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The Koni class is the NATO reporting name for an anti-submarine warfare frigate built by the Soviet Union. They were known in the Soviet Union as Project 1159. 14 were built in Zelenodolsk shipyard between 1975 and 1988. They were originally intended to replace the older Riga-class frigates, but were instead chosen as a design for export to various friendly navies. The Koni I sub class were designed for European waters and the Koni II were made for warmer waters. One ship was retained by the Soviets in the Black Sea for training foreign crews. Only a few of these vessels remain in service today.
|Name:||Koni class (project 1159)|
|Preceded by:||Mirka class|
|Succeeded by:||Gepard class|
|Draft:||5 m |
|Sensors and |
|Radar barret-2, Slim Net, Strut curve, pop group, Hawk Screech, Drum Tilt, Sonar - Herkules hull mounted & dipping sonar|
The Romanian Tetal class frigates were similar.
The armament consisted of two twin 76 mm AK726 gun mountings and two twin 30mm AA guns, 4 SSN-2 anti ship missile launchers were fitted in some ships, depth charge and mine racks were fitted at the stern. The Libyan vessels had a redesigned layout with the SS-N-2 missiles forward of the bridge. The ships had contemporary Soviet radar and sonar.
The ships had 3 shaft CODAG machinery suite, identical to that used in the Grisha class frigates (project 1124). The middle shaft had an 18000 hp gas turbine while the outer two shafts had diesel engines with 9000 hp in total for economical cruising,
Ships in classEdit
|Project 1159 - Koni I|
|Delfin||21 April 1973||19 July 1975||31 December 1975||to Bulgarian Navy as Smeli in service 2014|
|Nerpa||22 October 1974||4 June 1977||31 December 1977||to East Germany as Rostock , scrapped after 1990|
|Krechet||19 January 1977||3 July 1978||31 December 1978||to East Germany as Berlin - Hauptstadt der DDR, scrapped after 1990|
|Sokol||January 1978||21 April 1979||30 November 1979||to Yugoslavia as Split, later to Serbia & Montenegro, scrapped 2013|
|SKR-481||25 December 1979||24 December 1981||30 September 1982||to Yugoslavia as Koper, scrapped 1998|
|SKR-149||8 April 1983||30 June 1984||25 June 1985||to East Germany as Halle, scrapped after 1990|
|Project 1159T - Koni II|
|SKR-482||10 June 1978||12 January 1980||30 September 1980||to Algeria as Mourad Rais|
|SKR-28||17 July 1979||21 June 1980||30 December 1980||to Cuba as Mariel|
|SKR-35||11 June 1980||30 April 1981||30 November 1981||to Algeria as Rais Kellik, in service|
|SKR-471||24 April 1981||31 July 1982||17 August 1983||to Cuba as 356|
|SKR-129||7 July 1982||11 November 1983||30 August 1984||to Algeria as Rais Korfu, in service|
|SKR-451||6 May 1986||3 May 1987||25 December 1987||to Cuba as Monkada|
|Project 1159TR - Koni II|
|SKR-201||22 September 1982||27 April 1985||30 December 1985||to Libya as Al Hani , in service|
|SKR-195||18 April 1985||27 April 1986||25 December 1986||to Libya as Al Ghardabia, sunk 2011 during the Libyan civil war|
M/V Captain Keith TibbettsEdit
In September 1996 a former Cuban Navy Koni II-class frigate designated 356 was scuttled in shallow water in Cayman Brac. This ship was built in 1984 as one of three Koni II-class frigates sold to Cuba to support its Cold War fleet. In 1996 the ship was purchased from Cuba by the Cayman Islands government to be scuttled in Cayman Brac as a dive attraction. The remaining two Cuban Koni II class were expended as targets. Frigate 356 was sunk upright, and initially her deck rested 90 ft (27 m) below the surface. A serious storm in 2004 broke the ship in two, and her bow now lists at a 45 degree angle, while her midships have become a debris field. Before being sunk the ship was renamed Captain Keith Tibbetts after a local politician and diver. It is one of only a few sunken Soviet Naval vessels in the Western Hemisphere, and the only one of two that is easily dived including her sister ship SKR-451.
Patrol Boat 383, P.B.Edit
On July 16, 1998 the former Cuban Navy Koni II-class frigate designated 353 was scuttled in shallow water near the Cuban resort town of Varadero in the Parque Submarino Cayo Piedra del Norte as an attraction for divers. It is rumored that Fidel Castro promoted the project, being an avid diver himself. The frigate sank upright, and sits on the sand bottom in 90 ft (27 m) of water. For an unknown reason her hull number was changed from 353 to 383 prior to the scuttling. The dive operators in the varadero area refer to the dive site as Patrol boat 383 or simply P.B even though it is a frigate.
- Soviet Union - 1 (to Bulgaria in 1990), Delfin was originally used for training foreign crews in the Black Sea, before being sold to the Bulgarian Navy, currently in service as Smeli (Bulgarian: Смели" ("Brave")).
- Algeria - 3, in service, being upgraded with new electronics, ASW torpedo tubes and 8 x Kh-35 Uran/SS-N-25 Switchblade anti-ship missiles
- Cuba - 3, 356 (No name) ex SKR-471 sunk as a reef , 353 (later 383) (Monkada or Moncada) ex SKR-451 sunk as a reef  and 350 (Mariel) ex SKR 28 status unknown.
- East Germany / Germany - 3, two scrapped in 1990 and one scrapped in 1995. (Rostock, Berlin - Hauptstadt der DDR, Halle)
- Libya - 1 (formerly 2), 4 x 406mm torpedo tubes, status unknown, damaged by bombing May 19/20 and on August 9, 2011. (Al Ghardabia). The remaining ship, Al Hani captured by NTC in Benghazi, and has become the flagship of the reorganized Libyan Navy.
- Yugoslavia - acquired two ships, Split (VPBR-31) and Koper (VPBR-32), during the 1980s.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Del'fin class frigate.|
- "Koni class - Project 1159". FAS.org. 2000-09-07.
- Couhat Jean. Combat Fleets of the world 1982/1983 Their Ships, Aircraft, and Armament Paris: Editions Maritimes et d'Outre-Mer, 1981 ISBN 0-87021-125-0 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 78-50192 Pg.2
- "Koni Class - Project 1159". globalsecurity.org. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2014.