Modular Salvage Ships to Supplement Igor Belousov-Class Rescuers

Rubric: Russia, Industry, Future

In 2019, the Russian defense ministry will decide upon construction of a new series of the submarine salvage ships; the project was developed by Pella shipyard based in Leningrad Region, said deputy defense minister Yury Borisov on May 5 answering the question of Mil.Press Today. According to him, the Russian Navy will receive new ships of this class in addition to the Project 21300 Igor Belousov-class rescue ships.

Pella continues offering the ships of this type to the navy, so the decision is upon the military, the shipyard’s director Gerbert Tsaturov told Mil.Press Today.

Shipbuilding site

Yury Borisov said Pella’s offer was interesting and added that the military officials had discussed it with the shipyard’s representatives on May 5. That happened during the visit of the defense ministry’s delegation to the launching ceremony of the third Project 22800 Karakurt-class corvette. However, he gave the last word to the Navy.
"I think, we have found the compromise. Such ships are in great demand; we all have quick remembrance of the Kursk tragedy. Sure, today the Russian Navy lacks rescue ships of this type. Considering that Pella has proved it can build fast and competently, we treat this offer very seriously. I guess, in 2019 we’ll decide upon construction [of the new class rescue ships]", the deputy defense minister told Mil.Press Today.
He emphasized that most likely the Russian Navy would get ships of both types, i.e. built under the Project 21300 (Igor Belousov-class) and those offered by Pella.

Early in March 2018, Mil.Press Today found out that Pella and Yantar shipyards were capable to build Project 21300 Igor Belousov-class submarine rescuers or other similar ships. Lead ship of this class was built by Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard since 2005 through 2015.
According to an informed insider, the rescue ships offered by Pella are classified as offshore supply ships, have modular design and can be used for various missions depending on the equipment. The source said similar Norwegian ships, Skandi Patagonia and Sophie Siem, had attended the search for the lost Argentinean sub, San Juan. They carried US Navy’s submarine salvage equipment, including a minisub, remotely controlled submersibles and other hardware.
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For reference

The Project 21300 rescue ship Igor Belousov was commissioned in the Russian Navy at the yearend of 2015. Designed by the Almaz bureau and built by Admiralteyskie Verfi, the ship is intended for rescue of crews, supply of air, electric power and salvage facilities to distressed submarines, either grounded or on surface. Besides, Igor Belousov can search and survey distressed objects in an assigned area. The ship’s displacement is 5,000 tons, length is over 100 meters. Construction of the Project 21300 series is included into the state arms procurement program up to 2027, deputy defense minister Yury Borisov told Mil.Press Today on December 11, 2017. As was reported late in January 2018, the Russian military began looking for funds to build the first serial Project 21300 rescue ship.

On November 2017, deputy navy commander Vice Admiral Viktor Bursuk said that the construction commencement date of the first Project 21300 ship in series depended on the development terms of the fully Russian-made deep-sea rescue system. Also, Bursuk said that the R&D works on the Russian deep-sea rescue system were scheduled in 2018, while the navy planned to have it fully made in Russia. The officer added that the terms of creation "of the fully Russian diving system will affect the beginning of construction of the first serial Igor Belousov-class ship".

The industry-related sourced interviewed by Mil.Press Today, including designers of rescue ships and representatives of the companies involved in the diving systems development, doubted that the ship would be keel-laid earlier than in 2021 or 2022.