to paying back the $45 billion Soviet Union debt (including from the days the Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian Empire), together with the $16.5 billion, Russian Federation debt.

          “Who created Russian laws during the 1990s? All Russian laws, including tax laws were written on the back of Foreign grants. Russian natural resources were only bought under control in 2004. Before that, the resources were not even under Russian jurisdiction. The law was only abolished in 2004. If we had not done that, we would never have depended on the oil prices.”

          “All Russian laws were written on the back of foreign grants. I did not know that, before the Head of the Duma Committee, made a statement. The key laws, in our country, we had, it was the Americans, who had written our laws for us, including oil. We just accepted oil, under the standard law for developing states. The Colonial laws, well, for the countries of the ‘third world’. It is important here to understand the following. I said that in 2003 we made the decision to fight. The initial decisions had been over-ridden and the oil revenue started flowing into Russia from 1 January 2004. That is what is important. Before then we would receive less then 20 cents from every petro $ and nobody would say a word about it. In the 1990s, Russia saw a period of exchange on the part of the then leaders. It was the exchange of political support of the elites. Not just America, to a great extent, it also needed regional support. Theagreement with regions, was based on special tax agreements … What was the price we had to pay for the Product Sharing Agreement? One man, there was one man, Vladimir Putin, who managed to change the situation profoundly. What is the Product Sharing Agreement? Why was Russia losing it’s own oil and its own oil income. It seems some of the major constituents of our budget consist of oil, gas and arm sales… The losses accounted for 2/3 of the budget, which Russia started fighting for in 2003… Did the struggle only begin when Putin came to power? Yes. Before that, all oil and natural resources, according to the Product Sharing Agreement, were not under Russian juridstriction. They did not belong to Russia, and there was a special rule stating that. Pensions were three times as low as they are now, the entirety of state spending was three times lower then it is now. The oil revenues were stored abroad, that money did not manifest itself in the Russian economy. It became the property and spoils of foreign states…’

          (Yevgeny Alexeyevich Fedorov or Fyodorov (Russian: Евгений Алексеевич Фёдоров) (born May 11, 1963 in Leningrad) is a Russian politician, deputy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russia four convocations (1993–96, 2003), chairman of the Committee on Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship of the State Duma, member of the Central Political Council of United Russia party, PhD. State Councilor of the Russian Federation, coordinator of the organization “National Liberation Movement”)

          Interview shown in first five minutes of ‘Unknown Putin’ Documentary.

          The Unknown Putin. Part 1 Vladimir Putin Russia’s leader… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCU4C6ajgBI

    • AM Hants

      How little you know. One little ‘grey corvette’ had no problem hitting ISIS, over in Syria. Nice hit.

      ‘…They fired cruise missiles from the Kalibr NK (Klub) VLS launchers. The missiles used are capable of hitting a target within 3 meters at a range of up to 2,500 km…’

      Russian Navy’s Caspian fleet joins in on strikes against ISIS in Syria https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anHoVY-UUZU