Key point:b Moscow is trying to keep up with its NATO counterparts.
Russia’s Gromky corvette has undergone a rapid series of back-to-back tests over the past months, an indication that the Russian Navy is pushing to make it fully combat-ready by 2019.
Gromky is the seventh vessel to be constructed as part of Russia’s new Steregushchiy-class series, specially commissioned to serve in Russia’s Pacific Fleet. The Russian Navy plans to lay down a total of thirteen Steregushchiy-class corvettes through 2021, with the inaugural model launched in 2001.
On November 15, Gromky conducted a live artillery fire test in the Sea of Japan: "The advanced corvette ‘Gromky,’ that has to join the Pacific Fleet soon, has conducted live firing for the first time during sea trials. The structural testing of ship weapons was carried out with live firing in the Sea of Japan. An A-190 100-mm multipurpose shipborne automatic gun mount and AK-630 six-barreled automatic gun mounts were tested in various modes," according to spokesman of the Pacific Fleet Captain Nikolai Voskresensky.
Several weeks later, Gromky fire-tested the Kh-35 Uranus anti-ship missile system. According to a statement by the Russian Ministry of Defense: “In the course of state trials, the latest corvette ‘Gromky’ has fired the ‘Uran’ cruise missile against naval targets. The missile successfully destroyed a surface ship dummy at a distance of 40 km from the launch point.”
In late november, Gromky was tested in a large-scale anti-air exercise. According to Captain Voskresensky, Gromky successfully fended off eight aircraft including four Tu-22M3 strategic bombers, the MiG-31 interceptor, and the Su-35 fighter multi-purpose fighter jet. Details of the exercise remain unknown, aside from the aircraft unsuccessfully attempting various electronic countermeasures (ECM) to scramble Gromky’s onboard communications system.