ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — Russia's Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard, part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), will supply the Russian Navy with a new Alexandrit-class (Project 12700) Ivan Antonov minesweeper in 2018, the shipyard’s press service said Monday.
"According to the agreement with the [Russian] Defense Ministry, Ivan Antonov will be handed over to the Russian Navy in 2018," the press-service said in a statement.
Ivan Antonov represents a new generation of the mine defense ships. It is designed to search and destroy mines in the water areas of naval bases at safe distances. The 44-member-crew vessel is 67 yards long, 11 yards wide, displaces 890 tonnes and can reach a speed of up to 16.5 knots. The construction of the ship formally began on January 25.
The latest Russian technologies are being used in the development of the Alexandrit-class vessels. The ships are equipped with the latest means of mine detection, has high maneuverability and sea-keeping performance. The minesweepers are equipped with the world's largest hull, which is made of monolithic fiberglass, shaped by the vacuum infusion technology. The advantages of fiberglass against the low-magnetic steel are longer service life and lighter weight.
The lead ship of the Project 12700, named the Alexander Obukhov, has been built and handed over to the Russian Navy in 2016. The vessel is already in service.
In December 2016, the Russian Navy said it had contracted for another seven Alexandrit-class minesweepers on top of the four ordered earlier. A total of over 40 vessels are to be commissioned in the longer term.