Let Rossiyskomy Flotu, the third 4,200-ton Russian Neustrashimyy-class frigate, had her name changed from Tuman in 1994 so that her 1996 launch could honor the 300th anniversary of the founding of Peter the Great’s Azov Fleet. The ship’s keel was laid in 1990, and work has been progressing slowly at Yantar Shipyard 820, Kaliningrad, as this September 1995 view reveals. The still incomplete second ship of the class was launched in May 1991 as Nepristupnyy (“Unassailable”) but was renamed Yaroslav Mudryy in July 1994 as part of a policy that will see major surface combatants named for famous figures in Russian history; Yaroslav the Wise (1019-1054) consolidated Russia and gave it its first codified legal system. According to Russian leaders, no new major warships have been started in five years.
The 3,180-ton Republic of China Navy oceanographic research ship Ta Kuan was launched in December 1994 at La Spezia, Italy, at Fincantieri’s Muggiano shipyard as a near-duplicate of the joint NATO- owned, 1988-vintage Alliance. She is shown at her 26 September commissioning at Tsoying. Ordered in June 1993 for the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ta Kuan is operated hy naval personnel in support of the undersea sound range on the east coast of Taiwan, primarily for antisubmarine-related research. Electric drive and a superstructure-mounted 1,605-kilowatt gas turbine generator set provide very silent operations. The ship has a range of 12,000 miles at 15.5 knots and is insulated for work in arctic climates. She has a crew of 36 and can support up to 20 scientists.
The Grom, the last of three East German Sassnitz-class patrol craft purchased incomplete in October 1990 just prior to German unification, was commissioned in the Polish Navy on 28 April 1995. The 361-ton Grom is probably the last warship to be delivered to the financially strapped Polish Navy this century, although the navy’s leadership hopes eventually to build a class of four 1,000-ton corvettes modeled on the existing Kaszub but equipped with NATO weapons and electronics. The Sassnitz class originally was to have carried eight Russian Kh-35 Uran (NATO SS-N-25) antiship missiles; efforts to acquire a Western alternative have proved fruitless, and the armament is limited to a 76.2-mm gun forward, a 30-mm gatling gun aft, and an MTU-40 Fasta-2 quadruple launcher for Strela heat-seeking surface-to-air missiles amidships.