These ships classified as frigates (Strozhevoi Korabl, or light escorts) were in fact very inspired by the German torpedo boats of 1942-44. They were designed in parallel with the destroyer Neustrashimyy, from which they borrowed a number of innovations. The Naval Office conceived them as early as 1943, and the studies leading to their construction continued until their definitive approval in 1947, after the competition, for the first time in Russia since 1917, of two engineering offices, TsKB-32 and 53. Stalin intervened in the preparatory phases, demanding the resumption of the Yastreb as base of work.
Sokol, a Kola-class frigate
The TsKB-32, the Leningrad design office, won this competition with a steam-powered vessel capable of 30 knots. However, the scorecard required an armament of 4x 100mm, 2x 37mm, 1 Anti-ship torpedo tube, 2 ASW rocket launchers, 2 ASW grenade launchers, with a maximum load of 1300 tonnes.
This limit was quickly deemed impracticable and the Kola class, on the opposition of Stalin, who would consider them too expensive and too large, were not approved for mass construction and were limited to 8 ships, built in Kaliningrad. All were in service in 1960. The Kondor struck a reef en coula in 1962, and the others remained in service until the 70s-80s.
Author’s illustration of the Kola-class
Kola class frigate profile
Displacement: 1900, 2300t FL
Dimensions: 96 x 10.8 x 3.2 m.
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 turbines, 2 boilers 17,800 hp, 30 knots
Electronics: Cross Bird Radar Electronics, Ball Gun, Pegas sonar.
Armament: 4 x 100 mm DE (4×1), 4 x 37 mm AA, 2 x RBU-900 RL, 2 ASW grenades raks (12), 4 mortars (36), 1×3 TT 533 mm ASW.