First of all please lets have a dedicated/separate threads for Pr.956 Sovrermenny and Pr.1155/11551 Udaloy-I/II class destroyers.
Carrying forward the issue we saw raised on other naval topics w.r.t to the mess that Russian Navy has found itself in due to the non-availability of a Russian production unit for naval gas turbines.
The result of distributing the production of nuclear and conventional power plants between Russia and Ukraine is for all of us to see with Russian Navy starved of conventional propulsion units. Since N-propulsion represented the cream of the system, Soviet Russia mainly bothered about developing these units and associated systems inside Russia leaving the conventional units mainly to Soviet Ukraine.
From whats been talked about in other naval threads, the first of the Russian gas turbines for the frigates and destroyers will only arrive post 2020 which is way too late for a navy that kept its hope on arresting the capability decline on its 6 x 11356 and 6 x 22350 frigates.
And what if even the projected 2018-2020 target for gas turbines gets delayed? Doesn't Russian navy want any frigates or destroyers?
In this scenario, my humble opinion is to revisit the Pr.956 destroyers with the required modification (which anyway wont be time consuming and can run in parallel to procurement & hull laying) and order atleast 6 units (preferably 12) which can start entering service 5 years from now.
Pr.956 destroyers, thankfully, have been using steam propulsion with KVG-3 boilers and the supply chain mainly resides within Russia. Pr.11435 Kuznetsov also uses KVG-3 boilers and to top it all, a completely new variant (KVG-3D) using diesel as fuel was developed for INS Vikramaditya. Its said the 11435 will be changing over to KVG-3D during its modernization, a logical move, and so does a need for the same when modernizing the 956s. The steam turbines are good and its been working fine and shown its worth for the Indian VKD whose overhauled steam turbines worked flawlessly propelling it after more than a decade of laying idle.
So my personal opinion is to order at least
6 x 956
since the propulsion is the main area which have withheld the Russian navy's frigates, the propulsion unit have been given prominence.
4 x KVG-3D boilers
2 x Steam turbines
1 x A-192
8 x 3M80 Moskit or 12 x Oniks/3M55 (considering we are not changing the structure ground up)
8 x UKSK
36-48 medium-long-range AD missile. (fore deck)
36-48 medium-long-range AD missile (stern/amidship, after shifting the helipad and hanger further stern)
2 x Palma
^^ just few items listed...
Since we are talking about new ones, I'd prefer the 22350 mast/system being accommodated atop the bridge.
But the important point is will we just make it in circles debating the need fort such a solution and if the Russian Govt/Navy will move forward with such a solution to enhance its fighting force rather than wasting time. if they can order 11356 at a very late stage to arrest the decline in fighting force, they can very well (& need to!!!) order a pr.956 solution.
As a reminder, some data for the earlier 956 deal with China.
Pr.956EM deal with China.
In 2002, the PRC signed a contract with Russia to purchase an additional two improved Project 956EM destroyers worth US$1.4 billion. The first hull, Taizhou 138, was launched in April 2004 and delivered on 28 December 2005[/b]. The second hull, Ningbo (139) was launched in July 2004 and delivered in September 2006[/b].
Main propulsion include four KVG-3 high-pressure steam boilers, 50,000hp TV-12-4 steam turbines, driving two fixed pitch propellers. Electric power is supplied by two 1,000kW steam turbo-generators and four 600kW diesel generators. The ship has a maximum speed of 32 knots and an economic speed of 18 knots.