Zelenodolsk ‘Ingushetia’ with ‘Chinese heart’
Zelenodolsk shipbuilders will continue a series of Buyans on Chinese diesel engines, which replaced the German engines
The independent manufacturer of warships, Zelenodolsk Shipyard, managed to get rid of the severe consequences of the “shipbuilding dieselgate” the own small-size missile ships of 21631 project (Buyan-M code), persuading the Russian Defence Ministry to switch to the procurement of CHD622 diesel instead of German MTU, which were banned due to international sanctions. At the launch ceremony of the Ingushetia small-size missile ship, it became known that the serial construction of Zelenodolsk Buyans is to grow to 12 ships. The Zelenodolsk design bureau assured that the commencement of sea passage of the ships was provided by the Chinese diesel engines which proved efficiency at service of two small-size missile ships as a part of the black sea fleet of the Russian Federation.
The Navy believed in the “Chinese heart”
The Russian Navy has approved the completion of small missile ships (MRK) of the 21631 project developed by Zelenodolsk Design Bureau with CHD622 ship diesel of Chinese production instead of European high-rpm MTU, the supply of which was discontinued in Russia after the announcement of international sanctions in 2014-2015.
“With the Chinese engines, which were agreed by the command of the Russian Navy (in 2018 — editor’s note), the sixth and seventh MRK have been completed,” chief designer of the project Yakov Kushnir (we are talking about small size missile ships under the names Orekhovo-Zuyevo and Vyshny Volochek) told the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya.
“Now, it will be followed by the eighth ship of this project, which was named “Ingushetia,” Yakov Kushnir continued. He made it clear that, despite doubts, the Chinese engines have proven effective in carrying out the service of these two ships with the “Chinese heart”. Today they work at the Black Sea fleet of the Russian Federation and do not cause complaints of the military. At least, they haven’t received any claims.
About how they were looking for a replacement to the Germans
The recently launched eighth in a series small-size missile ship incorporates all sorts of improvements to address the shortcomings of the Chinese diesel. I must say that just for this reason, the seventh small-size missile ship Vishny Volochek was commissioned a year late. It became a part of the Black Sea fleet only in the middle of 2018. All this time engineers in the field of engine building together with Zelenodolsk shipbuilders brought it to the necessary military specifications.
According to sources, initially ten ships from the under construction series Buyan-M were planned to be equipped with German MTU engines. The termination of the supply of German engines affected the project of the Zelenodolsk design bureau significantly. Because of the action of the anti-Russian sanctions, only five small-size missile ships are equipped with them, which were transferred to the fleet in 2014-2015. The subsequent sixth and seventh turned out to be, so to say, experimental samples of the Russian Navy, but there is no other choice. The Russian mechanical engineering is not ready to release its own diesel engines for shipbuilding right now. According to the interlocutors of Realnoe Vremya, the Chinese diesel engines are supplied not by the Chinese themselves, but by the company Marine Propulsion Systems, operating in St. Petersburg.
However, Zelenodolsk failed to pull the missile ships of Karakurt project out of “shipbuilding dieselgate”. According to sources, the military rose to death against the Chinese engines, so the postponement may happen more than once.
Zelenodolsk Buyans growing in the sea
Meanwhile, Zelenodolsk’s Buyans fought their way out to sea. At the ceremony of launching MRK Ingushetia, the head of the ship building department of the Russian Navy Vladimir Tryapichnikov said that their serial production would increase to 12 ships by 2023, inclusive. According to him, today the Zelenodolsk plant deployed the largest series of missile ships. “Although the ships are with a small displacement, but with a balanced composition of weapons,” he said.
Currently, the company is building two more ships of the Grayvoron and Grad projects, and two more will be laid this year. The average cycle of construction of ships can be reduced through establishing a rhythmic supply of diesel engines, while the last ship was built for almost 5 years (it was laid in 2014 — editor’s note).
Rear-Admiral of the fleet Vladimir Trypichnikov expressed the hope that by 2024 the Navy would receive an upgraded version of Zelenodolsk Buyans, but how many — too early to tell. In turn, chief designer of the project of the Zelenodolsk desighn bureau Yakov Kushnir assured that the bureau does not stand still and is developing an upgraded version with enhanced anti-aircraft defense and increased missile potential.
“Zelenodolsk has surprised us once again,” the head of the ship building department, Chief Command of the Navy of Russia Vladimir Tryapichnikov praised the shipbuilders at the ceremony. “Zelenodolsk has commissioned the small-size missile ship Ingushetia, and Novorossiysk has raised Andrew's flag on the patrol ship Dmitry Rogachev, which, incidentally, is also made at Zelenodolsk shipyard,” he said. The Rear Admiral does not exclude that in the near future in one day can happen not two, but three events — laying one ship, launching another and raising the flag on the third.
Anyway, the main hero of the celebration was the head of Ingushetia, Hero of Russia, General Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. He came, as befits the Eastern guests, with the state ensemble of song and dance. For the first time the name of Ingushetia will appear in the name of military equipment. The transfer of the ship was timed to the 27th anniversary of the republic.
“It so happened that on these days our region celebrates the 27th anniversary of its formation. Today this holiday is marked by an important event — for the first time in the history of the republic a small-size missile ship, which will bear the name Ingushetia, is commissioned. You have successfully and in a short time coped with the task, and today the most modern ship, which will solve the problems of protection and defence of our state, slides down the ways. Our republic will take patronage over the ship,” Yevkurov promised.
Interestingly, during the ceremony he awarded the title “Honored Builder of Ingushetia” to Head of Ak Bars holding Ivan Egorov and CEO of Zelenodolsk plant Alexander Karpov. The head of the shipbuilding corporation, Renat Mistakhov, at that time was at the Novorossiysk naval base and was transferring the patrol ship of the 22160 project Dmitry Rogachev.
The launching of the Ingushetia small-size missile ship has been so important for the republic that it passed under the sounds of the anthem, which was recorded specially by honoured artist of Ingushetia Lema Nalgieva and Vice-Premier of the government of the Republic of Ingushetia Maret Gazdieva. Actually, she was called the godmother of the ship and on a special platform went down to the dock and broke a bottle of champagne.