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    ST. PETE TO BUILD GUNBOATS FOR RUSSIAN NAVY

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    ST. PETERSBURG, JANUARY 30 (RIA Novosti-Northwest correspondent Dina Danilova) - The St. Petersburg-based Almaz shipbuilders will be ready with five gunboats for the Russian Navy before 2010, announced Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, in command of the Navy.

    He was addressing the media after a gala laying-in of the "Astrakhan" gunboat.

    The "Astrakhan" will guard Russia's 200 mile coastal economic zone. The Caspian Flotilla expects to receive the vessel in the last quarter-year 2005.

    The third millennium's first warship built for the Russian Navy, the "Astrakhan" was designed by the Zelenodolsk R&D bureau.

    The Almaz won a tender last spring to build a cutter for the Russian Navy.

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