Renewed Belousov-Class Rescue Ship to “Grow” and Take More Hardware

Rubric: Russia, Future

Almaz Central Design Bureau is upgrading the project of Igor Belousov-class rescue ship for serial production, a source in the company told Mil.Today. The ship will be longer and heavier, making more room for crew and equipment. Seaworthiness and speed of the ship will remain unchanged though.

The source disclosed basic alterations integrated in the technical project by designers.

Outer view of the Project 21301 salvage ship

The hull will be 3.2 meters longer exceeding 110 meters, which will facilitate handling of the Bester-1 deep-sea rescue submersible and the diving bell with a launch-and-recovery system (LARS).

Engineers improved design of the bottom closure for diving bell to minimize external influence of sea environment.

Thanks to additional spaces, the Pantera remotely-controlled vehicle will be placed inside a hangar. To compare, on the lead ship, the robot operates on the open pad.

Designers have expanded free spaces at the poop as well. The stern anchor gear will be arranged under the deck, making room for mobile systems, survey equipment and other hardware.

Minor increase of space in the ship’s erection will improve habitability and give more premises for crewmembers and researchers. The ship’s displacement will become 150-200 tons larger. However, performance, maneuverability and seaworthiness of the ship will remain the same, while operational range and endurance will be even better.
"We’ve been working on design alterations by own initiative, despite heavy work load, as this is for the benefit of the Navy and Russia after all", one of the ship’s designers told Mil.Today.
According to the design bureau’s spokesman, these modifications are based on the recommendations made by the state acceptance team, and operational practice. Take note, the project has already turned 12.

Currently, the Almaz bureau keeps on preparing materials to accelerate further building of the first and second serial ships of Igor Belousov-class, said the interviewee. As of now, it is planned to build four ships in the series, though earlier the Navy reported of demand for six salvage ships of this class.

Outer view of the Project 21301 salvage ship

In addition, Russia still runs the import substitution program, and this upgraded project does take account of that, the designers added. Finally, the mentioned improvements will help the shipyard to build the ship faster.

"Once the Navy decide to build the first serial ship in 2019, we won’t delay drafting of design documentation", assured the Almaz officials.