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Russia to build landing ships to replace Mistral class vessels -- Navy commander

Russia will build its own landing ships to replace the Mistral class helicopter carriers it ordered in France, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov said on Wednesday at the International Maritime Defence Show (IMDS-2015) in St. Petersburg.

"We are capable of building our own vessels and we know how to do that," he said.

"A sample of our big landing ship design was presented at the Army-2015 arms exhibition," Chirkov said. "Our industry does not stop, science is making progress."

Referring to the ship design that was presented at the defence expo in the Moscow region, Admiral Chirkov said that the vessel would be capable of carrying 16 helicopters, as well as 450 troops and up to 80 equipment units.

"By its capabilities and characteristics this ship event surpasses the Mistral," the admiral said.

The Russian Navy sources said previously that the first new-generation landing ship with a displacement of some 16,000 tonnes would be created by 2020. The Navy representatives said that the design of the ship was ready, however, the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) said that the vessel was only being worked out. The shipbuilders said that Russia's new landing ships were at the "conceptual design" stage, however, it is possible to design and build such a vessel in less than five years.

Head of the Navy's shipbuilding department Vladimir Tryapichnikov said in early June that such a vessel would be many times heavier than the Ivan Gren class vessels and would be able to carry several helicopters. "The construction of new-generation large landing ships will be launched within the next five years, and these ships will many times surpass in displacement the Ivan Gren and Pyotr Morgunov large landing ships, have higher landing force compatibility and will be able to carry not one, but several helicopters," Tryapichnikov said. According to him, the first ship of this class is to be built by 2020. "It will be a new project for the 'large landing ship' class," he said.

[Source: Itar Tass, St Petersburg, 01Jul15]

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