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Russia to start building helicopter carriers after 2020

Russia will start building universal amphibious assault ships after 2020

KALININGRAD, June 20. /TASS/. Russia will start designing and building universal amphibious assault ships (helicopter carriers) after 2020, when it completes design work on a new large landing ship, Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief Viktor Bursuk said on Wednesday.

"These ships will appear as they are stipulated by the shipbuilding program and they will be built at the second stage of the program’s implementation after 2020," he said.

"The design work on universal amphibious assault ships will begin after we complete designing a large amphibious assault ship," the vice-admiral said, without specifying the design bureau that would be assigned this work.

On his part, President of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation Alexei Rakhmanov said that "there will undoubtedly be competition among design bureaus" within the corporation.

"We will do this precisely in the way we build ships in cooperation with other shipyards of the North-West and we will do the design work exactly in the same manner, involving bureaus with resources available today in completing either technical or working design documentation. We will come up with a proposal for the Navy, which, I hope, will be approved," the vice-admiral said.

A source in the Russian defense industry earlier told TASS that Russia’s Defense Ministry and the United Shipbuilding Corporation had agreed that the construction of domestic helicopter carriers would begin in 2020 at the Severnaya Verf Shipyard. According to the source, two such warships are planned to be built: the first of them is expected to be handed over to the Navy in 2024 while the second warship is set to be laid out in 2024 and delivered to the fleet in 2026.

Another source earlier told TASS that helicopter carriers would have a diesel gas turbine installation, with diesel as the main engine and the turbine intended for greater capacity. Kamov Ka-52 helicopters will comprise the backbone of the warships’ air group. The helicopters’ deliveries will be synchronized with the deliveries of helicopter carriers. Also, Ka-27, Ka-29 and Ka-31 gunships will be based on the helicopter carriers.

Earlier, then-Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said that the first Russian helicopter carrier would appear approximately by 2022.