The 10 was some sort of a promise by a defense ministry official to the shipyard workers. The order has not been placed yet.
Project 20836 Mercury-class modular Corvette
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GarryB wrote:Well the thing is that modularity and serial production is one thing, but sometimes conditions make certain features more desirable than others.
What I mean is that right now the Russian Army has decided on four vehicle families... Armata heavy tracked, Kurganets medium tracked, Boomerang medium wheeled, and Typhoon light wheeled and they are going to develop those families and expand them to pretty much replace all their existing vehicle types within reason... ie you wont see Yars on any of them as it is just too big, but they can replace all the MTLB based vehicles and BMP and BMD based vehicles and BTR based vehicles in their forces.
However for the arctic they have shown they prefer DT-10 and other two part articulated vehicles for that region because with the powered articulated joint that transfers power to the rear catapillar tracks it means they can self recover if they fall through the ice into the sea water which single hulled vehicles can't do generally...
That means basing APCs or IFV or even artillery vehicles on the border with Georgia might be Armata or Kurganets or Boomerang or Typhoon... but in the far north it will be DT-30 based platform.
What I am saying is that the Steregoushchy might be the standard Corvette for most places in Russia, but the Mercury might be optimised... perhaps for shallow waters and rivers like the Caspian sea, or perhaps good in colder weather for the far north perhaps...
If they make an order for the Mercury boats for a specific location we might have an idea in that regard... maybe they want them in the Baltics or BlackSea/Med?
The Mercury only makes sense procured in large numbers.
Same as the LCS.
A modular design will have a higher upfront cost, and one of the main criticisms is that if you're going to have modules swapped out depending on the mission, then what will the officers manning the modules that you leave behind be doing while you're out at sea?
This problem will be exasperated if there are only say 4-5 Mercuries in total, and spread out over 2-3 fleets. It will quickly become uneconomical to produce and continuously man the less-often used modules, and expensive to have to redeploy them between different fleets as necessary all the time.
But if there are say 5 Mercuries each in the Northern, Pacific and Baltic fleets; then modules will have a lot less downtime on average, they won't have to travel as often and the concept starts to make more sense.
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This isn't exactly like LCS
LCS is basically offshore patrol vessel in it's stock configuration and is completely dependant on mission modules for any serious functionality
Mercury on the other hand is fully functional anti-sub corvette even in it's stock version so modularity is more of a additional feature and future-proofing than core capability
And I am definitely convinced that ships after first one will be coming in expanded version