Sunday, April 10, 2011

Russia floats out new missile frigate for Caspian Sea

Shipbuilders in Russia's republic of Tatarstan floated out a second Gepard class frigate for the Russian Navy, the Zelenodolsk Shipyard said on Monday.

The Dagestan frigate is expected to join the Caspian Flotilla in 2011 after a series of sea trials.

The first Gepard class frigate in the Russian Navy, the Tatarstan, has been serving as the flagship of the Caspian Flotilla since 2002.

"The Dagestan is equipped with better electronics and weaponry compared with the Tatarstan," the shipyard said in a statement.

A Gepard class frigate is designed to engage surface ships, submarines and air targets, both independently and as part of a task force, as well as to perform escort and patrol tasks.

The ship has a displacement of 2,000 tons, a length of 102 meters, a maximum speed of 23 knots, a crew of 103 personnel and a cruising range of 5,000 miles.

The frigate is armed with the Uran-E anti-ship missile system, a 76.2-mm gun mount AK-176M, a Palma air defense artillery system, two 30-mm gun mounts AK-630M, and 533-mm torpedo tubes. It can carry a Ka-28 or a Ka-31 Helix naval helicopter.

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