The Russian Baltic Fleet Sovremennnyy- class guided missile destroyer Bespokoynyy ("Restless"), arriving for the Kiel Week naval review in Germany on 20 June. The 8,480-ton (full-load displacement) Bespokoynyy, the first of three Project 956A variants of the basic Sovremennnyy design, was commissioned on 29 December 1993, and like her two later sisters, has lengthened launch tubes for the 3M82 variant of the supersonic Moskit antiship missile system and is equipped with an improved version of the Uragan (SA-N-7) surface-to-air missile system. Two more Project 956As, one launched in 1993 as the Vazhniy and the second laid down as the Vdumchivyy but renamed Aleksalldr Nevskiy in 1995, have been the subject of negotiations between Russia and China, but the Russian government is reported to have failed to advance funds to the builder in St. Petersburg to complete the pair, and the Chinese have been demanding the inclusion of two Ka-27PL antisubmarine helicopters not covered under the original agreement. Of 17 Sovremennnyys completed for the Soviet and Russian Navies since 1981, at least five no longer are operational. Indeed, surface warship construction for the Russian Navy has virtually ceased, and no new starts are foreseen by Russian authorities until the middle of the next decade.
China slowly continues to build additional units of the 478-ton Houxin class guided missile patrol craft, with 14 completed since 1991. More than twice the displacement of the aging Osa-derivative Huangfeng-class guided missile patrol craft they were intended to replace, the Houxins carry the same missile armament: four C-801 antiship cruise missiles, which in the Houxins are mounted in paired box launchers at the extreme stem. Hull number 756, seen in this May 1997 view, has empty missile racks but does display the standard defensive armament of two twin automatic 37-mm and two twin manned 14.5-mm antiaircraft gunmounts. The 37-mm guns have an associated fire control radar atop the bridge, and targets for the missiles are detected and tracked by a Chinese copy of the old Russian Square Tie radar at the masthead. Houxins employ a hull form originally deployed in the 1964-vintage Hainan-class subchasers. Four of a slightly improved version, nicknamed the Houjian class, also have been built since 1991; these have six C-801 missiles at the expense of the after twin 37-mm mount and substitute automatic twin 30-mm mounts for the 14.5-mm machine guns.
The Skarv is one of 14 1970s-vintage Norwegian Hauk-c1ass patrol craft that are to be updated between 1998 and 2003 with a variant of the French SENIT-8 computerized combat control system under a 26 June 1997 contract with France's DCN and Norway's Kongsberg and Simrad that will see a similar system installed in the prototype Skjold- classsurface-effect guided missile craft. The Hauks already have been updated with a twin, manned Simbad launcher aft for French Mistral heat-seeking missiles. Seen here this May, the Skarv is typical of the Hauk class in no longer carrying Penguin antiship missiles aft; these also have been removed from the Storms, which have a single 76.2-mm low angle gun forward where the Hauks mount their two torpedo tubes and single 40-mm antiaircraft gun. The 260-ton Skjold, to be launched next year, will be followed by an order for seven sisters in 1999, if all goes well during 15 months of trials.