The six Project 11356M Admiral Grigorovich class frigates are to be equipped with the vertically launched Shtil Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) air defense system. This makes them the first ships to be equipped with this system.
The Shtil VLS SAM was first displayed several years ago but until now had never been fitted on any ship, whether within the Russian Navy or any other export country such as India.
Unlike the previous version which was fired from a single-arm launcher, the new version uses a Vertical Launch System (VLS) in a 2x6 cell configuration that is different from most other VLS systems used in other countries .
The Admiral Grigorovich class frigates are an improved derivative of the Project 11356 Talwar class, which was in turn based on the Krivak class. Two batches of three ships of the Talwar class have been exported to India between 2003 and 2013.
All six of those ships to India were equipped with the older Shtil
missiles launched from a single-arm launcher. This same system is also
used on all three Shivalik class frigates that India will eventually
Besides the Shil VLS SAM, the Project 11356M Admiral Grigorovich class frigates will be fitted with eight 3M-54 Kalibr family of missiles which can engage targets on land, under water and on the surface.
The first batch of three Talwar class were fitted with the Klub missile complex, the export version of the Kalibr and the second batch with the Brahmos, a variant of the Yakhont anti-ship missile which is an export version of the 3M-55 Onyx (Oniks).
The first Project 11356M frigate is scheduled to be commissioned in 2014 and the last in 2016. All six will serve in the Russian Black Sea Fleet, while the Northern Fleet will be equipped with the newly designed Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov class frigate.
Compared to the more advanced Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov class, the more conventional Project 11356M Admiral Grigorovich class is a transitional class based on a proven design that is cheaper and can be quickly inducted to make up for depleting numbers in the Russian Navy.