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MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. Russia will build two assault ships that will be capable of carrying helicopters (mainly Ka-52K) and will have a combined diesel or gas propulsion, a defense official told TASS.
"The development of the helicopter carriers will begin in 2018, and the pilot model will be completed in 2020 and delivered to the fleet in 2024. The sole follow-on ship will be built in 2022 and delivered to the fleet in 2026," the source said.
He specified that "the helicopter carriers will have a combined diesel or gas propulsion, in which diesel engines are the main propulsion, while the turbine will be needed for high speed.
According to the source, "the ships will primarily carry Ka-52K helicopters, as well as Ka-27, Ka-29 and Ka-31 helicopters. The rotorcraft will be delivered at the same time as the carriers.
The defense official elaborated that the producer has not been chosen yet. However, the construction of the helicopter carriers is part of the new state arms program for 2018-2025.
TASS has no official confirmation of this statement.
Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov told reporters at the HeliRussia-2017 exhibition that the first Russian helicopter carrier will appear by around 2022, but did not go into any details.
The Russian Navy’s stand at the Army 2015 military show displayed a model of the Priboy ("Surf") amphibious assault ship that has full load displacement of 14,000 tonnes. The plate by the model read that the ship will operate Ka-27 and Ka-29 helicopters and will have the Klinok (Kinzhal; SA-N-9 Gauntlet) shipborne anti-aircraft missile system and the Pantsir-M shipborne anti-aircraft missile and gun system, along with a 100 mm A-190 artillery mount. It will be capable of transporting up to 500 people and 60 pieces of military equipment and carry two Serna-class (Project 11770) and four Dyugon-class (Project 21820) landing craft utilities.
Priboy’s model was later displayed with Ka-52 models on deck.