The Russian Defense Ministry will hold a competition in September to select a new corvette for the Navy to replace the Project 20380 class, a business daily said on Monday, citing sources in the shipbuilding industry.
The competition should produce a mobile, fast-moving ship with a helicopter hangar and a distinct modular layout for weapons, Kommersant said.
The Project 20380 corvette is deployed to destroy enemy surface ships, submarines and aircraft, and to provide naval gunfire support for beach landings. It uses stealth technology to reduce the ship's secondary radar signature, as well as its acoustic, infrared, magnetic and visual signatures.
Five design centers are likely to take part in the competition, the paper said. Three belong to Russia's United Shipbuilding Coorperation: Zelenodolsk, Severnaya Verf and Almaz. A fourth unnamed foreign shipyard, which specializes in small civilian vessels, is a likely participant, the paper said.
The first Project 20380 corvette, the Steregushchy, entered service with Russia's Baltic Fleet in October 2008. The second, the Soobrazitelny, was launched on March 31, and two other ships of the same series, the Boyky and the Stoyky, are under construction.
The Russian Navy needs around 50 Project 20380 vessels to ensure the protection of its coastal waters, as well as its oil and gas transportation routes, especially in the Black and the Baltic seas.
However, a shipbuilding industry source told Kommersant that the Project 20180 ship "does not meet modern requirements" and a new class is therefore required.
If the competition in September is successful, the approved project "will determine the shape of surface shipbuilding for the next 15 years", the source told Kommersant.
MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti)