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Archive photo: Caesar Kunikov (Project 775) large landing ship during military drills in 2021 / Photo source RIA Novosti

How Many russian Landing Craft Left in Black Sea After Caesar Kunikov has Sank

Archive photo: Caesar Kunikov (Project 775) large landing ship during military drills in 2021 / Photo source RIA Novosti
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Effective strikes of the Ukrainian Defense Forces have left the Black Sea Fleet of the russian Navy with only 50% of all Project 775 landing ships, but this vessel class is not the only one falling under that category, so there are more warships left

The Caesar Kunikov landing ship of the russian Black Sea Fleet sank today, on February 14th, and thus became the fourth warship in the "large landing ship" class to be destroyed by the Ukrainian Defense Forces.

Specifically, it belonged to Project 775 (known as Ropucha-class in NATO directories) series of landing watercraft, and with its demise there are only two out of four ships of this family remaining from the original contingent of the Black Sea Fleet. The other missing piece is the Novocherkassk large landing ship, destroyed by a missile strike on December 26th, 2023, in occupied Feodosia, Crimea.

Read more: ​Ukrainian Forces Sink russian Caesar Kunikov Landing Ship (Video)
Novocherkassk landing ship: before and after
Novocherkassk landing ship: before and after / Open source photos

Moreover, previously, coordinated efforts of different branches of the Ukrainian military — mostly Defense Intelligence, Special Operations Forces, and the Ukrainian Navy — brought other significant victories as well: Olenegorsky Gornyak was damaged in August 2023 after a naval drone strike near Novorossiysk, and Minsk was destroyed by Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missiles in occupied Sevastopol in September 2023, both vessels belonging to the same Project 775 class, temporarily redeployed into the Black Sea to threaten an amphibious assault on Ukraine.

Minsk landing ship: before and after
Minsk landing ship: before and after

Yet, the Black Sea Fleet of the russian Navy has two more large amphibious ships of Project 1171 Tapir, specifically, Orsk and Nikolay Filchenkov, although as of 2021 there were three, and the decrease in their population is connected with the successful strike on the occupied Berdyansk in of March 2022 and the destruction of VDK "Saratov".

Saratov landing ship: before and after
Saratov landing ship: before and after

In addition, shortly before the full-scale invasion, the Russian Federation brought additional landing ships from the Baltic and Northern Fleets into the Black Sea. From the Baltic Sea, there are three of Project 755, namely Korolyov, Minsk, and Kaliningrad; and from the North Sea: Olenegorsky Gornyak, Georgii Pobedonosets (both Project 755), and Pyotr Morgunov (Project 11711).

Thus, the current total fleet of landing ships on duty in the Black Sea consists of nine more ships:

Class Name(s) Fleet of russian Navy
Project 11711 Pyotr Morgunov Northern Fleet
Project 1171 Tapir Nikolay Filchenkov Black Sea Fleet
Project 1171 Tapir Orsk Black Sea Fleet
Project 775 Yamal Black Sea Fleet
Project 775 Azov Black Sea Fleet
Project 775 Korolyov Baltic Fleet
Project 775 Kaliningrad Baltic Fleet
Project 775 Georgii Pobedonosets Northern Fleet
Project 775 Olenegorsky Gornyak Northern Fleet

But not all of them are currently in combat-capable condition. In particular, as of December 20, 2023, two Project 775 landing ships were waiting for repair in occupied Sevastopol.

Note that even though russia is technically capable of replenishing the losses by producing new ships, each loss of such a ship takes a heavy toll on the Kremlin's budget. Because any Project 775 lost cannot be replaced with a new vessel of the same class, the only alternative is to build a Project 11711: $160 million per unit as of 2012 price tag, now amounting to $214 million adjusted for inflation.

Minsk landing ship
Minsk landing ship (Project 775): only "before," for now

That was the cost of an old generation of this project called Ivan Gren. Since then, russia has updated Project 11711 to the current Vladimir Andreev class. Two vessels of the modern iteration have been under construction since 2019 and are expected to enter service in 2025 and 2026.

They are larger: 8,000 tons vs. 6,600 tons of displacement. Therefore, despite the relevant cost is unknown, we can safely assume their cost is much higher compared to the older version, the difference could amount to more than 21% due to a proportional increase in the cost of all its components and mechanisms.

Read more: ​Piece by Piece, russians Bring Up Sunken Ship Destroyed by Ukrainian Cruise Missiles