Lavina [Avalanche] Large Landing Ship
The Lavina was first revealed at the Army 2015 military exhibition. While the Project 23000E Shtorm ('Storm') carrier design ended up stealing the show, it was the Lavina which Navy command saw as the main prospect for inclusion into the next state weapons procurement program.
The Lavina design looks more like the Mistral, in that it features a bare carrier deck used to base Ka-52K attack and Ka-32 ASW helicopters. Lavina-class ships will be fitted with a powerful anti-aircraft system onboard, in the form of the naval version of the Pantsir-S. Furthermore, the amphibious assault ships will feature the AK-176MA 76.2 mm naval gun, a weapons system that's controlled and fired using a digital guidance system.
The ship will be able to land a contingent of up to 60 light armored vehicles, at least 20-30 main battle tanks, or more than 500 marines. Absent a direct approach to a coastal area, the ship will deliver the troops and armor using four Project 11770M or two Project 12061M landing craft. The projected 165 meter-long Lavina will displace 14,000 metric tons [light]. Its contingent of attack and ASW helicopters can include up to a dozen choppers in total.
The Russian Krylov State Research Center has developed the Lavina [Avalanche] helicopter carrier project to replace the Mistral-class warships that were not delivered by France, a high-ranking official in the Russian military industrial complex said.
“The Russian Krylov State Research Center has developed an alternative to the Mistral project of a helicopter carrier, called the Lavina, said to have a water displacement of 24,000 tons, which is even larger than the French-made ship [of 21,000 tons]," the official said 18 June 2015 at the Army-2015 military expo outside Moscow.
According to the official, the new warship is a semi-trimaran with capabilities to sail 5,000 miles at 18 knots without service calls and a maximum speed of 22 knots. The vessel will carry 320 crewmembers and can take on an additional 500 troops or 50 armored vehicles.
According to the source, the project involves the basing of 16 helicopters, including anti-submarine and search-and-rescue Ka-27 transport-combat Ka-29 and Ka-52K strike. It is also expected to have on board six landing craft project 11770 "Chamois" or six amphibious assault craft project 03160 "Raptor". The ship is armed with a gun mounts AK-176m and AK-630M-2 "Duet" and maritime air defense systems "Carapace-M."
The representative of the High Command of the Navy told "Interfax" that "Surf" will be our response "Mistral". According to him, this unique project will not be repeated technical developments and systems that are already on the French helicopter. "On the" Surf "everything will be domestic: and the landing craft and the wing, and weapon system," - the source said. Production trends can already begin in 2016.
Under the $1.5 billion warship contract, signed in 2011, France agreed to sell two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia but the handover was suspended as Paris expressed disapproval of Moscow's alleged interference in the Ukrainian crisis. Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.
In late May 2015, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Military Industrial Complex Oleg Bochkaryov said that Russia planned to build its own Mistral-class helicopter carriers. In December 2014 the sources in the defense industry have stated that a new amphibious ship for the Navy should correspond approximately to the basic parameters of the Dutch amphibious assault ship of the "Rotterdam" or "Johan de Witt" selected as a sample. Those with a displacement of 14-16 million tons, transported to 500-600 Marines are on board and six helicopters and a set of floating landing craft.
Previously, ships of this type have already been considered as competitors to the French project "Mistral". In summer 2009, amphibious assault ship "Johan de Witt" type "Rotterdam" was shown at the St. Petersburg International Maritime Defense Show. However, in 2011, she was awarded the contract for the construction of two helicopter type "Mistral", totaling 1.2 billion euros. France refused to transmit the Russian ships between Moscow and Paris, with negotiations on the shape and volume of monetary compensation for breach of contract.
According to Zvezda, the official television network of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the Russian Navy expected to receive two brand new Lavina ('Avalanche')-class amphibious assault ships under the next state armaments procurement program, it was reported 04 June 2017. According to the Ministry of Defense, the ships will take the place of the Mistrals, the two French vessels which Moscow ordered but never received. The new ships, expected to be delivered before 2025, are distinct from the Project 11711 Ivan Gren class of landing ships that are currently being built for the Russian Navy.
Speaking to the television network, Valery Polovinkin, an advisor to the general director of the St. Petersburg-based Krylov State Research Center, explained that the design bureau has conducted extensive studies on the creation of a next-generation universal amphibious assault ship design. Polovinkin emphasized that Russia gained a great deal of useful experience in the construction of the never-delivered Mistrals, particularly in the construction of the ships' stern components. "We are ready to offer the buyer a more versatile ship," he said.
The Ka-52K Katran, the naval version of the Ka-52 Alligator attack and scout helicopter, is the "perfect weapon" for the new class of ships, Zvezda said. The network recalled that "this is the first helicopter in the world capable of using the Kh-31 and Kh-35 anti-ship cruise missiles." Previously, only the Mig-29K/KUB deck-based fighters could boast having the capability to launch these stealthy, radar-avoiding supersonic missiles. In other words, the network noted that "the Kamov chopper, recognized as a flying tank on land, becomes a real ship-killer at sea."
In the future, it is also expected that the R-77 air-to-air missile system may be mounted aboard the Ka-52K, thus further improving the chopper's capabilities for all types of operations at sea and in coastal zone areas. Under the present state armaments program, the Russian military expects to receive 120 Ka-52Ks by the year 2020.
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