Surface Forces: Russian Raptors Reordered


June 20, 2016: In May 2016 Russia ordered another eight Raptor (Project 03160) patrol boats. This makes 16 ordered since the prototype was completed and tested successfully in 2013. Raptor is a 23 ton, 17 meter (54 foot) long fast (up to 50 kilometers an hour) patrol boat that is manned by a crew of four (or just two in an emergency) and can carry up to twenty passengers. These passengers could be a boarding party or people rescued at sea. Raptor is armed with a remotely controlled 14.5mm machine-gun with a range of 2,000 meters and an optical fire control system with a max range of 3,000 meters. There are fittings for two more manually operated 7.62mm machine-gun (max range 1,500 meters). Raptors can be quickly fitted with bullet proof ballistic panels to supplement the bullet-proof glass already installed in the bridge and the passenger cabin. Navigation systems (including radar and satellite positioning) allow for day and night operation. With internal fuel a Raptor can stay at sea for up to 24 hours and operate up to 200 kilometers from base.

Most of the 17 Raptors on order or delivered are being sent to the Black Sea, to replace the many Cold War era patrol boats there. Most of these date back 30-40 years and are inoperable. At the end of the Cold War Russia had over 400 coastal patrol boats, most of them armed with anti-ship missiles or torpedoes. Nearly all of these are gone and being replaced by pure patrol boats that can also do search and rescue. Russia seeks to find export customers for these new designs as well.


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