MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. The Russian Defense Ministry and the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) have agreed to start the construction of domestic helicopter carriers in 2020 at the Northern Shipyard, a military-industrial complex source told TASS.
"The Russian Defense Ministry and the USC have agreed that the Northern Shipyard enterprise will carry out work on the helicopter carriers and the Leader destroyers. It is already conducting comprehensive reconstruction of its productive capacities, including the construction of a workshop to build ships of these classes," the source said.
"The plant is expected to first build two helicopter carries and then to start constructing the destroyers. R&D work for the helicopter carriers will kick off in 2018, the construction of the lead ship is expected to start in 2020 and in 2024 it will join the fleet. The first and only series helicopter carrier is due to be manufactured in 2022 and become operational in 2026," the source specified.
TASS has no official confirmation of this information.
Another source told TASS earlier that helicopter carriers would be powered by a combined diesel and gas turbine, in which the diesel engine is the main one, and the turbine is needed to accelerate power. The ships will mostly carry Ka-52K helicopters that will be delivered to the armed forces simultaneously with the helicopter carriers. The ships will also service Ka-27s, Ka-29s and Ka-31s.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov earlier told reporters that the first Russian helicopter carrier will be finished roughly by 2022.