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MOSCOW, March 04. /ITAR-TASS/. In 2013, the Russian Navy fulfilled the tasks of ensuring strategic deterrence and other tasks set forth by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. A big role in the implementation of these tasks was assigned to big landing craft, said Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at an intercom conference on Tuesday.
At present, the Russian Navy employs 19 ships of that class. Their average service life is more than 25 years, Shoigu added. "The defense ministry has been renewing the fleet of the landing craft now," Shoigu said.
In 2015, the Russian Navy will bring into service the Ivan Gren landing ship and two helicopter carriers — the Vladivostok and the Sevastopol, Shoigu said. Nevertheless, this is obviously not sufficient; therefore, attention should be paid to maintenance of the technical readiness of ships of that class, Shoigu said. "Two such ships at least should be restored every year," Shoigu added.
"Taking into account the intense use of the landing craft we are planning additional measures to maintain their combat readiness at a proper level," Gen. Shoigu said. He asked the Navy command to report what measures were being taken for that purpose.