The Ministry of Defense signed a contract with the Zaliv Shipyard in Kerch, Crimea for the construction of the first two Russian universal landing ships for a total amount of about 100 billion rubles ($1.4 billion).
This was reported by TASS, citing an unnamed source in the military-industrial complex.
“The contract has been signed, its total cost is about 100 billion rubles. The laying of the ships should take place in the coming weeks,” the source said.
TASS attempted to confirm the information, but it hasn’t been able to do so.
The press service of the Zaliv shipyard told TASS that the company was technically ready to build helicopter carriers in the interests of the Russian Navy, but noted that they did not have information about the deal and the timing of laying the ships.
As TASS sources in the shipbuilding industry reported earlier, the displacement of ships of a new class for the Russian fleet will be 25,000 tons, with a maximum length of about 220 meters.
One Russian universal landing ship will carry more than 20 heavy helicopters on board, will have a docking chamber for landing boats and will be able to transport up to 900 troops.
Universal landing ships, also called helicopter carriers, are capable of carrying a group of heavy helicopters for various purposes, transporting from several hundred to 1,000 marines; they are equipped with a dock for boats, as well as for transport armored vehicles.
There are several plans for universal landing ships for the Russian navy, while they were entirely not built in the USSR era.
This is likely the project 23900 universal landing ship for the Russian Navy developed by Zelenodolsk Design Bureau JSC (ZPKB), which is part of Ak-Bars Shipbuilding Corporation JSC.
The project was presented on January 9th, 2020 to Russian President Vladimir Putin, dedicated to the prospects of the development of the Navy of the Russian Federation, in the building of the Black Sea Higher Naval Order of the Red Star of the P.N. Nakhimov School in Sevastopol.
According to available information, the project looks like a large clone of the Mistral type amphibious assault ships previously ordered for the Russian Navy in France, having similar architecture and dimensions, but with a bit higher full displacement and capacity.
It is unconfirmed if the ships are going to be the project 23900 universal landing ships, or another, unrevealed type.
Furthermore, a separate universal landing ship – the project 11780 Priboy-class vessel was announced back in June 2015.
According to a January 2018 report, construction of the ships was to take place at Severnaya Verf in Saint Petersburg, starting in 2020.
On September 11th 2019, it was announced the first and second vessel of the class, with a displacement of 25,000 tons, will be laid down in May 2020 at Zaliv Shipyard, Crimea. The first vessel should be delivered to the Russian Navy in 2026, and the second in 2027
The Project 11780 Priboy-class vessel is also expected to have a displacement of 25,000 tons, which also makes it likely that these are the ships, since both the source’s claims of displacement, and location of construction both coincide.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Russia’s Second Project 11711 Large Landing Ship “Petr Morgunov” Enters Sea Trials
- Russia To Develop Its Own Universal Landing Ship After Collapse Of French Mistral-Class Deal