Alternative Cold War History 1994

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Navy

Bulgarian Military Sea Fleet

The Bulgarian navy, or Military Sea Fleet, is relatively small with limited capabilities, its main role was to support the Soviet Black Sea Fleet in times of crisis. As the smallest element of the Bulgarian military, the fleet was usually the last to receive funding, new equipment or government interest.

The fleet is based in two locations; Varna, and Atia and consists mostly of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) vessels and minesweepers, as well as a limited number of amphibious and support ships. The major units are four frigates, three of them and the four submarines are all obsolete. The Bulgarian Navy is meant to operate in the Black Sea only and is materially unable to effectively venture beyond that.

Frigates

Koni Class BGS Smeli (F-11), formerly SKR-825 Delfin in the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, was transferred to the Bulgarian Navy in 1989 when the Soviets felt that the old Riga class should retire. Not very large or modern, this ship still represents a significant improvement in capability for Bulgaria. The 4K33 "Osa-M" Surface to Air Missile (SAM) launcher (NATO designation SA-N-4 Gecko) has 20 reloads giving the ship a moderate missile umbrella out to about 13Km. The ASW suite is decent and the ship carries 2x 76mm guns as well as 2x 30mm cannons which act as a last ditch Close in Weapons System (CIWS).

Riga Class Two of the three ships of this class in the Bulgarian Navy are laid up in preservation by the stat of Northern Fury. The third, BGS Bodri (F-13), was modernized and was still in commission, although historically it to was supposed to retire in late 1993. The Bodri, has four SAM launchers for the 9K32 Strela-2 missile, (NATO designation SA-7 Grail) a Man Portable Air Defence System (MANPADS) with 16 missiles, and 2 CIWS 30mm cannons. The main weapon systems are the 3x100mm guns and some very dated ASW equipment. All are located at Varna and it’s possible that at least one other has been modernized. Should the two older ships be activated it will take between six weeks and three months of work and one would need a new pennant number while the other would need a new name.

Class Pennant Name Status Remarks
Riga F-11 Derzki Laid up
F-12 Smeli Laid up
F-13 Bodri Active Modernized

Missile Boats

Tarantul Class The Bulgarian Navy received one of this class in 1992 from the Soviet Back Sea Fleet. With 4x P-15M (S-N-2C) Styx, Surface to Surface Missiles (SSM) and high speed (42 Knts), this is a potent little ship, weighing in at 495 tons. The BGS Malniya (P-101) is based at Atia.

Osa Class The Bulgarian Navy took delivery of three Osa I and three Osa II boats in 1985 although RKA-10 Uragan arrived in 1981. The main improvement between the two sub classes was a modernized version of the P-15 (S-N-2C) Styx SSM. All were based at Atia.

Class Pennant Name Status Remarks
Osa I RKA-10 Uragan Active Project 205
RKA-11 Svetkavitca Active
RKA-12 Tayfun Active
Osa II RKA-20 Smerch Active Project 205U
RKA-21 Grum Active
RKA-22 Burya Active

ASW Corvettes

Poti Class These rugged little ships in the early 1980s, they are kept quite busy providing excellent service and have a good ASW suite in a small package. The Bulgarian Navy operated six of these ships.

Class Pennant Name Status Remarks
PLK-41 Letjashhi Active Based at Atia
PLK-42 Bditelni Active Based at Atia
PLK-43 Naporisti Active Based at Atia
PLK-44 Khrabri Active Based at Atia
PLK-45 Strogi Active Based at Varna
PLK-46 Bezstrashni Active Based at Varna

Pauk Class These two ships, based on the Tarantul class hull were transferred from the Soviet Black Sea Fleet in 1989 and 1992. They are more modern with improved weapons and sensors but do the same job as the Poti class.

Class Pennant Name Status Remarks
PLK-13 Reshitelni Active Based at Varna
PLK-14 Bodri Active Based at Varna

Torpedo Boats

Shershen Class These six boats were obsolete by 1994, and historically were in various levels of readiness. In Northern Fury they are all in reserve status and will require a week or so to put to sea.

Class Pennant Name Status Remarks
Shershen TKA-24 Orel Reserve
TKA-25 Yastreb Reserve
TKA-26 Albatros Reserve
TKA-27 Yaguar Reserve
TKA-28 Bars Reserve
TKA-29 Pantera Reserve

Amphibious Ships

Polnocny Class These two ships formed the mainstay of the Bulgarian ‘Landing Ship’ Division. Each is able to lift a reinforced company sized unit of 10-12 armored vehicles or four tanks. All landing ships are based at Atia.

Class Pennant Name Status Remarks
L-701 Sirius Active
L-702 Antares Active

Vydra Class These are small, rugged landing craft able to lift three tanks or four other armored vehicles and about 100 troops. Of the 24 originally in service, 4 have been converted to minelayers and one to a general stores ship. The 19 remaining operate with the two Polocny class to form the Landing Ship Division.

Minesweepers: Some 24 -30 minesweeping craft are in operation, based in both ports in roughly equal numbers.

  • 6x Vanya class

  • 4x Yevgenya class

  • 4x Sonya class

  • 6x Olya class

  • 4x converted Vydra Class

  • Several others of various heritage and vintage

Submarines

Pobeda (Romeo) Class These four boats are well past their prime, two have been decommissioned and will probably never sail again, the other two are limited in depth and range from port.

Class Pennant Name Status Remarks
Romeo S 81 Pobeda Decommissioned
S 82 Viktoriya Decommissioned
S 83 Nadezhda
S 84 Slava