Project 11661 Gepard Class light frigates were developed and built by Zelenodolsk Shipyard for the export market. Five variants were planned for foreign sale. Designed to perform escort and patrol tasks, the Gepard Class frigate can engage surface ships, submarines and air targets. The ship can be deployed independently or as part of a task force.
The keel for the first vessel in class, Tatarstan (formerly Yastreb), was laid at the Zelenodolsk Zavod shipyard at Tatarstan in 1991. Construction was suspended in 1995 due to funding issues. Tatarstan was finally launched in July 2001 and commissioned into the Russian Navy in August 2002.
The second ship, Dagestan (previously known as Albatross), was laid in 1993 and launched in April 2011 for commissioning by the end of 2011.
In December 2006, Vietnam signed a contract with Russia for two Gepard 3.9 Class frigates. The keel for the first frigate, Dinh Tien Hoang, was laid in July 2007. It was launched in December 2009 and commissioned into the Vietnamese Navy in March 2011. The second unnamed frigate was laid in November 2007 and launched in March 2011.
Gepard Class design and features
The hull, made of low-alloy steel, is divided into ten watertight compartments. Aluminium-magnesium alloy is used in the upper superstructure. The ship is designed to remain afloat even when two side by side compartments are flooded. The frigate can employ weapons in up to sea state 5.
The underwater noise was cut down to not affect the function of the sonar system. The secondary radar, thermal fields, magnetic and electromagnetic fields created by the ship systems were also reduced.
The frigate features an aft helicopter deck to carry a Ka-28 or a Ka-31 Helix naval helicopter. The air-conditioning system creates comfortable conditions for the crew working in all areas.
The class has an overall length of 102m, beam of 13m and draft of 5.3m. Displacement of the vessel is 2,100t. The frigate can complement a crew of 103 personnel.
The Gepard Class is armed with Uran-E shipborne missile system firing Kh-35E anti-ship missiles. Kh-35E can destroy guided missile ships, motor torpedo and gun boats, and surface ships of up to 5,000t.
The main gun fitted forward is a 76.2mm AK-176M gun. It can fire 120 rounds a minute for a range of 10km. The frigate is also armed with two AK-630M 30mm gun systems.
The close-in air defence is provided by a Palma anti-aircraft gun system equipped with Sosna-R SAMs and 3V-89 small or medium-calibre gun fire control system. Palma can protect the ship against anti-ship cruise missiles and guided aerial bombs. It can be deployed against fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, smaller vessels and ground targets.
Gepard Class anti-submarine warfare
The anti-submarine warfare includes two twin 533mm torpedo tubes firing anti-submarine torpedoes and a 12 barrelled RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launcher. About 12-20 mines are housed in two mine rails.
Sensors, radars and countermeasures
The radars include a Cross Dome surface and air search radar and Pop Group SA-N-4 fire control radar. The Zarnitsa sonar suite integrates a MF hull mounted sonar and a variable depth sonar (VDS).
The frigate is also equipped with Bass Stand cruise missile target designator and Spectr-FN laser emission detector.
Electronic warfare includes an ASOR-11661 ECM (electronic countermeasures system), a Zmei towed sonar countermeasures system, a Bell Shroud passive interceptor and two Bell Squat jammers.
Four 16-round PK-16 fixed decoy rocket launchers are fitted for incoming anti-ship missiles.
Gepard Class propulsion
The Gepard Class is powered by a combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion system comprising two gas turbines and a Type 61D diesel engine. The shipboard power is generated by three 600kW diesel alternator sets.
The Vietnamese vessels are equipped with a small bow thruster. The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 28kt and a cruising range of 5,000 miles at a speed of 10kt.