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Russia to acquire 10 minesweepers in new arms programme

04 January 2018

The Russian Federation Navy is planning to acquire 10 Alexandrit-class (Project 12700) minesweepers by 2027 and 30 by 2035, according to Deputy Chief of the Naval Shipbuilding Directorate Captain Mikhail Krasnopeyev.

The Russian Navy's first Alexandrit-class minesweeper,
        <I>Alexander Obukhov</I>
        , was commissioned on 9 December 2016. (Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard)The Russian Navy's first Alexandrit-class minesweeper, <I>Alexander Obukhov</I> , was commissioned on 9 December 2016. (Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard)

The timetable for the 10 minesweepers coincides with Russia’s impending state armament programme for 2018-27.

First-of-class Alexander Obukhov was laid down in 2011 and commissioned in late 2016. It is assigned to Russia’s Baltic Fleet. Four additional Alexandrit-class hulls are at different stages of construction at Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard in St Petersburg: three keels were laid in 2017, while a fire during construction has delayed delivery of the second vessel.

As recently as 2016, Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Korolev said the navy had already contracted for a total of eight Alexandrit-class minesweepers and would ultimately procure 40 hulls. However, Capt Krasnopeyev told official Russian news agency TASS on 26 December that the navy will have 30 of the minesweepers by 2035. He added that development of a larger displacement minesweeping ship is under consideration. The navy, he said, will make the decision to build a new minesweeper based on its operational experience with the Alexandrit-class ships.

Designed by the Almaz Central Marine Construction Bureau, the Alexandrit-class ships are of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) construction.

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