The Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard marked the official construction-start of the Russian Navy’s sixth Project 12700 minesweeper with a keel-laying ceremony at its St. Petersburg shipyard on July 25.
The monolithic-fiberglass vessel is named ‘Peter Ilyichev’ and is expected to be handed over to the navy by November 2020.
The lead ship in this class of minesweepers, the ‘Alexander Obukhov’, has already entered service while another four ships ‘George Kurbatov, ‘Ivan Antonov’, ‘Vladimir Emelyanov’ and ‘Yakov Balyayev’ are at different stages of construction.
Project 12700 minesweepers have the largest fiberglass body in the world, according to the Russian defense ministry. A monolithic-fiberglass hull provides for greater survivability during mine countermeasure operations and weighs less than a low-magnetic steel hull.
The minesweepers displace 890 tons, measure 62 meters in length and are crewed by 44 sailors.