MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. The Project 12700 fifth cutting-edge minesweeper Yakov Balyayev currently under construction at the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard in St. Petersburg will be floated out in early 2020, the Russian Navy’s press office reported on Thursday.
"The work of forming the hull and outfitting it with systems and mechanisms was completed aboard the ship. The ship will be floated out and moored at the Shipyard’s outfitting quay at the beginning of 2020," the Navy said.
The shipbuilders will install the ship’s superstructure, assembly shipborne systems and other equipment. After that, the Shipyard’s delivery team will start the program of the ship’s dockside trials.
According to the plans of the Russian Navy Command, the next-generation mine countermeasures ships will boost the efficiency of the country’s minesweeping forces.
"There are plans to build several dozen Project 12700 ships. They have no rivals in the world by their characteristics," the press office quoted Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov as saying.
Project 12700 Alexandrit-class coastal-type minesweepers are referred to the new generation of minesweeping forces and are designated to fight sea mines, which the new ships can encounter in the sea and at 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 62 meters long and ten meters wide and have a crew of 44 men.
The Project 12700 lead ship Alexander Obukhov was delivered to the Navy in 2016.
Project 12700 mine countermeasures vessels (minesweepers) have their hull made of glass-fiber reinforced plastic. As its advantage, this solution provides for the ship’s higher strength compared to the steel hull. The hull made of the monolith glass-fiber reinforced plastic has a longer service life (up to 30 years) than the hull made of low-magnetic steel while its weight is considerably smaller.