RIP, Aircraft Carriers: Russia is Planning Anti-Ship Missile Ambushes

Michael Peck

Russia plans to combine surface ships and land-based anti-ship missiles to create maritime ambushes for unwary ships.

In this duo, the firepower is provided by P-800 Onyx shore-based anti-ship missiles. Cueing in the missiles will be Bykov-class corvettes that will detect enemy ships and then forward the coordinates to mobile BRK Bastion coastal defense installations armed with supersonic Onyx missiles. The idea is that the Onyx batteries, with their radars turned off, can move undetected into a  new firing position and launch a surprise missile attack, guided by targeting data supplied by the corvettes.

“State-of-the-art Project 22160 ‘Vasiliy Bykov’ corvettes will be able to guide ‘Bastion’ coastal missile complexes (BRK) to the enemy,” according to Russian newspaper Izvestia. “The new tactic will permit them to operate from an ambush. The low-observable ‘Bykov’ corvettes, which are manufactured based upon ‘stealth’ technologies, will track the enemy from a safe distance for themselves. But the BRKs, which are now impossible to detect with their radars switched off, having received target designations from the sailors, will immediately conduct a strike against the enemy.”

The corvettes will attempt to track the enemy vessels without being detected themselves, while they relay targeting data to the mobile Onyx batteries ashore. “There is usually a one-hour interval for targeting,” Admiral Valentin Selivanov, former Chief of the General Staff of the Navy, told Izvestia. "During this time, the enemy will not have time to leave the area where it is guaranteed to be destroyed.”

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