MY Motor Yachts
The planned renewal of its ’civil’ fleet - leisure boats of around 100ft used by senior commanders - could provide opportunites for Western yards. The Russian Ministry of Defence is set to become a major customer of civil boats and even yachts, following the plans to significantly expand its ceremonial fleet. Financial details of planned and already completed purchases are not disclosed, but according to sources close to the Russian Ministry of Defence, an interest may be also extend to the purchase of boats and yachts built by Western shipyards.
Several years ago, three “communication boats” of the project No. 21270 appeared at once in the Baltic Fleet, specially prepared for receiving naval parades. Each has six comfortable cabins: a main VIP cabin with a separate office and five cabins for lower-ranking officers, a 20-seater banquet hall, and a restaurant-observation deck on the upper deck, allowing all those present to admire the parade of warships.
According to the official classification, such ships are referred to as communication boats, but in reality are small superyachts. In 2017, the fleet was expanded by the 5th and 6th boat of the Petrel 21270 project. The vessels, with a full displacement of just over 100 tons and a 20-knot speed, are designed for service trips by senior commanders of up to 350 miles, as well as fulfilling ceremonial functions. The 5th and 6th boats of the Petrel 21270 project were delivered last year.
The new “communication boat” will be able to adequately demonstrate the flag at the quays of Monte Carlo casinos. And according to the richness of the internal equipment, this representative yacht should surpass the “ceremonial” communication boats of the project No. 21270.
Curiously, the declared magnificence of the project 21270 and various modifications of the project 1388 remained out of business. At the naval parade in St. Petersburg in 2017, Vladimir Putin traditionally chose a more ascetic and brutal image. The President received the main parade from aboard the high-speed patrol boat pr. 03160 (“Raptor”), painted white and equipped with all the necessary equipment for this purpose.
As for the pleasure yachts / communications boats, they remained toys for the admirals. The only positive moment of this story is that representative yachts were not ashamed to build on domestic shipyards. Following the military order, a reputation will appear, and then, for sure, orders from private individuals. The German shipyard Blohm & Voss may lose its loyal customers.
Though the exact number of boats required remains classified, sources claim that approximately 5-6 boats will be ordered by each of Russia’s six military districts. In addition to the ‘Petrels’, the Russian Ministry of Defence’s yacht fleet is currently comprised of vessels of 1388N and 1388NZ projects. These are also premium class yachts, but with a total displacement of 400-419 tons, a cruising range of 1,000 miles and an autonomy of 10 days.
Moreover, currently the Baltic Shipbuilding Plant (PSZ) Yantar, one of Russia’s leading shipyards, is currently involved in the building of a large yacht of the Voivoda project 23700. Its displacement is 7,500 tons, length is 111 meters, while its width is 24 meters. The maximum speed is 22 knots, while the cruising range is 5,000 miles.
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