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Koni-class frigate
Koni class frigate Rostock of the East German Navy
Class overview
Name: Koni class (project 1159)
Operators:  Soviet Navy
 Algerian National Navy
 Bulgarian Navy
 Cuban Navy
 Egyptian Navy
 Libyan Navy
 Yugoslav Navy
Libya Libyan People's Army
Preceded by: Mirka class frigate
Succeeded by: Gepard class frigate
Built: 1975-1988
Completed: 14
General characteristics
Type: frigate
Displacement: 1,140 tons (standard)
1,900 tons (full load)[1]
Length: 95.0 m
Beam: 12.8 m
Draught: 4.2 m
Draft: 5 m [2]
Propulsion: CODAG 2 diesels + 1 gas turbine,
3 shafts; 35,000 shp total[1]
Speed: 27 knots
Range: 1,800 nm at 14 knots
3,300 km at 26 km/h
Complement: 110[1]
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radar barret-2, Slim Net, Strut curve, pop group, Hawk Screech, Drum Tilt, Sonar - Herkules hull mounted & dipping sonar

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 was retained by the Soviets in the Black Sea for training foreign crews. Only a few of these vessels remain in service today.

The Romanian Tetal class frigates were similar.

M/V Captain Keith Tibbetts[]

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 that is easily dived.

Original operators[]

  • Soviet Union - 1 (to Bulgaria in 1990), The Delfin was originally used for training foreign crews in the Black Sea, before being sold to the Bulgarian Navy, currently in service as the 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 missilles
  • Cuba - 3, 2 derelict or scrapped and 1 sunk as a reef.
  • 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.
  • Libyan People's Army - 1, 4 x 406mm torpedo tubes (Al Hani, captured from Libyan Navy)
  • Yugoslavia - 2 scrapped.

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Koni class - Project 1159". 2000-09-07. 
  2. 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

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