The Hetman Ivan Mazepa Corvette Embarks on Trials; Will the Neptune Missile Be Aboard?

Launching of the Ukrainian corvette Hetman Ivan Mazepa, October 2, 2022 / Photo credit: Ukrainian Navy Press Service
Launching of the Ukrainian corvette Hetman Ivan Mazepa, October 2, 2022 / Photo credit: Ukrainian Navy Press Service

Separately, an important question is how survivable such vessels are in modern naval warfare conditions

On May 29, the first Ada-class corvette for the Turkish Navy, named after Hetman Ivan Mazepa, began sea trials. Corresponding reports and photographs have already appeared on social media.

From the time this ship was launched in October 2022 to its first sea trials, a year and a half has passed, and this is an important step in the promising strengthening of Ukraine's Defense Forces.

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But this also raises the following questions: what armament does the Hetman Ivan Mazepa corvette have, and is there a place for such ships in modern naval warfare, where maritime drones are gradually gaining the upper hand?

The above photographs allow us to assess that the Hetman Ivan Mazepa corvette is already equipped with at least artillery armament. A 76mm Leonardo Super Rapid naval gun and a 35mm Aselsan Gokdeniz anti-aircraft artillery system have been installed. There is currently no clarity regarding other weapon systems on this ship.

In August 2023, there were already some hints in the public domain about the possible armament on the Hetman Ivan Mazepa corvette, as stated in a video interview with the Commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Oleksiy Neizhpapa.

For example, he mentioned 2x4 launchers for Harpoon or Neptune anti-ship missiles, 21 vertical launch systems for RIM-116 surface-to-air missiles, and 76-mm and 35-mm artillery installations. And also about the possible use of Aselsan STAMP remotely controlled weapon stations and MU 90 lightweight torpedoes.

At the same time, there are grounds to expect that a similar set of armament will be present on the second ship of this project for the Ukrainian Navy, which has been named Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi.

Regarding the second question, namely the role of large ships and maritime drones in modern warfare using the example of the Hetman Ivan Mazepa corvette, we have the following picture. It is evident that Ukrainian military and political leadership operates under the motive that even after the end of the war against the russian federation, Ukraine will need to maintain a powerful fleet in the Black Sea. Therefore, Ukrainian Navy will require both unmanned kamikaze boats and traditional surface vessels.

When it comes to the statistics of russian ship strikes in the Black Sea by Ukrainian maritime drones, the prevailing view is that the russians' failures were due more to security organization shortcomings than to the dimensions or other structural deficiencies of enemy vessels.

Accordingly, all of this points to the fact that corvette-class ships are necessary in all respects for the development of the national fleet.

Hetman Ivan Mazepa corvette, Defense Express
Hetman Ivan Mazepa corvette / Photo credit: Enes Balci
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