"The Defense Ministry recently adopted one of the stages of developing [this] prospective destroyer — a draft design," Ponomarev said on the sidelines of the 2017 International Maritime Defense Show.
"Terms for the beginning of the destroyer's construction will be defined at the stage of the ship's technical design. The USC shipyards have the appropriate technical capabilities to build vessels of this class," he added.
The Severnoye Design Bureau, the country's leading company for designing surface ships, has been refining its plans for the construction of the ocean-going Leader-class destroyer since 2010.
The 200-meter long and 20-meter wide vessel will displace up to 17,500 metric tons. It will travel at a maximum speed of 32 knots.
The multipurpose warship will have anti-aircraft, anti-ballistic missile, anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities.
It is meant to replace the Sovremennyy-class destroyers, the main anti-surface warships of the Russian Navy, as well as the Slava-class cruisers and the Udaloy I class anti-submarine destroyers.
The Leader-class is expected to be outfitted with Kalibr-NK anti-ship, anti-submarine and land-attack missiles, as well as P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers. Zircon hypersonic missiles could also be added to the mix.
The ship will most likely be nuclear powered. It will be capable of spending up to 90 days at sea without additional refueling or support.
Referring to the Lider-class destroyer, defense analyst Dave Majumdar wrote for the National Interest last year that "the massive new warships would outgun the largest surface combatants in the US Navy's fleet — carrying roughly double an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer's missile tubes.
"Moreover, the Leader-class' nuclear propulsion system would allow the enormous new warships the ability to sortie around the globe without the need for auxiliary refuelers or any requirement to make a port call," he concluded.