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Russia launches seventh Alexandrit-class minesweeper

Project 12700 Anatoly Shlemov launch
Photo: United Shipbuilding Corporation

The Sredne-Nevsky shipyard launched the Russian Navy’s seventh Alexandrit-class minesweeper Anatoly Shlemov on November 26.

Work on Anatoly Shlemov began in July 2019, and the ship will continue outfitting pierside following its launch.

According to the shipbuilder, two more ships in the class are under construction while a total of 12 units are planned to be procured.

The Russian Navy has so far commissioned six ships in the class, with the most recent being Georgiy Kurbatov. What is interesting is the fact that the Georgiy Kurbatov is actually the second in its class, but it suffered a fire outbreak while under construction in 2016, which delayed its delivery and entry into service.

Also referred to as Project 12700 ships, the minesweepers were developed by the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation) for the Russian Navy.

The ships measure 61 meters in length and displace 980 tons. With a crew of 44, they are tasked with clearing mines in harbors and busy sea lanes. 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).