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Riga-class frigate
Finnish Minelayer Hameenmaa (ex-Riga-Class) in 1982.jpg
A Finnish Riga class frigate
Class overview
Name: Riga
Completed: 68
General characteristics
Type: frigate
Displacement: 1,160 tons (standard)
1,416 tons (full load)
Length: 91 m
Beam: 10.2 m
Draught: 3.16 m
Propulsion: 2× shaft steam turbines, 2× boilers; 21,000 hp
Speed: 28 knots
Range: 1,950 nm at 14 knots
Complement: 175
Armament: 3× 100 mm guns/56 (B-34) (3×1)
4× 37 mm guns (2×2)
4× 25 mm guns (2×2)
MBU 600 anti-submarine rocket launchers (replaced by two RBU 2500)
2 or 3× 533 mm torpedo tubes (1×2 or 1×3)

The Riga class was the NATO reporting name for class of frigates built for the Soviet Navy in the 1950s. The Soviet designation for these ships was Storozhevoi Korabl (escort ship) Project 50 Gornostay (Ermine stoat). The Riga class was analogous to World War II era destroyer escorts.


These ships were a smaller and simpler version of the Kola class frigate. According to Conway's, this simpler group of ships were ordered by Joseph Stalin who was concerned about the cost of large ships. The class introduced high pressure steam turbines and new radars into Soviet service. The bridge gun turrets and magazines were covered in 8mm-thick armour. The main armament comprised three single dual-purpose 100mm guns with remote power control and a single Yakor type fire control director. The machinery comprised two TV-9 steam turbines with two boilers and had initial problems with reliability.

There was a modernisation programme designated Project 50 A in the late 1950s early 1960s. This included fitting anti-submarine rocket launchers (RBU-2500) new radar and adding permanent ballast for improved stability.


A total of 68 ships were built by Nikolayev yards (20 ships), Komsomolsk na Amure (7 ships) and Kaliningrad (the lead yard 41 ships). Most ships were decommissioned by 1980, however some were sold to China. The programme was cut short by Nikita Khrushchev in 1956 as the ships were becoming obsolete and the last ship was completed in 1958.


Bulgarian Navy : 3 ships (Druzki, Gordi and Verni) operated 1958-1990, decommissioned 1990 (Source Conway's)
 People's Republic of China
Five ships were built in kits for the People's Liberation Army Navy to be licence assembled in China as the Jinan class (Type 053) frigate. The Chinese later built their own versions with a different gun arrangements as Jiangnan class (Type 065) frigate
Finnish Navy : 2 ships (Uusimaa and Hämeenmaa) acquired 1964, decommissioned 1979 and 1985 (source Conway's)
 East Germany
East German Navy : 4 ships (Ernst Thälmann, Karl Marx, Karl Liebknecht, Friedrich Engels)
Indonesian Navy: 7 ships transferred 1962-64, decommissioned 1971-86 (Source Conway's)
 Soviet Union
Soviet Navy: 67 ships built.
  • Kaliningrad built ships:

"Leopard", "Bars", "Rosomacha", "Sobol", "Barsuk", "Kuguar", "Jenot", "Filin", "Luń", "Kobchik", "Tur", "Loś", "Olień", SKR-76, SKR-69, SKR-70, SKR-71, SKR-72, SKR-73, SKR-74, SKR-54, SKR-75, SKR-77, SKR-80, SKR-81, SKR-10, SKR-4, SKR-5, SKR-8, SKR-14, SKR-15, SKR-59, SKR-60, SKR-61, SKR-62, SKR-64, SKR-55, SKR-65, SKR-68, SKR-56, SKR-50

  • Nikolayev built ships:

"Gornostay", "Pantera", "Ryś", "Yaguar", "Sarych", "Puma", "Volk", "Kunitsa", "Korsak", "Norka", "Voron", "Grizon", SKR-51, "Tuman", SKR-53, SKR-57, SKR-58, SKR-63, SKR-66, SKR-67

  • Komsomlsk built ships:

"Zubr", "Bizon", "Aist", "Laska", "Pelikan", "Pingvin", "Gepard"


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