Finland, China, Russia to Compete for Supplying Azipods for Russian Navy’s New Support Ships

Rubric: Russia, World, Industry

At least three suppliers and three manufacturers of azimuth thrusters offer their products for the new family of large-capacity support vessels designed for the Russian Navy, several informed insiders told Mil.Press Today. The technical project of the whole line of ships is being currently completed by Vympel Design Bureau.

Reportedly, three organizations have already filed their offers to the design bureau. One more supplier is specifying parameters of the equipment with manufacturers.

Azimuth thruster by Rolls-Royce

At the designer selection stage, the new auxiliary vessel was dubbed "four in one" ship, as the Navy planned to combine in a single platform the functions of a lifting-and-mooring vessel, a tanker, a floating workshop, and a multirole bulk carrier, plus the towage and rescue capabilities. Ice class of the ship is Arc4 with possible improvement.

According to technical specifications, the vessel will be powered by azimuth thrusters, at least 7,000 kW each.

Among potential suppliers are MSC, Marine Propulsion Systems, and Perpetuum Mobile.

Possible manufacturers are Finnish Steerprop, Chinese NGC Marine, and Russian Propulsion Systems Center (PSC).

As was found out by Mil.Press Today, only Finland’s offer currently meets requirements in terms of power. This parameter of Chinese azipods by NGC must be increased by 1,000 kW, and the manufacturer is ready to customize the product. So far, PSC is only developing the thruster with required characteristics.

According to the St. Petersburg’s branch of Steerprop, the company’s supplier in Russia is Marine Propulsion Systems. Representatives of MSC and Perpetuum Mobile said they cooperated with Chinese NGC. Meanwhile, MSC is an accredited agent of the Chinese company in Russia, and the parties are bound by contracts.

The insiders in all three supplying companies confirmed they were ready to deliver the azimuth thrusters for the new vessel.

Designers from Vympel have not provided any details about the new ship yet. However, a representative of the design bureau shared with Mil.Press Today that such work was underway. It is planned to finish the technical project of the new auxiliary vessel by the end of 2018, and once the order is formalized, the keel of the lead ship can be laid even in 2019.