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ST. PETERSBURG, April 20. /TASS/. The Project 12700 fourth fiberglass mine sweeper Vladimir Yemelyanov has been laid down for the Russian Navy at the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard in St. Petersburg, a TASS correspondent reports from the scene.
The Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard is part of Russia’s United Ship-Building Corporation.
"Today is a remarkable day for the shipyard and all shipbuilders: we are laying down a super-ship that will serve in our Navy. It is fitted out with the most advanced hardware. As far as I know, this is the largest ship with the monolithic hull made of fiberglass," St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko said at the keel-laying ceremony.
Russian Navy Shipbuilding Chief Vladimir Tryapichnikov said that shipbuilders were using composite materials for the mine sweeper’s construction. The Project’s lead ship is already operational in the Russian Navy while two other trawlers are at various stages of their readiness, he noted.
"We expect their delivery on time and without any critical remarks," he noted, without specifying the delivery date.
Meanwhile, Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard CEO Vladimir Seredokho said that the Project 12700 fourth fiberglass mine sweeper was expected to be floated out and delivered to the Navy in late 2018.
"The launch of the Vladimir Yemelyanov is scheduled for May next year and its delivery for the end of that year," he said.
The Project 12700 Alexandrit-class mine sweepers have been designed by Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau. They can use the most advanced sonars installed both on the ship and remotely-operated and autonomous submersibles and feature an automated counter-mine operation control system. They are also capable of using traditional sweep armament.
The Alexandrit-class ships have a unique and the world’s largest monolith fiberglass hull manufactured by the vacuum infusion method. The warship is the third in the series and the fourth that has been laid down. The Project’s lead ship Alexander Obukhov is already operational with the Russian Navy while the next two trawlers are at various stages of their construction.