On Tuesday, Russia’s defence ministry said that one of its vessels had shot down a Ukrainian drone. The Ministry of Defence released video footage, which appeared to be from the ship’s bridge. “The crew of a frigate of the Black Sea Fleet near the western coast of the Crimean peninsula destroyed an unmanned aerial vehicle of the Bayraktar type,” the Russian Ministry of Defense said on Facebook.
Two missiles from the Shtil anti-air missile system were launched at the target, which was destroyed. The UAV conducted reconnaissance of the Black Sea Fleet’s movements, as well as coastal and ground positions of Russian Armed Forces military equipment on the Crimean peninsula and in the southern portion of Ukraine.”
Ukraine has employed the Bayraktar, a Turkish-made unmanned aerial vehicle, to attack Russian supply lines and air defence groups.
The firing of two Shtil surface-to-air missiles was captured on video and posted by the Russian Ministry of Defense. The Shtil is a medium-range surface-to-air missile with a maximum range of 50 kilometres that can strike aircraft and anti-ship missiles.
The ship also featured a ‘RBU’ rocket launcher on its deck, according to the video. To attack submarines, the RBU system launches short-range rockets. The Admiral Grigorovich class of frigates are the only modern Russian ships equipped with both the Shtil missile and the RBU system.
The Admiral Essen and Admiral Makarov were the only frigates of the Admiral Grigorovich class in the Black Sea Fleet, according to popular analyst account Navy Lookout. Ukrainian media reported last week that the Admiral Essen had been hit by an anti-ship missile fired by the country’s military. This assertion, however, has not been verified.
In addition to the performance of the Shtil missile, the Russian Navy’s claims of downing a UAV and Ukraine’s claims of damaging the Admiral Essen are expected to be closely monitored in India. The Indian Navy is familiar with both the ship and the missile.
The India connection
In 2018, the Indian Navy agreed to buy four Admiral Grigorovich class ships from Russia. Two of the ships are being built at the Yantar Shipyard in Russia, and the other two are being built at the Goa Shipyard in India. In truth, the two ships being built in Russia were designed with the Russian Navy in mind.
However, after Ukraine refused to furnish engines for the vessels following the invasion of Crimea in 2014, Moscow cancelled the deal. The Admiral Grigorovich class is a refinement of the Talwar class of ships produced for the Indian Navy by Russia. The Indian Navy has received six Talwar class ships from Russia since 2003.
The Admiral Grigorovich class is distinguished from the Talwar class by more advanced electronics and a vertical launch system for its Shtil missiles. Unlike the mechanical launcher of the Talwar class, which can only fire one missile at a time, a vertical launch mechanism allows many missiles to be launched simultaneously.
As a result, the vertical launch mechanism is thought to be superior at combating’saturation’ strikes by aircraft and anti-ship missiles. Since the late 1990s, the Indian Navy has used variations of the Shtil missile, first on destroyers of the Delhi class and then on frigates of the Talwar and Shivalik classes.
The Barak 8 missile, co-developed by DRDO and Israel’s IAI, is used by the Indian Navy’s newer indigenous ships. In comparison to the Shtil, the Barak 8 features a more modern radar seeker, a longer range, and is lighter.