Russia’s plan to build 12 new and upgraded Project 22350M frigates capable of carrying 48 Kalibr, Oniks and Tsirkon cruise missiles is likely to be approved by yearend, according to a source in the shipbuilding industry.
"A project plan for 12 vessels with a displacement of 7,000 tons and a capability of carrying up to 48 Kalibr, Oniks and Tsirkon cruise missiles will be finalized by the yearend," TASS reported quoting the source as saying Thursday.
According to the source, the lead vessel in this series is planned to be commissioned to the Navy in 2027. Of the 12 frigates, 11 of them will be built under the new state arms procurement program.
The Kalibr missiles were used by Russia in Syrian operations. The Kalibr is Russian group of surface ship-, submarine-launched and airborne anti-ship and coastal anti-ship (AShM), land attack cruise missiles (LACM) and anti-submarine missiles.
The country also plans to develop ground-launched, longer range version of the Kalibr cruise missile in 2019-2020, Sputnik quoted Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying in early February. The longer range version could be in excess of 310 mile range which is the limit imposed under the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
The ships in this class had a displacement of 4,500 tonnes, and capacity to carry up to 16 Kalibr cruise missiles previously.
Lead frigate Admiral Gorshkov of Project 22350 is part of the Navy’s Northern fleet. The country will begin testing its home-grown hypersonic rocket Zircon from the lead frigate this year.
The Admiral Kasatonov which is the second ship of the Admiral Gorshkov-class is currently undergoing trials.
The country is constructing two more frigates of this type (the Admiral Golovko and the Admiral Isakov) at the Severnaya Verf Shipyard in St. Petersburg.
TASS does not yet have an official confirmation of this information