Following the loss of the guided-missile cruiser Moskva and Alligator-class landing ship Saratov in its war with Ukraine, Russia is repairing its Soviet-era Udaloy class anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Levchenko which was retired eight years ago.
The repairs are being undertaken in the city of Snezhnogorsk at the Nerpa shipyard.
The vessel, with a running length of 535 feet, 62-foot beam, and a draught of 26 feet, is being overhauled to extend its service life so that it can return to the Russian Fleet.
“The Russian warship, Admiral Levchenko, is reportedly showing signs that her engines and generators have been active,” reported Express.co.uk.
Though reports suggest that repairs began in 2021, the speed at which work is progressing suggests Russia’s urgency. The repairs to the aging ship include partial upgrades to fire fighting equipment, onboard electronics, cooling units, shut-off valves, and repairs to the gas turbine main engines.
However, the most crucial upgrade will be the installation of the new Otvet anti-submarine missile system. Otvet missiles have a firing range of up to 50 kilometers and reach depths of up to 800 meters. It can also fly at a maximum speed of Mach 2.5 (3,087 km).
A Power-Packed Anti-Submarine Destroyer
Admiral Levchenko displaces 6,200 tons under standard load and 7,900 tons under full load. The ship is powered by a propulsion system consisting of four gas turbines giving a thrust of 120,000 hp to two propeller shafts.
The COGAG (Combined Gas And Gas) system in the destroyer felicitates a pair of turbines to power a single shaft. This provides Levchenko with a straight-line speed of 35 knots (64.820 km) in ideal conditions and a range of 10,500 nautical miles (19,446 kilometers).
The vessel, which accommodates two Ka-27PL anti-submarine helicopters on board, also carries Rastrub-B anti-submarine missiles with a range of 50 kilometers and can reach depths of 500 meters with aerial guidance support from the vessel’s helicopters.
In addition to that, the ship has 533 mm anti-ship/anti-submarine torpedoes that can be fired through two torpedo quadruple launchers and a pair of 213 mm RBU-6000 series anti-submarine rocket launchers.
Two Kinzhal anti-aircraft missile systems provide Levchenko’s air defense with a range of up to 12 km. It also carries a 4×30 mm AK-630 six-barreled rapid-fire gun mounts and 2x Altair CADS-N1 “Kashtan” digitally-controlled Close-In Weapon System (CIWS).
Admiral Levchenko could rejoin the Russian Naval fleet by the end of 2022. However, the ship is “up and running already,” according to Express.co.uk.
Levchenko Won’t Be Used Against Ukraine?
After the war in Ukraine began, Russia lost two major vessels. As reported by Eurasian Times last month, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, guided-missile cruiser Moskva was sunk by Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles.
Before that, in late March, the Russian Alligator-class landing ship, Saratov, was destroyed in the southern port city of Berdyansk by the Ukrainian forces.
While the loss of these two vessels was a huge blow to the Russian Navy, it is unlikely that it would look to compensate for this with an anti-submarine destroyer, at least not against Ukraine, which does not even have a single submarine.
Ukraine only had one diesel-electric submarine of the project 641 type, called Zaporizhzhia, which was seized in March 2014 by the Russian military during the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea.
Besides, the Admiral Levchenko is part of Russia’s North Sea Fleet, and therefore it is currently under overhaul at the Nerpa shipyard in the city of Snezhnogorsk, which is located close to the main base of the Northern Fleet in Severomorsk, Murmansk Oblast.
Also, despite the losses, the Russian Black Sea fleet remains capable of supporting the Russian military operation in Ukraine. For example, the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD), which described the losses as “embarrassing,” has cautioned that the Russian navy could still strike Ukrainian targets.
“Despite the embarrassing losses of the landing ship Saratov and cruiser Moskva, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet retains the ability to strike Ukrainian and coastal targets,” said the UK Ministry of Defense.