Quick as Lightning, Deceptive as Mirage, Dangerous as Scorpio

Issue: 03-2014

In the 21st century, Russia remains one of the world’s largest shipbuilding nations. Its national shipbuilding industry can design and build warships and auxiliary vessels of all classes, as well as produce all kinds of naval weapons and equipment.

Currently, Russia is the largest exporter of combatant and patrol craft. Back in the 1960s-90s, Russia delivered abroad approximately twice as many combatant boats as Great Britain, France, Sweden, Norway, Spain and Italy combined. Today, there is growing demand in the world for combatant and patrol boats with a displacement of 20 to 500 tons. The requirement for them is quite high in the Middle East, Southeast Asian, African and Latin American markets. Russian companies have something to offer in this sector to international buyers. Today, the combatant craft is a fast, well-armed, advanced electronic-technical system capable of successfully performing a wide range of missions in wartime and peacetime.

Russia pioneered in applying bottom devices to small ships. With lift vector control, the world’s unrivalled Project 14310 Mirazh (Mirage) patrol boat can achieve speeds up to 50 knots, significantly reduce rolling and pitching motions and cut down specific fuel consumption.

The Project 12418 Molniya (Lightning) missile boat is designed to engage enemy surface combatant ships, boats and vessels on the high seas and in coastal waters, both independently and in conjunction with the fleet striking forces. It is equipped with the Uran-E anti-ship missile system capable of penetrating current shipborne air defenses and assuredly engaging any surface target. In terms of firepower, the Molniya is unrivalled among its foreign counterparts.

Throughout its history, the boat was repeatedly studied by foreign experts. Designers and military highly praised its combat and speed performance, survivability, and simplicity of design. In its issue of May 26, 1992, New York Times named the Molniya boat of the first modification one of the fastest and deadliest ships of this class in the world. New versions of the Molniya boats significantly outperform their predecessors in fighting capabilities.

Among combat missions assigned to the Molniya are engaging enemy combatant boat and ship detachments, landing detachments and convoys, providing cover for friendly ASW forces, landing detachments and convoys, conducting tactical reconnaissance, and providing surface situation awareness.

In peacetime, the boat is used to protect the state border, perform patrolling, ensure safety of navigation, fight piracy and participate in rescue operations. All these capabilities have been appreciated by the sailors of Turkmenistan’s Navy, which recently purchased a batch of such boats.

The Project 12150 Mangust (Mongoose) fast planing patrol boat has great export potential. It is capable of achieving speeds up to 50 knots and is designed to intercept virtually all high-speed sea targets. Its armament mix includes a 14.5mm naval pedestal machine gun mount and the Igla-S MANPADS.

The Project 12061E Murena air-cushion landing craft is unique in its combat and performance characteristics. It is designed to take on forward landing parties’ military equipment and personnel from a hard beach or a beach, large landing ships and transports; provide their sealift and landing on unequipped coast and shallow water. The Murena can also be used to patrol coastal areas, naval base and seaport areas.

The Murena landing craft offers improved design features and seaworthiness through the use of corrosion-resistant alloys, extruded sections and panels, and a high-performance power plant.

The boat and its armaments remain operable at a wave height of up to 1.5 m and wind speed of up to 12 m/s. Its troop capacity is impressive: 2 infantry fighting vehicles, or 2 armored personnel carriers, or 3 armored vehicles, or 2 amphibious tanks, or 1 medium tank, or 130 marines. Its armament corresponds to the assigned missions: two 30mm AK-306 lightweight automatic guns controlled by an optical sighting device (ammunition load: 500 rounds per gun) and eight Igla-S MANPADS sets.

The Project 20970 Katran patrol boat is designed to counter enemy surface ships and combatant boats, patrol the maritime area in the open coastal waters of the seas and oceans and in inland waters. It can effectively engage enemy surface ships and combatant boats, landing craft and transports, provide fire support to amphibious landing parties, conduct tactical reconnaissance. In peacetime, the Katran can carry out patrol missions as part of the Coast Guard forces.

To reduce radar visibility, Katran’s hull and superstructure are made using stealth technology.

The main striking weapon of the boat is the Uran-E anti-ship missile system with 3M-24E anti-ship missiles accommodated in eight transport-launch containers. Air defense is provided by an AA missile/gun system, the 3M-47 Gibka shipborne turret mount with four Igla-S SAMs, and the 30mm AK-306 lightweight automatic gun mount. The PK-10 decoy dispensing system (four KT-216 launchers, 40 rounds) is used for passive jamming.

The Katran patrol boat is capable of achieving a maximum speed of about 40 knots and covering up to 2200 miles at maximum fuel capacity. Its endurance is five days.

The Project 12300 Scorpion (Scorpio) is even a more powerful missile/gun boat. It is designed to engage enemy surface combatant ships, boats and transports independently and in conjunction with fleet striking forces.

Its full displacement is about 460 tons, hull length – 57 m, beam – 10.3 m. With such dimensions, the Scorpion has a top speed of about 40 knots, cruising range at maximum fuel capacity is about 2,000 miles, and endurance is 10 days. Like on the Katran, modern radar signature reduction technologies are also effectively used here.

Upon customer request, the Uran-E anti-ship missile system may be replaced with the Yakhont anti-ship missile system consisting of two launchers (with two missiles each) and 3R50E-12300 shipborne control system. In addition to striking missile weapons, the Katran carries an AA missile/gun system; the 100mm A-190-5P-10E universal gun system (consisting of the A190 gun and the 5P-10E universal fire control radar), as well as the PK-10 decoy dispensing system (two or four KT-216 launchers) for passive jamming.

Depending on customer’s requests, economic and technological possibilities, Rosoboronexport offers co-production of high-speed missile boats both at Russian production facilities and at buyers’ shipyards. Licensed boat construction by partner states is also possible.