Solemn keel-laying ceremony of Project 20180TV seagoing armament support ship Akademik Kovalev took place at JSC Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center on Dec 19. The ship was named after Sergei N. Kovalev, famous designer of nuclear-powered submarines.
The meeting was attended by Russian Navy Deputy Commander Admiral A.A. Tatarinov, Director General of JSC Zvezdochka V.S. Nikitin, Director General/Chief Designer of JSC Almaz Central Design Bureau A.V. Shlyakhtenko, Deputy Director General of JSC Sevmash shipyard M.A. Budnichenko, Mayor of Severodvinsk M.A. Gmyrin, son of S.N. Kovalev – Alexei Kovalev, and chairman of the committee for defense industry and conversion affairs at Arkhangelsk City Council N.Y. Kalistratov.
The new ice-class ship is designed for loading, transportation by sea, and supply of warships and submarines with missile weapons and various munitions.
On joint request addressed by staffs of Rubin design bureau, Zvezdochka and Sevmash shipyards, Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral V.S. Vysotsky signed an order to name the ship in honor of Sergei N. Kovalev, chief designer of Soviet/Russian nuclear-powered strategic submarines, twice Hero of Socialist Labor, academician of the Russian Academy Of Science, laureate of Lenin Prize and state awards of the USSR and Russia. His contribution to national defense capability cannot be exaggerated.
State contract for construction of the seagoing armament support ship was tied with Zvezdochka shipyard on Sept 15, 2011.
Sergei Nikitich Kovalev was born on Aug 15, 1919 in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg).
In 1943 he was posted to 18-th Central Design Bureau (now called JSC Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering). In 1948 he was transferred to SKB-143 design bureau to the post of chief designer. In 1954 he was appointed designer-in-charge of Project 617 steam/gas-powered submarine.
Since 1958 he was general designer of nuclear-powered submarines (projects 658, 658M, 667A, 667B, 667BD, 667BDR, 667BDRM, and 941. Sevmash shipyard has built 73 submarines under his projects. In total, 92 submarines were constructed under 8 projects developed by S. Kovalev. He died in St. Petersburg on Feb 24, 2011 at the age of 92 and was buried in the Krasnenkoye Cemetery.
Naval Today Staff, December 21, 2011; Image: submarine