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The Centaur (Kentavr)-class fast assault craft, designed by the State Research and Design Shipbuilding Center (SRDSC) of Ukraine, are being constructed by Kuznya na Rybalsky for the Ukrainian Navy.

The fast assault craft are intended to offer fire support as well as ensure rapid deployment of marines and Special Forces to mission locations.

The Centaur-class vessels have the capability to perform a range of missions, such as maritime patrol, surveillance, search-and-rescue (SAR), safeguarding littoral and inland waters, and troops transport.

A scaled model of the assault craft was presented at the Shipbuilding 2017 international exhibition held in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, in May 2017. It was also displayed at the Arms and Security 2017 defence expo held in Kyiv, Ukraine, in October 2017.

The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine placed a contract with Kuznya na Rybalsky for the construction of two Centaur-class vessels in May 2016. Keels for the two vessels were laid in December 2016. The ships were launched by Kuznya na Rybalsky plant in Kyiv, Ukraine, in September 2018.

The new assault craft reached Odesa, Ukraine, for functionality tests in November 2018. The third craft in the class is currently under construction.

Centaur-class fast attack craft design and features

The design of the Centaur-class fast assault craft is based on the Gyurza-M class boat. The vessel features a mono-hull design and reinforced superstructure. It is custom-designed to offer enhanced speed and stability during operations.

Each ship can be manned by a crew of four members and accommodate up to 28 amphibious troops, along with their equipment.

The Centaur-class craft has an overall length of 24.3m, overall beam of 4.8m and maximum draught of 1m, while its full load displacement is 47t.

Armament and self-protection of Centaur-class

The superstructure of the vessels can be installed with two combat modules, integrating multiple weapon mounts and a large remote weapon station (RWS). The RWS can be armed with a 12.7mm calibre machine gun.

The vessel can also be armed with a 40mm grenade launcher, which complies with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) standards. It further features a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) that can fire S-8 unguided artillery rockets.

The engine room, crew cabin, commando accommodation areas and wheelhouse are protected by reinforced steel to withstand the impact of bullets, shells and splinters.

The armament of the basic version of the vessel can be customised according to customer requirements.

Sensors and communication systems

The Centaur-class is equipped with next-generation sensors capable of detecting laser emissions at long ranges. It is also installed with an optoelectronic monitoring system and Furuno DRS4D-NX solid-state pulse compression doppler radar with fast target tracking capabilities.

The navigation and communication requirements of the vessel are served by the on-board GPS and Iridium Pilot satellite communication system, which provides up to three independent communication lines.

Propulsion and performance of Centaur-class

The Centaur-class fast assault craft are powered by two diesel engines coupled to a pair of waterjets.

The maximum speed attained by the fast assault craft is more than 35k. The vessel can achieve a maximum range of more than 500nmi at an economical speed of 11k, while its maximum endurance is five days.

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