Marshal Shaposhnikov is a hold-over of the Russian Navy from the Cold War-era, currently in active service as of this writing.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Image from the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Marshal Shaposhnikov (543) belongs to the Udaloy-class of destroyers of the modern Russian Navy. Fifteen were originally planned for the group back in the 1970s though two were cancelled before the end. The group maintains nine active ships to its name (2017) from the completed thirteen vessels. The class are categorized as destroyers which assume maneuverable warships of relatively compact design to be used in support of fleet actions.
Marshal Shaposhnikov maintains an active service status in the Russian Pacific Fleet as of this writing (2017). She is named after Boris Shaposhnikov, a Russian Empire- / Soviet-era military commander serving from 1901 until 1945. The warship was launched in 1985.
The destroyer displaces 6,200 tons under standard load and up to 7,900 tons under full load. It sports a length of 535 feet with a beam of 63 feet and a draught of 26 feet. Propulsion is by way of 4 x gas turbines developing 120,000 horsepower driving 2 x shafts in a COmbined Gas And Gas (COGAG) arrangement. This allows the vessel to use half or all of the marine turbines depending on the action requested (dash or cruise). The warship can make headway at 35 knots and range out to 10,500 nautical miles, both excellent qualities for a surface-going vessel. Its crew complement numbers 300.
The outward design of the Marshal Shaposhnikov is a mix of both old and new. It maintains many protrusions and gaps uncommon to more modern "stealthy" warships of similar size and function today. Its mast works are also of the exposed type and the smoke funnels are not of an integrated, low-profile design (though some effort has been made to screen these heat-exhausting structures). The bridge is set in its usual place at the superstructure mass, overlooking the forecastle and the forecastle itself is home to a pair of turreted deck guns - further disrupting the silhouette of the ship. Handrails line the sides of the upper deck and the helideck at rear over the stern has a clearly exposed lower floor. Some of the superstructure's facings are contoured well enough to be considered stealthy by modern standards but, on the whole, the Shaposhnikov is a warship with origins in the late 1970s and built to standard construction methods of the 1980s.
Over the stern deck of the warship is a helipad that supports the launching and retrieval of 2 x Kamov Ka-27 "Helix" type navy helicopters. These important aircraft provide a broadened over-the-horizon tactical capability and can engage submarine and surface threats through sonar, radar, missiles and torpedoes as needed. Full service hangar facilities are also included in the Shaposhnikov's design so the helicopter pair can be maintained in proper working order.
The armament suite is comprised of a mix of weapon types: leading the way are 2 x 100mm turreted deck guns over the bow. 8 x vertical launchers are carried for launching SA-N-9 Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) at ranged aerial threats. 2 x SS-N-14 in quadruple launchers are also installed and these are used to deal with both submarines and surface threats. Close-in defense is through 4 x 30mm Gatling-style guns as well as 2 x Altair CADS-N-1 "Kashtan" series Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs). 2 x 533mm quadruple torpedo tubes are also carried as are 2 x RBU-6000 series Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launchers - giving the warship a proper armament suite in which to engage several target types.
In concert with the relatively recent revival of the Russian Navy, Marshal Shaposhnikov has been seen participating with Indian Navy forces in joint exercises in the Indian Ocean (2003). In May of 2010, the warship was host to special naval forces in response to the hijacked tanker MV Moscow University in Somali waters. The destroyer was also featured in maneuvers near Australia in November of 2014 and is currently in the plans of the Russian Navy going forward.
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