Second Russian ‘Project 12700’ minesweeper Ivan Antonov set to sail in autumn

The Ivan Antonov, the second of Russia’s ‘Project 12700’ (Aleksandrit-class) fiber-hull minesweepers, is scheduled to join the Black Sea fleet in the autumn after completing trial tests, the Russian Navy spokesperson said.

“The Ivan Antonov will make a passage to the Black Sea this autumn after completion of trial tests on the Baltic Sea,” Tass reported Navy spokesperson Captain 1st Rank Igor Dygalo as saying on Wednesday, May 30.

Dygalo added that the ship will sail to the Black Sea via inland waterways “in line with the time-tested practice of redeploying the minesweeping ships.”

Ivan Antonov is the third Aleksandrit-class minesweeper ordered by the Russian Navy. The first ‘Project 12700’ ship, Aleksandr Obukhov, was launched in in June 2014 and commissioned in December 2016. The Ivan Antonov was launched on April 25. Three additional ships, the Georgiy Kurbatov, Vladimir Yemelyanov, and Yakov Balyaev, are under construction at Sdedne-Nevsky, a subsidiary of the United Shipbuilding Corporation.

The Ivan Antonov will be equipped with a domestically produced unmanned motorboat based on the BL-680.

According to Tass, the Aleksandrit-class minesweepers have a water displacement of about 900 tonnes and are 60 meters long and 10 meters wide. They can move at 16.5 knots (30km) per hour.

In June, the Ministry of Defence announced had ordered 40 of the boats, with delivery of the first two expected in 2018. Navy Deputy Commander Vice-Admiral Viktor Bursuk said Sredne-Nevskiy shipyard would build two ships per year and that there are plans for the construction of additional ships in East Asia, IHS Jane’s reported.

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