Admiral Chabanenko (DD-650) and Admiral Essen (751) are two of Russia’s most powerful warships to sail across the ocean under the modern Russian Navy in the twenty-first century.

At first glance, the obvious difference between the 1999 destroyer and the 2016 frigate warship is that the former is heavier, capable of carrying more armaments, and slightly faster than the latter.

The DD-650 vessel has an overall length of 153.1 m, a beam of 18.9 m, and a draught of 26 m, compared to the 751 warship’s dimensions of 124.7 m x 15.2 m x 14 m, respectively. Not to mention the displacement difference of around 2,580 tons, with the Admiral Chabanenko destroyer as the heaviest.

The Russian destroyer has the advantage in terms of engine power, with a combined gas and gas propulsion system feeding two shafts and four gas turbines for a total of 120,000 horsepower. Thus, the maximum speed in ideal conditions could reach up to 35 knots with a service range of over 10,500 nautical miles.

Meanwhile, the Admiral Essen warship has two shafts, a combined 2 DT-59 gas turbines, and 2 DS-71 gas turbines that can generate 22,000 hp and 8,450 hp, respectively. As a result, the frigate has a maximum speed of 30 knots with a service range of around 4,800 nautical miles. Moreover, the DD-650 can carry of a crew of up to 300, while the Admiral Essen frigate has a standard operating crew of about 200.

The sole Udaloy II-class survivor, Admiral Chabanenko (DD-650)

In the 1970s, the Soviet navy was tasked with developing a modernized solution to provide multi-role combatants with large displacement that would cut down on their spending. The initiative has also been derived from matching the American Navy’s guided missile destroyers—the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51)-class multi-mission.

Soviet engineers worked on its existing Udaloy-class fighting ship in 1982, and before the 1990s even began, the “Udaloy II-class” came into development as an improvement. Its main features include an emphasis on anti-submarine warfare added to it role as an anti-ship and anti-aircraft guided missile destroyer. Further innovations have also improved the new vessel’s local defense capabilities and fire control system (FCS).

This eventually became Admiral Chabanenko (DD-650), named after the Soviet commander of the Northern Fleet, Admiral Andrei Trofimovich Chabanenko (1909-1986), who passed away nearly three years before the keel of the vessel was laid out in February 1989. She was formally commissioned into the Russian Navy on January 28, 1999.