Yantar shipyard has begun construction on the Russian Navy's fourth Krivak IV-class (Project 11356) ship, Admiral Butakov, with a keel laying ceremony in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.
The Russian Defence Ministry signed a contract with Yantar shipyard to develop and deliver a total of six vessles for the navy between 2014 and 2016, RIA Novosti said, citing Baltic Reporter online news portal.
Admiral Grigorovich, the first ship of the class, was laid down in December 2010 and is due to enter service with the Russian Navy in 2014.
The keel laying for the second and third ships of the class, Admiral Essen and the Admiral Makarov took place in July 2011 and February 2012 respectively.
Capable of conducting anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare missions on the high seas, the 124.8m-long vessels can accommodate anti-submarine warfare helicopters such as Ka-28 or Ka-31 and provide fire support for coastal and landing assault operations.
In addition to providing support for anti-aircraft operations independently and as an escort ship, the vessels of this class can conduct ocean and sea operations, and search and destroy enemy submarines.
The 4,000t ships are armed with a eight-cell launcher for Kalibr and Klub anti-ship and surface-to-surface missiles, a 100mm main gun, Kashtan gun/missile close-in air defence systems, Shtil vertical-launch air defence missile systems, two torpedo tubes, and an anti-submarine rocket system, according to globalsecurity.org.
Designed as a successor to the Riga-class frigate, the Krivak IV-class warships have a beam of 15.2m and are expected to be deployed with the Russian Black Sea Fleet based in the Crimean peninsula.