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Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych)

Guided-Missile Destroyer Warship

Soviet Union | 1980

"Both the Russian and Chinese navies still rely on the Cold War Soviet-era Sovremennyy-class destroyer surface combatants."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/20/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Like many other leading naval powers of the world, the Russian Navy fields a healthy collection of destroyer warships - about thirteen in all - behind the United States (65), Japan (36) and China (29). Such ship types are built to be fast in the water and reach out to far-off destinations on internal fuel and can be used as independent solutions / deterrents or as part of the main fighting force. Flexibility-in-service is expanded by the type's ability to feature a flexible armament suite which allows the ships to tackle just about any at-sea threat - be it in the air, on the water, or under it.

Russian Navy Destroyers

The Russian Navy currently (2018) operates three distinct batches of destroyer warships - the Kashin-class, Udaloy-class and Sovremennyy-class. The Sovremennyy-class (Project 956) numbered twenty-one ships when it was ultimately adopted and finally completed though only three of her number are in active service today (2018): Bystryy, Nastoychivyy and Admiral Ushakov commissioned in 1989, 1993 and 1994, respectively (Burnyy is said to be undergoing modernization as of this writing, 2018). All displace in the 7,940 ton range. Bystryy is assigned to the Pacific Fleet, Nastoychivyy to the Baltic Fleet and Admiral Ushakov to the Northern Fleet.

All were built by Severnaya Verf 190 of St. Petersburg.

The Sovremennyy-class was used to succeed the aging Kashin-class but was itself succeeded by the Lider-class. China adopted the design as well in the late-1990s/early-2000s.


The submarine was the bread-and-butter instrument of the Soviet Navy throughout the Cold War but World War 2 (1939-1945) continue to influence post-war doctrine for all sides and revealed the value of surprise amphibious landings against an enemy. As such, the Soviet Navy was continually drawn up to include gun-laden warships to support such actions in far-away lands. New warships were taken from drawing boards to shipyards, including the Sovremennyy-class, and the "multi-mission" mindset for these ships soon was introduced to help evolve the line and keep them on par with American counterparts in the West.

As such, the group is designed for several key operating roles including airspace denial, anti-ship sorties and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). Displacement is 6,600 tons under standard load and 8,500 tons under full load. Dimensions include a running length of 511.9 feet with a beam of 56.8 feet and a draught of 21.3 feet. Power is from 4 x Boiler units feeding 2 x Steam turbines producing 100,000 horsepower to 2 x Shafts. 2 x Turbo-generators and 2 x Diesel generators complete the propulsion scheme.

The warships are able to range out to an impressive 16,000 miles and reach speeds nearing 33 knots in open sea under ideal conditions.

Aboard is a crew of 350 personnel. An air arm is part of the crew for the sole helipad can support a single Kamov Ka-27 "Helix" (or similar) navy helicopter equipped for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), anti-ship or at-sea replenishment roles.

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In Silhouette

The series has a typical Soviet-era design appearance as they emerged in the "pre-stealth" days towards the end of the Cold War (1947-1991). They showcase high bow lines with a sweeping maindeck. The forecastle and stern are home to turreted main guns. The bridge and enclosed mainmast are integrated into the high-forward superstructure with a gap set between it and the squared-off smoke funnel at midships. Atop a platform rear of the funnel is a lattice aftermast reaching high into the sky. Aft of the funnel is a helipad atop a stepped superstructure section. To either side of the bridge superstructure are quad surface-to-surface tube missile launchers featured prominently.

The class is equipped with no fewer than three navigation radars, an air target acquisition radar, fire-control radars / directors and an air-defense fire-control radar. Both active and passive sonar systems are carried as are full decoy launching systems.


The armament suite includes 2 x 130mm AK-130-MR-184 twin-gunned turreted main guns forward and aft, 4 x 30mm AK-630 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs), 2 x 4 P-270 (SS-N-22 "Sunburn") "Moskit" surface-to-surface / anti-ship missiles, and 2 x 24 Shtil (SA-N-12 "Grizzly") surface-to-air missile launchers. 4 x 533mm torpedo tubes (in two twin-tubed emplacements) can be used against surface and undersea threats. 2 x RBU-1000 300mm Anti-Submarine ROCket launchers are carried for ranged anti-submarine work.

Further Notes

The class constitutes two forms: the original Project 956 ships and the follow-on Project 956A with its improved 3M80M anti-ship missile fit. The Chinese Navy operates a third branch in the Project 956EM design. China has adopted four total ships of the class from 1994 into 2004. All remain in service.

For the Russian Navy, many of the class have been decommissioned with the end of the Cold War (many were removed from service in 1998). Burnyy is said to be receiving a modernization and major overhaul to keep her a viable surface combatant for the near-future. Bespokoynyy was saved from the scrap heap to serve as a floating museum ship at Kronstadt.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych).
4 x Boiler units feeding 2 x Steam turbines developing 1000,000 horsepower and driving 2 x Shafts under stern.
32.5 kts
37.4 mph
Surface Speed
13,904 nm
16,000 miles | 25,750 km
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych).
511.9 ft
156.03 meters
O/A Length
56.8 ft
17.31 meters
21.3 ft
6.49 meters
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych).
2 x 4 P-270 "Moskit" Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM) (SS-N-22 "Sunburn") anti-ship missile launchers.
2 x 24 "Shtil" (SA-N-12 "Grizzly") Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launchers.
4 x 130mm AK-130-MR-184 autocannons in two twin-gunned installations.
4 x 30mm AK-630 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs).
4 x 533mm torpedo tubes in two twin-tubed launcher arrangement.
2 x 300mm RBU-6000 Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launchers.
Air Arm
Available supported fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft featured in the design of Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych).
1 x Kamov Ka-27 "Helix" navy helicopter or similar aft of midships, ahead of stern section.
Ships-in-Class (21)
Notable series variants as part of the Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych) family line as relating to the Sovremennyy-class group.
Sovremennyy; Otchayannyy; Otlichnyy; Osmotritelnyy; Bezuprechnyy; Boyevoy; Stoykiy; Okrylennyy; Burnyy; Gremyashchiy (ex-Vedushchiy); Bystryy; Rastoropnyy; Bezboyaznennyy; Gremyashchiy (ex-Bezuderzhnyy); Bespokoynyy; Nastoychivyy (ex-Moskovskiy Komsomolets); Admiral Ushakov (ex-Besstrashnyy); Hangzhou (ex-Vazhnyy); Fuzhou (ex-Vdumchivyy); Taizhou (ex-Vnushitelnyy); Ningbo (ex-Vechnyy)
Global operator(s) of the Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of China National flag of Russia National flag of the Soviet Union

[ China; Russia (Soviet Union) ]
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Image of the Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych)
Image from the Public Domain.
2 / 6
Image of the Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych)
Image from the Public Domain.
3 / 6
Image of the Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych)
Image from the Russian Ministry of Defense.
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Image of the Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych)
Image from the Russian Ministry of Defense.
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Image of the Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych)
Image from the Russian Ministry of Defense.
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Image of the Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych)
Image from the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
Sovremennyy-class (Project 956 Sarych) Guided-Missile Destroyer Warship appears in the following collections:
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