Russia: Two new amphibious assault ships to join Pacific fleet

Two latest big amphibious assault ships of project 11711 will join the Pacific fleet. President Vladimir Putin saw the laying of the warships by Yantar Shipyard in April 2019 by a teleconference. They will have better characteristics against the first warships of the project, the Izvestia daily writes.

Russia Two new amphibious assault ships to join Pacific fleet Project 11711 landing ship (Picture source: )

The first two big landing ships, the Ivan Gren and the Petr Morgunov join the Northern fleet. New ships, the Vladimir Andreyev and the Vasily Trushin, will go to the Pacific fleet.

Big amphibious assault ships can operate in green waters and are mostly necessary for the Northern and Pacific fleets, former Navy Chief-of-Staff Admiral Valentin Selivanov believes.

"The Baltic and Black Sea fleets operate in internal seas. They do not need to land assault at major distances from the base and have enough small and medium ships," he said.

"The Northern and Pacific fleets operate at other distances. Landing ships in the Far East have to be ready for long sorties, cross the Sea of Japan to the Pacific Ocean and, if necessary, reinforce the military garrisons on Kurile Islands. The new landing ships can carry a battalion with heavy hardware. It is a major force which can influence the situation in that or another area," the admiral said.

The Ivan Gren was designed in 1998 and had to have major firepower, including artillery guns and multiple launch rocket systems. In 2004, the construction began according to the concept, but in 2006 it was decided to drop most of the weapons, as defense of the landing operation had to be provided by escort ships. The first big landing ship was floated in such a form on May 18, 2012 in Kaliningrad. It joined the fleet in the summer of 2018. The Navy is likely to receive the second warship, the Petr Morgunov in 2019.

The ships can carry 300 marines, 13 tanks or 36 APC or IFV. There is a covered hangar and helipad for two Ka-29 rotorcraft or Ka-27 rescue craft. If necessary, the landing ship can accommodate the new Ka-52K helicopter gunships.

The hardware will be loaded onboard either by the ramp or a crane which puts it inside through a hatch on the upper deck. The ship does not have to touch the coast with the bow for landing assault. The hardware and troops leave the ship through special bow doors which push out pontoons. Such a method decreases the chance of running aground and losing tanks and armor.

The new landing ships are properly armed and have antiaircraft artillery weapons with automatic 30mm guns and 14.5mm machineguns. They can carry various cargoes inside and on the deck, including standard 20-ft sea containers.

Shipbuilders have recently handed over to the Pacific fleet the Sovershenny and the Gromky corvettes of project 20380. The Marshal Krylov space monitoring ship which has no analogues in the world has been upgraded. Its equipment controls warships in real time, as well as aircraft, ground forces, and space weapons, the Izvestia said.

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