MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Russia’s first two amphibious assault ships will be laid at the Zaliv shipyard in Crimea in early May, a defense industry source told TASS on Monday.
"In line with the plan, the helicopter carriers are to be laid in early May, [the ceremony is] to coincide with celebrations of the 75th anniversary of victory [over the Nazi Germany]," the source said.
In his words, the ceremony is supposed to take place on VE Day (May 9), with the participation of top officials from the Russian Foreign Ministry, but the exact date is yet to be announced.
The Russian Defense Ministry and the Zaliv shipyard are to sign a contract on the construction of the warships in February.
TASS has been unable to officially confirm the information at the time of the publication.
According to an earlier report by TASS, the ships will be named Sevastopol and Vladivostok, after cities in Crimea and Russia’s Far East, respectively. The ships, with water displacement of some 25,000 tonnes and maximum length of about 220 meters, will be capable of carrying over 20 heavy helicopters. They will also have a dock for landing boats and will carry up to two reinforced marine battalions with a total strength of 900 men.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said in an interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper in late December 2019 that the contract for those ships is to be signed in 2020.