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Russia’s latest minesweepers outshine foreign rivals, says vice-premier

The seventh minesweeper of this type, the Anatoly Shlemov, was laid down at the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard

ST. PETERSBURG, July 12. /TASS/. Russia’s Project 12700 mine countermeasures vessels surpass foreign rivals, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said at the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard where the seventh minesweeper of this type, the Anatoly Shlemov, was laid down on Friday.

"Today we are laying down one of the most needed ships for the Navy. The ship features the best operational characteristics and surpasses similar vessels of other countries by its capabilities," the vice-premier said.

The Russian Navy receives new ships from year to year, thus raising its combat worthiness but Russia’s defense procurement plan can’t grow constantly, he said.

"We face the task of increasing the output of civilian products. This work has begun. The level of civilian products in the sphere of shipbuilding grows from year to year. The Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard is ready for this challenge, for this work. Over the past decade, the Shipyard has transformed radically and is dynamically assimilating the output of new products," Borisov said.

Project 12700 Alexandrit-class coastal-type minesweepers are referred to the new generation of minesweeping forces and are designed to fight sea mines, which the new ships can encounter in the sea and on the seabed without entering the dangerous zone. The minesweepers can employ various sweeps, as well as remotely controlled and autonomous underwater drones. The minesweepers of this Project displace 890 tonnes, are 61 meters long and ten meters wide and have a crew of 44 men.