Photo: Salvage tug Zvezdochka. JSC Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center Press Service
JSC Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center signed a contract for construction of second vessel similar to salvage tug Zvezdochka on Sept 13, said Arkhangelsk Governor Ilya Mikhalchuk in Severodvinsk at solemn meeting related to 60th jubilee of the yard's Director General Vladimir Nikitin.
The information about plans to construct the second vessel – armament support ship – leaked out before, but only now it was officially voiced. Despite some still opened questions on state defense order, the contract for the armament support ship has been already signed, and that is quite positive news for the shipyard.
Reportedly, keel of Project 20180 armament support ship is planned to be laid in Oct. The new vessel will be longer, more load-carrying capable, and have more advanced equipment comparing to her prototype.
Being previously also classified as armament support ship, salvage tug Zvezdochka is the biggest surface ship (displacement over 5,500 tons) ever built by JSC Zvezdochka which primarily specializes in nuclear submarine repairs. Laid down in Sept 2004 and launched in Dec 2007, the high-quality ship has successfully passed trials program and joined Northern Fleet in July 2010. The shipyard's Director General Vladimir Nikitin offered to name the ship after principal designer of Soviet nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines Sergei Kovalev (15.08.1919 - 24.02.2011).