The Russian Navy has done well in reestablishing itself as one of the top services in the northern hemisphere and this sort of growth, following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, has not come cheap. The result, however, is an all-modern fighting force that can be deployed to far-off parts of the world and attack from offshore locations, from under the water, or from the vast fleet of surface combatants available to the fleet.
In 2014, there began construction of a new class of stealth patrol vessel under the Project 22160 designation. Six have been planned for the group with two already in active service (Vasily Bykov 368 and Dmitriy Rogachev 375), one having completed construction and launched (Pavel Derzhavin), and a further three ready to be added from 2020 to 2022.
The first ship of the class, technically its lead ship, is Vasily Bykov (368) built by the builders at Zelenodolsk Shipyard. Her keel was laid down on February 26th, 2014 and she was launched on August 28th, 2017. Formally commissioned on December 20th, 2018, Bykov serves the Black Sea fleet under active status as of this writing (September 2019).
As completed, Bykov exudes modern design lines and stealth features, complete with a chine hull integrating the upper and lower halves of the ship with broad swathes of slab-sided surfaces. An enclosed turreted deck gun is seated at the forecastle and immediately aft of this is an elevated section of hull containing the bridge and short-profile enclosed main mast. The mast is home to all manner of sensors, processing units, and radar fits to serve in the search, tracking, communications, and weapons direction roles. The hull superstructure is contained forward of midships to which its lines are then stepped and elegantly shape the mid-to-aft sections. A helipad is seated over the stern to support a single navy helicopter (typically the Kamov Ka-27 or Ka-226 types). The smoke funnel, found at midships, is of a low-profile, fully-enclosed design to limit the ship's signature.
Displacement of the class runs between 13,000 and 1,700 tons. Overall length reaches 308 feet with a beam of 46 feet and a draught of 11 feet. Installed power constitutes a COmbined Diesel-and-Gas (CODAG) arrangement involving 2 x Kolomna 16D49 marine diesels outputting 6,000 horsepower for cruising and 2 x M70FRU/M90FRU gas turbine units for high-speed dash actions. To this is added an electric unit comprised of 4 x Diesel generators and an emergency diesel unit. The propulsion scheme allows for a maximum headway speed of 30 knots out to a range of 6,000 miles.
Aboard is a crew of about eighty and stores with fuel supplies allow the ship to remain at sea, on station, for up to 60 days before needing resupply.
Systems, processing units, and self-preservation is provided for by the Pal-N system, Pozitiv-MK radar fits, Sfera-2 opto-electric station, and TK-25 series Electronic Warfare (EW) suite.
In terms of armament, the patrol vessel is allowed a combination weapons set to deal with many target types. This is led by a Dual-Purpose (DP) turreted deck gun over the bow (of 57mm or 76.2mm caliber), 2 x 14.5mm MTPU Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs), 1 x DP-65 Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL), DP-64 Grenade Launcher (GL) and support for 324mm Paket-NK torpedoes, the "Kalibr-NK" anti-ship missile, and 3M24 "Buk" Anti-Aircraft (AA) missile system. With this arrangement, the relatively compact vessel can be called upon to accomplish a variety of armed roles including interception, scouting, fleet support, and deterrence.