Russian shipyards will float out five combat and auxiliary ships for the Russian Navy each year in line with the existing shipbuilding program, Navy chief Adm. Viktor Chirkov said on Wednesday.
“I think that we will be able to float out up to five warships and auxiliary ships every year,” Chirkov told reporters in St. Petersburg at the launch of the Igor Belousov sea-rescue ship, which is expected to be commissioned in 2014.
The construction of the Igor Belousov started in 2005 at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg but has faced a series of setbacks.
The ship is designed to perform a variety of missions, including the search, rescue and salvage of submarines in distress. It is equipped with advanced deep-sea search-and-rescue equipment, including a deep-sea diving system produced by the Scottish firm DIVEX.
Igor Belousov is the first rescue ship built in post-Soviet Russia. The vessel is vital for the Russian Navy as it still lacks reliable means to rescue submarines in distress.
According to Chirkov, the ships of this type will be put in service with all Russian fleets.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said last year that the procurement of new ships and submarines for the Navy would be a priority over the next decade. The Russian government has allocated five trillion rubles ($156 bln) or a quarter of the entire armament procurement budget until 2020 for this purpose.
In addition to at least eight Borey class nuclear subs, the Navy will receive 14 frigates, 35 corvettes, six Buyan class small artillery ships and six Ivan Gren Class landing ships.