TechRussia Suffers Major Setback with Loss of Key Landing Ships in Black Sea

Russia Suffers Major Setback with Loss of Key Landing Ships in Black Sea

The Azov landing ship belonging to the Black Sea Fleet.
The Azov landing ship belonging to the Black Sea Fleet.
Images source: © Getty Images | 2020 Anadolu Agency
11:08 AM EDT, March 24, 2024
Here's the corrected and improved version of the article:

It's highly probable that Russia has permanently lost two of its Project 775 landing ships, also referred to as Ropuchas. We delve into the capabilities of these ships and discuss why their loss represents a significant setback for Russia.

The landing ships Yamal and Azov were targeted by Storm Shadow cruise missiles during the night of March 23 to 24, 2024. It's likely that these ships have been completely destroyed, similar to outcomes of previous attacks. As a result, within the Russian Black Sea Fleet, only three Project 775 vessels will remain in service: Orsk, Korolev, and Nikolai Filchenkov.

Stationed in the Sevastopol port at the time of the attack, these ships play a crucial role in transporting tanks, ammunition, and ballistic missiles from North Korea to Russia. This is primarily due to the limitations of the Crimean bridge's capacity.

Project 775 landing ships (Ropucha) - Yamal and Azov were constructed in Gdańsk

The Project 775 vessels, recognized by their NATO codename Ropuchas, are vital to the Russian amphibious fleet, as highlighted by Virtual Poland journalist Łukasz Michalik.

Notably, the Northern Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland, began constructing these ships in 1974. The recently attacked and presumably sunk vessels, Yamal and Azov, were among the last in the series, built in 1988 and 1990 respectively, from a total of 28 ships produced.

These ships measure 367 feet in length with a displacement of 4,850 short tons and are designed to carry 495-550 short tons of cargo. Their loading capacity includes an assault group of up to ten tanks and 340 marines, who can swiftly disembark via a ramp located at the ship's front after reaching the shore.

With the loss of these ships, Russia's ability to conduct amphibious operations, such as an assault on Odessa, has been severely compromised. These vessels are primarily utilized for transporting weaponry from Russia to Crimea.

Designed with defense in mind, these ships are armed with S-60 caliber 57mm or 76mm cannons, Strieła-2 missile launchers, and BM-21 Grad rocket launchers, which can be used to shell landing zones.

It is important to note that the last three ships produced, including Azov, belong to an enhanced version known as Ropucha II. These models were equipped with AK-630 multibarrel cannons of 30 mm caliber, providing close-range defense against anti-ship missiles up to 3 miles away.