As I wrote some time ago about Russian Navy's newest Karakurt-class small missile ships, these ships will have a very potent air defense system, navalized Pantsyr, installed on them. This was confirmed today by Deputy Defense Minister of Russian Federation Yuri Borisov at the ceremony of laying down latest project 22800 (Karakurt) MRK "Shkval" (Squall) at Pella shipyard, not far from St. Petersburg. Unlike other, now very famous, Byan-class (project 21631) MRKs, armed only with rudimentary Gibka air-defense complex, navalized Pantsyr gives 800-ton Karakurts ability to not only effectively defend themselves against a variety of air threats but even perform AD functions while operating as escorts.
It is too early to speculate on what this navalized Pantsyr will be, but it is clear that its naval version will retain both missiles and guns in complex. It is an extremely intelligent system and it brings a completely new capability to a small ships which already pack a tremendous punch both in anti-ship and land-strike configurations and are capable to operate up to 3,000 miles from the base.
It was a dream of Admiral Aube, known for his fanatical support of Jeune Ecole, to see such a fleet operating on the high seas. Well, looks like his dreams, as well as validation of Jeune Ecole concepts, have finally been fulfilled....150 years later. Talk about maturity of technology. Mosquito fleet is coming out, missiles and guns blazing, to change naval warfare forever. We are, as incomparable Captain Wayne Hughes wrote, in missile age and there is no escaping it. Complex networks of MRKs, SSKs, land based aviation, integrated vertically and horizontally, capable to absorb a blow and then strike back with immense force--we are at the cusp of a revolution in Sea Denial and A2/AD.
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