New multi-purpose rescue vessel for Northern Fleet
Russia’s new rescue vessel will be able to help out wrecked submarines, engage in complex search operations, and take part in military action.
As previously reported, 14 years after the disaster with the Kursk submarine in the Barents Sea, the Russian Navy will finally get a modern rescue ship.
The “Igor Belousov”, the first vessel in the 21300 project, will be based in the Northern Fleet and fill a need, long requested by the Russian Navy. Currently under construction by the Admiralty Shipyards in Sankt Petersburg, the vessel will be able to connect with any wrecked submarine and take on board 60 submariners for decompression. It will have a landing pad for helicopters, vacuum chambers, under-water equipment able to operate on 700 meter depths and an advanced deepwater diving complex. In addition, the vessel will reportedly be equipped with advanced weaponry.
After several delays, the vessel will be put on the water in October 2012 and handed over to the Russian Northern Fleet in November 2014, Izvestia reports.
The construction of the vessel officially started in 2005 but soon came to a standstill because of dried-up funding. The construction of the vessel has also been delayed because of a major change in the ship’s diving complex. While the shipbuilders originally intended to install equipment from the Russian Lazurit company, it was recently decided to rather choose equipment from the Scottish DIVEX company.
According to a representative of the Admiralty Yards, the shift of diving complex has seriously delayed the construction of the vessel. “If it was not for the Luzurit, we would have been able to deliver the ship already this year”, the representative told Izvestia.
The 17 meter long and 5000 ton deadweight ship will be the first search and rescue vessel built in Russia for almost 30 years. It is expected that all the Russia fleets will get the ship, the next in the line is believed to be the Pacific Fleet.
It is not known what kind of weapon system, which will be included in the 21300 project. However, former Navy Head Commander Vladimir Masorin in 2005 underlined that it will be the “very most modern armament”, RIA Novosti reports.
The “Igor Belousov” is believed to cost about $100 million, Korabley.net informs.