ⓘ Gepard-class frigate
The Russian Gepard-class frigates is a class of frigates that were intended as successors to the earlier Koni-class frigates and Grisha, and Parchim-class corvettes. The first unit of the class, Yastreb, was laid down at the Zelenodolsk Zavod shipyard at Tatarstan in 1991. She was launched in July 1993, after which she began fitting out; fitting was nearly completed by late 1995, when it was suspended due to lack of funds. Renamed Tatarstan, the ship was finally completed in July 2002, and became the flagship of the Caspian Flotilla. She has two sister ships, Albatross, and Burevestnik, which was still under construction as of 2012.
These vessels are capable of employing their weapons systems in conditions up to Sea State 5. The hull and superstructure are constructed primarily of steel, with some aluminium-magnesium being used in the upper superstructure. They are equipped with fin stabilizers and twin rudders, and can use either gas turbines or diesel for propulsion in a CODOG configuration.
2. Export models
The Gepard class was designed from the outset as a lightweight, inexpensive export vessel. The Russians have offered five variants for foreign sale.
- Gepard 3: Increased beam of 13.8 metres 45 ft 3 in, displacement increased to 2.100 tons full load, single forward-placed Kortik CIWS in place of AK-630s, helicopter hangar above VDS housing.
- Gepard 5: helicopter platform no hangar, increased range to 6.000 nmi 11.000 km at 10 knots 19 km/h knots, reduced speed of 23 knots 43 km/h, gas turbines replaced with 2 8.000 bhp 6.000 kW diesels.
- Gepard 4: Unarmed version for search-and-rescue, though weapon mountings still in place.
- Gepard 1: Helicopter platform no hangar, VDS deleted.
- Gepard 2: Helicopter platform and hangar, VDS and SA-N-4 deleted.
The Vietnam Peoples Navy received in March and August 2011 two Gepard 3.9-class frigates ordered in 2006, built in Russia at Tatarstans Gorky Shipbuilding Plant. As of 2012 Vietnam was examining a purchase of two more, possibly built in Vietnam under license. In late 2011 Vietnam signed a contract for an additional batch of two ships in an anti-submarine version. A further two ships were ordered in 2014 to bring the total order up to six vessels.
Sri Lanka began talks for the credit purchase of a Gepard 5.1 frigate in 2017 and the Sri Lankan cabinet approved the proposal by President Maithripala Sirisena for the purchase of the ship in September 2017.
In October 2015, Dagestan, in company with three other Russian Navy ships serving with the Caspian Flotilla, launched cruise missiles at targets in Syria. The missiles flew nearly 1.500 kilometres 930 mi over Iran and Iraq and struck targets in Raqqa and Aleppo provinces controlled by the Islamic State as well as Idlib province controlled by the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front. Peshmerga forces Kurdish armed forces located in northern Iraq published a video allegedly depicting two cruise missiles mid-flight en route to Syria.