Russian Navy Employed an Advanced Minesweeper
The Project 12700 lead ship, minesweeper Alexander Obukhov joined the Baltic Fleet on Friday, Dec 9. The handover ceremony took place at the Petrovsky Dock in Kronshtadt.
According to the navy commander, other seven ships of this class are scheduled for construction, but the fleet wants to get up to 40 such minesweepers in the future.
The Baltic Fleet has not received new ships for a long time, so the handover of the Alexandrite-class lead minesweeper is a bright event for Baltic mariners, said Gen. Col. Andrey Kartapolov heading the Western Military Command.
Alexander Shlyakhtenko, director of the Almaz Design Bureau said in his turn that the Project 12700 Alexandrite might become a basic platform for patrol and littoral zone ships.
Delivery of the new-generation mine countermeasures ship Alexander Obukhov to the Russian Navy was postponed many times due to cancelled supplies of French mine search systems and the need to develop and test similar Russian-made equipment.
According to the contract tied in April 2014 between the Russian Defense Ministry and the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard, the contractor is to build other three minesweepers of this class.
The second ship, Georgy Kurbatov, will be launched only in the falls of 2017, one year behind the schedule. The delay is caused by the fire happened onboard the underbuilt ship early in June.
The ships displacing about 890 tons and accelerating up to 16.5 knots are developed by the St. Petersburg-based Almaz Design Bureau primarily to search and destroy mines around naval bases.
Alexander Obukhov is capable to use various types of mine sweeps and autonomous unmanned underwater vehicles. As an additional mine countermeasure, the ship accommodates the French-made unmanned motorboat Inspektor Mk2.