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Russia’s Black Sea Fleet to get 30 new warships in next 6 years

ST. PETERSBURG, June 21, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet will get about 30 new warships in the next six years, Navy Commander-in-Chief Viktor Chirkov said on Saturday, June 21.

“The Black Sea Fleet will receive six Project 636 submarines by 2016 and the first of the six Project 1135.6 escort ships in 2015. The Fleet will also get six Project 22160 patrol boats for patrolling territorial waters and the 200-mile exclusive economic zone, escorting ships at sea and protecting naval bases and water areas to warn about enemy attacks,” he said.

The Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg will launch a diesel submarine, Rostov on Don, (Project 636) on June 26. “Six such submarines will be built for the Black Sea Fleet in the next two years,” the commander said.

On June 27, the Russian Navy will be joined by a new-generation mine countermeasures vessel (Project 12700) designed by the Almaz Design Burea and built by the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard. The vessel is intended for finding and destroying mines near naval bases at safe distances. “Three more such ships will be built shortly,” Chirkov said.

The Navy will also acquire four fast-speed Raptor patrol boats complete with the most up-to-date control systems and intended for landing and assault missions.

“The Navy expects to receive more than 50 ships and support vessels before the end of the year,” he said.

Chirkov said earlier this week that the Black Sea Fleet was “obsolete beyond reason and we now have the opportunity to stop its aging and upgrade underground and surface forces in order to be able to carry out our missions effectively in the Black and Mediterranean Seas”.

The leading ship of the series, Admiral Grigorovich, was launched on March 14 and will be handed over to the Navy by the end of the year. The shipyard is also building four other frigates. The ships have been designed by the Northern Design Bureau.

The Black Sea Fleet is carrying out an ambitious rearmament programme to upgrade its capabilities in Crimea.

However, the United Shipbuilding Corporation said that the construction of six Project 11356 escort ships for the Russian Black Sea Fleet would be completed in 2017, a year later than was initially scheduled.

Up to date, five of the six ships have been laid down at the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad. Its spokesperson Sergei Mikhailov told ITAR-TASS that the delay was due to the fact that the construction of the sixth frigate would begin later than was planned. He did not say when this would happen.