MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Newest mine countermeasures ship The Ivan Antonov, built at the Sredne-Nevsky shipyard in St Petersburg, will make a passage from the River Neva to a naval base on the Black Sea in the 3rd quarter of the year, Captain 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, the official spokesman for the Russian Navy said on Tuesday.
"The Ivan Antonov will make a passage to the Black Sea this autumn after completion of trial tests on the Baltic Sea," he said. "It will proceed to the Black Sea area by inland waterways [the Volga-Baltic Waterway, the Volga-Don Canal and the Don River - TASS] in line with the time-tested practice of redeploying the minesweeping ships."
This type of redeployment is more cost-effective compared with a passage from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea around Europe. It is also much shorter in terms of time.
The Ivan Antonov was launched at the Sredne-Nevsky shipyard in St Petersburg at the end of January. It is the third minesweeper in the Project 12700 family.
The flagship of the family, The Alexander Obukhov, has already joined the Navy and the following three ships are at different stages of construction.
These ships have the world’s largest bodies made of fiberglass, which ensures more strength and durability than steel hulls and hence a greater viability during the search for mines
Project 12700 ships have the water displacement of about 900 tonnes, the length of over 60 meters and the breadth of ten meters. They can move at 16.5 knots [about 29.7 km] per hour and have 44-strong crews.
Apart from the mine exploders of various types, these minesweepers have remotely piloted vehicles and submerged drones.