Tarantul-class corvette

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ORP Metalowiec in Gdynia.JPG
ORP Metalowiec, a Polish Navy Tarantul-I missile corvette in Gdynia
Class overview
General characteristics
Type: Missile corvette
Displacement: 480 long tons (488 t) standard, 540 long tons (549 t) full load
Length: 56.0 m (183.7 ft)
Beam: 10.5 m (34.4 ft)
Draught: 2.5 m (8.2 ft)
Propulsion: 2 shaft COGAG turbines at 11000 hp each, plus 2 cruising engines at 4000 hp each (there were diesel and turbine versions of the cruising engines),
Speed: 42 knots (78 km/h)
Range: 1650 at 14 knots (26 km/h), operational autonomy for 10 days
Complement: 50
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radar: Spin trough, Bass Tilt, Peel pair,Pop group

The Project 1241 are a class of Soviet missile corvettes. They have the NATO reporting name Tarantul (not to be confused with the Stenka-class patrol boat, whose official Soviet name is also "Tarantul"). These ships were designed to replace the Project 205 Tsunami (NATO: "Osa") missile boats.


In the late 1970s, the Soviets realised the need for a larger, more seaworthy craft with better gun armament and higher positioned air search radars. The need for these improvements was underscored by the First Gulf War, when 12 Iraqi 'Osa-I's' were destroyed or damaged by short ranged Sea Skua anti-ship missiles. They were attacked by British Lynx helicopters, but the Osa crews didn't notice them because they flew below their radar horizon. In the Tarantul, both the single 76 mm main gun and the two 30 mm Gatling-type guns are used for air defence, together with a comprehensive electronic warfare suite. The boats are built by the Petrovsky yard (Leningrad), Rybinsk and Ulis yard (Vladivostok). A version of these ships for coastal anti submarine warfare and patrol was developed as the Pauk class corvette or Project 1241.2. The Indian navy paid approximately $30 million each to license-produce Tarantul-I in the early nineties. With over 30 sales on the export market the Tarantul has been a relative success for the Russian shipbuilding industry.


Project 1241.1 (NATO: Tarantul-II)

The naming convention for NATO reporting name Tarantul was a special case here. NATO called the first version of the class as Tarantul-II, given that they had a better sensor suite/equipment than the ships of the following class Tarantul-I, which was produced exclusively for export.

First version, based on the Pauk-class hull, though with a significantly increased weight. Equipped with four SS-N-2 'Styx' ship-to-ship missiles (either the 40 km range P-15 'Termit' missile or the later P-20 variant with 80 km range) and the associated 'Plank Shave' radar targeting system (45 km range in active mode of surveillance, 75–100 km range in passive mode, with an added air surveillance capability). 1 × AK–176 76.2 mm main gun and 2 × AK-630 30 mm six-barreled Gatling guns, the latter CIWS system supported by the 'Bass Tilt' targeting radar. Furthermore, there is a Fasta-N SA-N-5 quadruple MANPAD launcher and two PK-16 decoy launchers.

Propulsion is a COGOG system (COmbined Gas Or Gas) consisting of two M70 at 12,000 hp (8826 kW) high power gas turbines with a combined 24200 horsepower output for full power and two cruise gas turbines type M75 with a combined output of 5,000 hp (2942 kW). Top speed is 38 knots.

Between 1979 and 1984, 13 ships of the type were built. Another ship R-55 was rebuilt after its completion as a test vessel for the "Kortik" short-range defense system for Project 1241.7.

Project 1241.RE (NATO: Tarantul-I)

To clarify, by NATO's definition, Project 1241.RE (NATO: Tarantul-I) was an export version of Project 1241.1 (Nato: Tarantul-II).

This class of ships could be distinguished by the lack of fire control radar on the roof of the bridge. Instead, the fire control radar, X-band "Garpun-Bal" (NATO: "Plank Shave"), built for the anti-ship missiles, was installed on the top of the mast. Other equipment included a small navigation radar type "Kivach-2" on the bridge roof (or MR-312 "Pechera-1" on the ships of Poland), and the gun-fire control radar MR-123 Vympel (NATO: "Bass Tilt") at the foot of the mast. Two PK-16 decoy launchers were also installed. The model of the missiles in the KT-138 launch containers were P-20 (NATO: SS-N-2B), basically they were P-15 updated with the new guidance system but with the original 40 km range.

Between 1977 and 1979, 22 ships of this class were produced exclusively for export. Only one of these ships, R-26, was retained by the Soviet Navy for training purposes. India bought five of these ships as Veer class corvettes, and would later produce eight ships of the same class domestically. Vietnam also bought six Project 1241.RE ships from various sources over the years.

Project 12411 (1241.1M/1241.1MR) (NATO: Tarantul-III/Tarantul-III Mod)

Retaining the main armament and basic hull form of the 1241.RE (NATO: Tarantul-I) class, 1241.1M (Nato: Tarantul-III) received important upgrades. Apart from a modest but useful internal redesign, the Tarantul-III had a new type of propulsion—a CODAG (COmbined Diesel And Gas) system. Two M-70 gas turbines (rated at 12000 hp each) and two M510 (rated at 4000 hp each) diesel engines were used, being a big improvement over the earlier COGOG system both in terms of serviceability (the two cruise diesels being almost something of a Soviet 'classic'), fuel efficiency and, most importantly, service life expectancy compared to the older NK-12M's. The maximum speed reached 42 knots (78 km/h).

The superstructures were redesigned and the angled mast of the previous projects has been replaced by a narrow, straight lattice. The sensor position remained almost the same as the Project 1241.1. The "Pechera" navigation radar was off the roof of the bridge, with the MR-123 "Vympel" fire control radar installed. Two jamming system (NATO: "Wine Glass") were installed on both sides at the foot of the mast. The reason for this was the installation of four SS-N-22 'Sunburn' supersonic ship-to-ship missiles with a range of at least 100 km. The associated radar system is the L-band 'Band Stand' radar, with a 120 km active and 500 km passive range and the capability to track 15 different targets. The missiles can also receive third party guidance through the 'Light Bulb' uplink (from other ships, helicopters or long range patrol aircraft). Cannon armament is retained, as were the PK-16 launchers, although Soviet Navy ships benefited from the improved SA-N-8 quadruple MANPAD launcher. At least one ship had an SA-N-11 Kashtan gun+missile CIWS installed instead of the AK-630's.

The Tarantul-III, built from 1987 on, received an improved ECM (Electronic countermeasures) suite, consisting of 2 'Half Hat' and 2 'Foot Ball' jamming systems, coupled to 4 improved PK-10 decoy launchers. At least 24 of these ships were built for the Soviet Navy before production ended in 1992.

Between 1985 and 2001, 34 ships of this class were built. After the construction of first batch of 11 ships, the anti-ship missiles were changed from the P-80 "Moskit" to the more modern model P-270 "Moskit-M", therefore the following 23 boats had a new ID: Project 1241.1MR.

The Guided Missile Corvette 'R-60' was further modernized in 2005, having the 2 AK-630M CIWS removed, and replaced with "Palash" CIWS.

Project 1242.1/1241.8 'Molniya'

Project 1242.1 and project 1241.8 Molniya ("Lightning") are further developments of the Tarantul family of ships. The two projects has been modified and rearmed with modern missile systems like the Uran-E and are more capable ships than the Tarantul types. The ships are built by the Russian Vympel Shipyard.[1] Russia received at least one boat for trials in the 1990s and in 1999 Vietnam ordered two vessels. Vietnam is currently the main user of the Molniya class, with two Russian made ships and 4 locally built ships. Vietnam started its own production line of 1241.8 Molniya ships with the assistance of Almaz Central Design Bureau in Russia. The first two locally built ships were delivered on July 2014.[2] The Vietnamese ships are armed with 1 AK-176 76mm gun, 16 Uran-E anti ship missiles, 4 Igla-M air defence missiles and 2 AK-630 close in weapon systems. The Vietnamese ships are also larger at 56.9m in length and a maximum displacement of 563 tons. They have a range of 1,700 nautical miles (3,100 km; 2,000 mi) with 44 crew members on board. The Indian Navy ordered 4 further modified 1241.8 tarantuls, this order was later reduced to 2. These last two ships of the Veer-class are armed with 16 SS-N-25 'Switchblade' / URAN E Missiles, 1 OTO Melara 76 mm instead of the AK-176, and MR 352 Positiv-E (NATO: Cross Dome) Radar.[3][4] In 2009 Libya ordered 3 ships however, there has been no news since and the reliability of the news source is questionable.[5]


File:ORP Rolnik.jpg
ORP Rolnik, a Polish Navy missile Tarantul-class corvette
INS Nirghat
RFS Morshansk

Soviet Navy

98 ships built.

Russian Navy

Currently (2005) - 23 in service

Bulgarian Navy

One ship in service: 101 "Мълния" ("Lightning")

East German Navy

Five ships built - all retired, including Hiddensee, which is currently a museum ship in Fall River, USA

Indian Navy

The Indian variants are known as the Veer class corvettes. At least 12 are currently in active service.

Polish Navy

Four built

Romanian Navy

Three ships, all in service, homeport Mangalia

  • F-188 Zborul commissioned 1990
  • F-189 Pescăruşul commissioned 1991
  • F-190 Lăstunul commissioned 1991

United States Navy

The Hiddensee was briefly in service with US Navy, after it was transferred from the German Navy.[6] The ship has been retired and has since become a museum ship in Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Ukrainian Navy

Two ships, both in service; captured by Russia, Mar 2014[citation needed]

  • U155 Prydniprovia
  • U156 Kremenchuk

Vietnam Navy

12 ships in service; 2 under construction.

Yemen Navy

One ship in service. Another 1 ship unknown status.

Egyptian Navy

One ship in service. In 2014, Egypt showed interest in the acquisition of the P-32 (Project 12421 Molniya) missile boat but the contract was signed in 2015. In July 2015, the missile boat headed to the Mediterranean Sea and arrived at the port of Alexandria at the end of the month. The P-32 was handed over to the Egyptian navy on 10 August after participating in the inauguration of the New Suez Canal.[7]

See also


  1. "Molniya Class - Project 1242.1 / 1241.8". Fas.org. Retrieved 28 December 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. http://vpk-news.ru/news/27262
  3. "Veer (Tarantul I) Class". Bharat Rakshak.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "K91 INS Pralaya". Bharat Rakshak.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Libya Buys 3 Missile Boats From Russia". Defense News. Retrieved 28 December 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. HNSA Web Page: Hiddensee
  7. "ГВАРДЕЙСКИЙ РАКЕТНЫЙ КАТЕР "Р-32" ПЕРЕДАН ЕГИПТУ". balabin-1712.livejournal.com (in Russian). 13 August 2015.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995

External links