Country of origin
~ 30 days
Dimensions and displacement
~ 4 500 t
Displacement, full load
5 790 t
Propulsion and speed
2 800 km
CODAD; 4 diesel engines, developing 33 760 shp
and driving 2 shafts
1 x IAR 330 NAVAL, 2 x Aloutte III
2 x twin 76-mm guns, 4 x AK-630 30-mm CIWS
8 x P-15M Termit cruise missiles
2 x tripple-tube launchers for 53-65 torpedoes.
6 torpedoes are carried
2 x RBU-6000 ASW rocket launchers
The Marasesti is a unique
warship operated by the Romania, and was the largest and most
heavily-armed warship that nation has so far constructed. Building
this vessel was a monumental undertaking, not only because she was
an entirely Romanian project (though many of her subsystems were
built under license from the USSR, and a few components were
imported), but also because it was a very long and awkward affair.
The origins of the Marasesti date back to the mid-1970s, when
Romanian communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu --- then seeking to
distance his nation from the Warsaw Pact --- vowed that his nation
would construct “a large fleet of regional scale”. It was a poorly
executed bluff, as Romania clearly didn't have the resources with
which to construct and operate such a large navy, but it was
intended more to sell the idea to the Romanian population than the
military or foreign governments. In 1978, work finally began on what
was to become a grand home-built battle fleet of exactly one ship.
Construction of the new warship was carried-out by the the 2
Mai Military Shipyard in Mangalia (now DMHI). It was a lengthy
affair, beginning when the keel was laid on March 1st 1978, and
continuing until the vessel was launched in the mid-1980s. The exact
circumstances of the frigate's commissioning are unclear, as various
sources claim her sea trials began in 1984, but also that she was
launched in 1985. She was officially christened on August 2nd 1986
by Nicolae Ceausescu himself, and named the Muntenia.
The sea trials of the Muntenia began in the mid-1980s (again,
the exact date is unclear), but soon became an imbroglio,
highlighting Romania's inexperience in shipbuilding more than its
growing naval power. The Muntenia was found to be significantly more
top-heavy than anticipated, to the point where even maneuvering in
calm seas was found to be dangerous. In at least one instance, the
Muntenia almost capsized while maneuvering. It isn't surprising as
to why, given that the masts, funnel, and superstructure were all
originally much taller than they are now, and that launchers for the
Termit anti-ship cruise missiles were at the time mounted on the superstructure!
The remainder of the trials were halted in June of 1988, and
the Muntenia returned to the 2 Mai Military Shipyard for an
extensive rebuild; this effort outlived both the Cold War and the
Ceausescu regime, and was eventually completed in August of 1992,
when the ex-Muntenia (now named the Marasesti) was finally
Both the name and classification of this vessel have changed
repeatedly throughout her construction and service. She was
originally named the Muntenia, but was renamed Timisoara on May 2nd
1990, then finally Marasesti on August 27th 1992. Designated a
"cruiser" when first completed, the Marasesti later downgraded at
some point to a "destroyer", and finally designated as a "frigate"
by the Romanian General Staff on April 1st 2001.
The propulsion system is of the CODAD type. Four ALCO diesels
produce 8 440 shp each, for a combined total of 33 760 shp driving 2
shafts. The total fuel bunkerage is apparently unpublished, but
almost certainly very light, as the Marasesti's range is only 2 800
km (1500 nm). The minimum turning circle is unpublished, but
presumably between 200 m and 400 m.
The electronics of the Marasesti are very austere, and
largely obsolete. The sensors consist of an MR-302 Rubka ("Strut
Curve") air and surface search radar, a Nayada navigation radar, and
an unknown medium frequency sonar. Fire control systems include a
Garpun ("Plank Shave") active radar system, a Fut-B ("Hawk Screech")
gunnery radar for the 76-mm battery, and two MR-104 Rys’ ("Drum
Tilt") fire control radars for the AK-630 CIWS. Two PK-16 chaff
launchers are also carried. The Marasesti lacks a combat information
system; one was planned to be back-fitted in 2006, but it is unclear
if this modification was carried out.
The Marasesti's main battery consists of two superfiring
AK-762 twin 76-mm/59 dual-purpose gun turrets. These traverse to
+/-164 degrees at 30 degrees/second, and elevate from -5 to +85
degrees at 30 degrees/second. The rate of fire is 45
rounds/minute/turret, though the sustained rate of fire is likely
lower. The maximum range of the AK-762 is 15 700 m, with an
anti-aircraft ceiling of 11 000 m, and the burst radius of the 12.4
kg projectile against aircraft is 8 m. While the AK-762 itself has
excellent performance against aircraft and ships alike, the
Marasesti's fire control capabilities leave much to be desired.
However, the Marasesti's AK-630 30-mm CIWS turrets are known to have
good performance against aircraft and missiles alike (within their
relatively short effective range); a total of 4 are carried.
The only guided missile carried by the Marasesti is the P-15M
Termit. This 2 340 kg anti-ship cruise missile carried a 500 kg HE-FRAG
warhead, and has a near-supersonic top speed and a range of 80 km.
The P-15M Termit is autonomous after launch, maintaining its course
via INS guidance, and terminally guided using active radar. It can
also be launched with its radar already active, allowing the missile
to hit targets as close as 2.75 km. Eight of these missiles are
carried, loaded into four fixed, twin-tube launchers. It is worth
noting that the launcher arrangement on the Marasesti is highly
peculiar, not only in that it has launchers aimed both forward and
aft, but also because the model of launcher used were not originally
designed to be carried by a fleet warship (in fact, these particular
launchers are the type used on the Tarantul class missile boats).
The ASW battery includes two RBU-6000 12-tube rocket
launchers, and two triple-tube launchers for the 53-65 torpedo. The
RBU-6000 has an effective range of 350 m to 5 800 m, and launches
the rocket-boosted depth charge in 1, 2, 4, 8 or 12 round salvos;
its RGB-60 213-mm depth charge carries a 25 kg warhead, and is
effective at depths of 10 m to 500 m. The 53-65 torpedo is an
acoustic homing torpedo designed for use against both submarines and
surface ships, and carries a 307.6 kg warhead; it makes 45 knots and
has a maximum range of 18 km.
Total ammunition stowage consists of 3 400 76-mm shells, 16
000 30-mm shells, 144 RGB-60 depth charges, 6 53-65 torpedoes, and
an unknown number and variety of helicopter-launched munitions.
The Marasesti was generally unsatisfactory in service, and
attempts were made to market her for export in the Developing World.
These efforts were unsuccessful, and the Marasesti is still in
service with the Romanian Navy as of 2016, with the pennant number
F111. Her role as Romania's flagship was taken in 2002 by the
commissioning of the Regele Ferdinand (an ex-Royal Navy Type 22
Frigate). The future of this troubled, dated, and surprisingly
long-lived warship remains uncertain, and the Romanian Navy has yet
to announce a plan to replace or retire the Marasesti.
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