First Alexandrite-Class Serial Minesweeper Starts Trials after Russian Navy Day
The newest Project 12700 mine countermeasures ship Ivan Antonov will launch trials right after celebration of the Russian Navy Day, said Vladimir Seredokho, director general of Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard on July 25 at the keel-laying ceremony of the fifth minesweeper in the series.
Ivan Antonov is the third Project 12700 Alexandrite-class minesweeper, though in fact she is the first serial ship, as the construction terms of the second minesweeper, Georgy Kurbatov, had to be revised due to the onboard fire happened in 2016. Ivan Antonov is supposed to join the Black Sea Fleet.
As was earlier reported, trials of Ivan Antonov were to start in the falls 2018.
The Project 12700 lead ship, Alexander Obukhov, was handed over to the Baltic Fleet in December 2016.
Project 12700 Alexandrite-class composite minesweepers are developed by Almaz Central Maritime Design Bureau as the new generation mine countermeasures ships. They are equipped with sonars mounted both onboard and on remotely controlled and stand-alone submersibles. However, the ships may use traditional sweep armament as well. Also, Alexandrite-class minesweepers operate unmanned motorboats.
In April 2018, media reported that the Alexandrite series was extended up to ten ships instead of eight, and the commissioning date of the last sweeper was shifted for six years, to 2027.