Ukrainian corvette: money will give only on "seagull"

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In 2010 implementation of the program of construction of the Ukrainian corvette which has to "inhale life" in Naval Forces of Ukraine, and at the same time promote recovery from the crisis of domestic shipbuilding has to begin. The main risks of the project - not only the Russian nationality of the owner of the Black Sea plant who will build the Ukrainian ship, but also lack of money at the state.

Now the majority of the fighting ships and Voyenno's boats - Naval Forces of Ukraine (VMSU) are in a disabled state. By 2010 in VMSU there will be only 3 ships with not settled service life. For today the main hope and the basic project for rearmament of VMSU is creation of a national corvette which have to become a basis voyenno - sea power of the country.

Corvettes are small patrol ships with the displacement up to 2000 t. In the long term they have to become multi-purpose and solve all problems in a near sea zone and, partially, in the distant. It is supposed that corvettes will combine functions сторожевиков, rocket and artillery boats, the small rocket and anti-submarine ships. In VMSU they have to solve shock problems in a wartime, provide antiaircraft (air defense) and anti-submarine (PLO) defense of naval forces in the Black Sea and even in Mediterranean. In a peace time corvettes have to protect and protect a sea economic zone of Ukraine, and also conduct fight against terrorism.


On November 20, 2009 the commission the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine (MDU) approved the engineering design of the Ukrainian multi-purpose corvette (the ave. 58250) which during 3-x was developed years by the Nikolaev state enterprise "Issledovatelsko — the Design Center of Shipbuilding".

According to the project, the displacement of the ship will make 2500 t, length of 112 m, a deposit to 5,6 m, course speed to 32 knots, autonomy of 30 days, range of swimming of 4000 miles, crew of 110 people. On a corvette the arms, allowing to carry out the air defenses, PLO functions, and also antiship defense are placed, the technology of a low-visibility also will be applied.As a whole, the designed ship turned out more usual corvette (at the improved seaworthiness), by the size and to fighting value coming nearer to a frigate with the displacement of 3500 t.

The arms for the ship will be the European production, in particular, the companies of Italy (Otobreda), Germany, Denmark and France (including DCNS and Thales). Missile systems will be put by MBDA (8 anti-ship missiles Exocet MM40 Block3 range of firing to 180 km and possibility of defeat of the coastal purposes, and also installation with 16 anti-aircraft missiles Aster15 with a radius of action of 30 km and possibility of defeat of anti-ship missiles. The anti-submarine arms will be made by torpedo tubes (6 torpedoes of MU90 of Eurotorp concern) and the deck helicopter (the type isn't specified). The artillery arms include 3 art installations (76 - mm of Super Rapid of Otobreda firm and two small-caliber not specified type). From domestic arms it will be established remotely - operated machine-gun installation of development of the Kharkov CB of Morozov for fight against "asymmetric threats". The municipal educational institution also considers possibility of license production of rockets of the MBDA company on GAHK "Artyom". As a whole, according to the declared characteristics the corvette doesn't concede, and on some technical solutions exceeds indicators of foreign corvettes.


On December 3 the municipal educational institution Commission from 4-x the applicants participating in competition on the right of construction of corvettes, determined by the winner of GAHK "Black Sea Shipbuilding Plant" (ChSZ) who gathered the greatest number of points. The assessment of competitive offers was carried out by 19 criteria, basic of which were: existence of the necessary equipment, technologies and personnel potential for corvette construction, experience of construction of various military ships, and also ability independently to finance construction within six months.

Very quickly, already on December 17, the municipal educational institution signed with ChSZ the contract on production of the first 4-x corvettes. Their descents to water are planned on 2012-й, 2014-й, 2016-й and 2017-й years, till 2026 10 ships are planned to construct all.

The cost of a head corvette estimate at 250 million euros, serial - 200-210 million. In Europe the similar corvette costs 300-340 million euro. Cost in the ship of foreign production will make 40%, and Ukrainian - 60%. In particular, on a corvette will establish a number of new Ukrainian development: RLS, a communication complex, a hydroacoustic complex, the diesel - gas-turbine installation, etc.The complex control system of technical means of development of Fiolent plant (Simferopol), and about 10 more products specially created for a corvette (except the components in lots producing in Ukraine) will be used.

Creation of a corvette is the last chance for the Ukrainian military shipbuilding partially to restore the scheme which has broken up from Soviet period of production cooperation - 23 enterprises will be involved in deliveries.

Problems and risks

Now the main shareholder of ChSZ is "The Kherson shipbuilding plant". Both ChSZ, and HSZ are the part of JSC Smart-holding controlled by V. Novinsky. ChSZ victory in competition on a corvette provoked conversations on possible threats of leak voyenno - technical information and the failure of terms of construction connected by that the owner of plant is the Russian businessman.

However, according to the director of the Center of research of army, conversion and disarmament V. Badrak, Russia isn't interested in failure of this Ukrainian project and doesn't need the Ukrainian shipbuilding secrets so the majority of risks for the program is in the state. In particular on ensuring volumes and financing terms.

However, and without possible "the Russian factor", risks which can complicate implementation of the program, it is enough.

The main threat traditionally there is a lack of financing and its unevenness. For 2010 in the draft budget it is supposed to allocate 180-200 million UAH that it is enough only for preparation of production and the construction beginning for a corvette. Estimated cost 1-го a corvette of 3 billion UAH, and all from 10 to 25 billion UAH (real - will grow).

There are doubts that such sums подъемны for Ukraine, all which military budget in 2010 will make 13,035 billion UAH (including 4,756 billion UAH of specialfund, i.e. without guarantee). Even if the necessary money will be mobilized, in what is trusted hardly, on construction of corvettes all means of the military budget intended for purchase and modernization of arms, and other programs, not less important for defense capability of the country will leave, remain without financing.

Thus, according to the experts, implementation of the Corvette program won't have decisive influence on safety of Ukraine, in difference, for example, from the project of the multipurpose Sapsan missile system.

Other threat are possible technical, organizational and judicial delays. It is known, for example, that completion of construction 1-го a corvette was originally planned for 2010, then for 2011, and now - for 2012. These terms can move further.

After all still in Ukraine any of defensive programs wasn't carried out in time, and creation of corvettes, unprecedented for Ukraine (already at least on level of expenses) programs is interfaced to unpredictable difficulties and risks.

Besides, there is a probability of pronouncement of judgments which can influence implementation of the program. Outsiders of competition state doubts that being in a condition of bankruptcy of ChSZ can realize so large project, and in particular, within half a year independently to finance works.

A number of participants of the tender - GP "Shipbuilding Plant of 61 Communards" (Nikolaev), plants "Gulf" (Kerch) and "A Lenin smithy" (Kiev) - consider opportunity to challenge its results in court. In particular, representatives of plant "Gulf" (the owner - the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada from BYuT K. Zhevago), declared that their offer was the best at the price, and a choice which was made by the Ministry of Defence, "is contrary to interests of the state and its safety". In the Ministry of Defence are sure of correctness of the choice, though recognize that lawsuits can break terms of construction of the ship that also will cause decrease in defense capability of the country, will have an adverse effect on a condition of OPK and economy of Ukraine.

Oleg Krasnikov,


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