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Russia launches sixth Alexandrit-class minesweeper Pyotr Ilyichev

Alexandrit-class minesweeper Pyotr Ilyichev
Photo: United Shipbuilding Corporation

Russia’s St. Petersburg-based Sredne-Nevsky shipyard launched the sixth Alexandrit-class minesweeper for the Russian Navy in a ceremony on April 28.

This is the second ship in the class to be launched this year and will be the second to enter service sometime this summer.

Another six ships in the class are on order for construction for mine countermeasures tasks. The 61-meter glass-reinforced plastics hulled ships will be tasked with clearing mines in harbors and busy sea lanes.

According to the shipbuilder, Alexandrit-class minesweepers are the world’s largest ships with solid fiberglass monohulls.

In addition to using traditional mine-sweeping equipment, the ships will also be capable of deploying remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and unmanned surface vessels (USVs).

The sixth ship in the class was named after the Russian sailor Pyotr Ilyichev, who died a heroic death during Russia’s invasion of the Kuril Islands in World War 2. Sredne-Nevsky shipyard started work on the ship in July 2018.