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    ST. PETERSBURG, January 28, 2003. (RIA Novosti - North-West correspondent) -- A most up-to-date artillery vessel of the river-sea class with displacement of about 500 tons will be laid down for Russia's Navy at the shipyards of the Sudostroitelnaya Firma Almaz (Almaz Ship-Building Firm) joint-stock company of St. Petersburg on Friday, January 30th.

    As the company's press service reported, Commander-in-Chief of Russia's Navy Vladimir Kuroyedov and representative of all the Fleets of the country will participate in the ceremony of laying down the artillery flagship.

    The ship is designed to guard and defend the state's 200-mile economic zone. It is expected that it will be turned over to the Caspian flotilla in the fourth quarter of 2005. The artillery ship will become the first ship built at the shipyards for the Russian Navy in the third millennium.

    In spring 2003 Almaz participated in the competition announced by Russia's Navy to build the ship, and won the tender.

    More than 1,000 motorboats and small ships have been built by the Almaz ship-builders and turned over to the customers during Almaz's existence. For many years Almaz specialized in building type sea ships for the Navy, polishing up the foremost achievements in the field of military ship-building and turning the orders over into quantity production.

    The world's first missile motorboats and small missile-carrying ships, and a unique missile ship with an automatic hydrofoil control system were built at Sudostroitelnaya Firma Almaz. The shipyards mastered the quantity production of air-cushion ships, including the world's largest landing ships.

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