Russia to Launch Indigenous Amphibious Assault Ship in Place of French Mistrals
Russia's Project 11711 large amphibious assault ship Pyotr Morgunov is slated to be floated this summer, Defense Ministry spokesman, Capitan First Rank Igor Dygalo, announced.
In an interview with Radio Sputnik, Igor Dygalo said that once the ship was afloat, addition would begin to furnish it will systems and equipment, including steering engines and diesel generators.
The Pyotr Morgunov was laid down by the Yantar Shipyard on June 11, 2015 and is slated to be delivered to the Russian Navy before the end of this year.
According to the head of the Navy's shipbuilding department, Rear Admiral Vladimir Tryapichnikov, the Pyotr Morgunov will be able to carry over a dozen tanks, or more than 30 armored vehicles, and a Marine battalion.
The Project 11711 large amphibious assault ship has a displacement of about 5,000 tons and a cruising capacity of up to 30 days. It is 120 meters long, 16.5 meters wide, has a speed of 18 knots and endurance of 3,500 miles, which allows it to operate on the high seas.
The ship is armed with a pair of 30mm AK630M guns and can carry two Ka-29 transport and combat helicopters.
Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief for Armament Vice-Admiral Viktor Bursuk earlier said that two Project 11711 large amphibious assault ships will be built for the Russian Navy.
Military expert, Captain Third Rank Dmitry Litovkin, believes that Project 11711 ships will be a big boost to the Navy.
"We previously placed orders for two Mistral-Class amphibious assault ships in France, which were never delivered due to the Western sanctions imposed on Russia. That why we decided to build our amphibious assault ships, which we need to supply military hardware and personnel to Syria," Litovkin told Radio Sputnik.
"Vessels like the Pyotr Morgunov will dramatically boost our Navy's ability to haul military cargoes to anywhere in the world," he added.
Russian Aerospace Forces have been involved in the Syrian conflict since 2015, when Damascus requested Moscow's help in dealing with terrorist groups active in the war-torn Arab country.
Russia has also sent a carrier battle group to the Mediterranean, and Syrian airspace is now protected by Russian S-300 air defense systems.
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