MOSCOW, February 26 (RIA Novosti) – The lead vessel in a new class of patrol ships was laid down in a ceremony at Russia’s Zelenodolsky shipyard Wednesday, the builder said in a statement.
The Vasily Bykov will be the first diesel-powered Project 22160 patrol ship and is planned to feature a helicopter landing pad on its aft deck, according to the Severnoye Design Bureau, the vessel's designer.
The 1,300-ton ship will have a range of 6,000 nautical miles and be armed with a single 57mm cannon, heavy machine guns, air defense systems and optional missile launchers.
“This ship is a vessel of a new generation, built according to modular principles,” Cpt. of the First Rank Igor Dygalo said.
Dygalo explained that owing to its modular design the ship could be re-tasked in short order to perform a range of duties.
The new class is intended for economic zone patrol, search-and-rescue operations, anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, environmental monitoring, as well as coastal defense and escort service, according to the shipyard’s statement.
A navy spokesperson said that six ships of the class are expected to be built by 2019.