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Media: Russian Navy to Purchase Twin Sister for Ivan Gren Landing Ship

Media: Russian Navy to Purchase Twin Sister for Ivan Gren Landing Ship 24.05.2012
Text: Vzglyad
Photo: RusNavy.com
It is planned to build a twin sister for large landing ship Ivan Gren recently launched in Kaliningrad under Russian Navy's contract, reported Izvestiya referring to a high-ranking officer of Navy Main HQ.

"The future of Project 11711 will be determined upon construction of the second ship. I mean, we do plan to order the second landing ship and then will decide whether to continue building ships of this type", said the Navy spokesman. He explained that Ivan Gren was designed to deliver troops directly on the shore. To do that, the ship's bow part "sits" aground and opens a huge "gate". Such method is perfect for desolate coasts but useless under enemy fire.

Landing ship Ivan Gren is the Project 11711 lead ship. Chief designer Vladimir Maslin said his creature was rather appropriate for Russian Navy than French Mistral-class amphibious ships. Other types of landing ships bring troops ashore by means of boars or helicopters, just like Mistrals. Obviously, by choosing the French ships, Russian Navy focuses on so-called "trans-horizon" landing method. In this case a ship stays beyond line-of-sight range, while Russian landing ships must "stick" into coast.

On the other hand, Russian-style amphibious ships need no additional landing craft and so have larger payload capacity. Currently, Russian Navy operates about 20 landing ships. Two of them participated in the seizure of Georgian port Poti in Aug 2008.

According to United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Russian Navy has not made any formal decisions on construction of the second Ivan Gren-class landing ship.

"Sure, Yantar Shipyard is ready to start construction even tomorrow. But the Navy must determine the technical concept for the second ship, since project of the lead one was altered three times", explained the interviewee.

As for him, originally Ivan Gren designed in 1998 was supposed to have powerful arms including air defense systems. The construction began to follow that concept in 2004.

However, in 2006 new naval leaders decided to clear Ivan Gren from most of armaments. As a result, the ship turned into a low-armed ferry with "landing capability" and was put afloat on May 18, 2012 in Kaliningrad.

"We had to cut the hull and clear the premises meant for air defense systems. Now the Navy would unlikely leave the project in the current state", explained the USC spokesman.

According to him, if the Navy fails to submit technical specifications to Yantar in the nearest time, the second ship of that project may not be included in State Defense Order 2013 which is to be approved in Oct 2012. In that case, the keel will be laid down only in 2014.

Besides, many arms and control systems meant for Ivan Gren in 1998 have been withdrawn from production, so designers would have to introduce new systems to the project, added the interviewee.

"Some kinds of equipment like diesels, pumps, turbines, gun systems are no longer produced. Some things have become overaged, for one, electronics. Presently, many components have other sizes, performance features, costs, so the Navy will definitely have to develop new technical specifications", said the source.

According to Vice President of the Academy of Geopolitics Konstantin Sivkov, Russian Navy does not need the second ship if built under current Ivan Gren project.

"One should build a full-fledged ship armed with mighty air defense and strike systems, and capable to deploy and protect landing party. And Ivan Gren could be used as civilian ferry", said the expert. According to Sivkov, our Navy needs ships of that project much more than Mistrals, but as long as the military still have no idea what kind of ships they need and for what purpose, Project 11711 may be disregarded.

Displacement of large landing ship Ivan Gren is 5,000 tons; full speed is 18 knots; length is 120 meters; beam is 16.5 meters; draft is 3.6 meters; complement is 100 men. The ship is armed with three 12-barreled 30-mm antiaircraft guns and may accommodate two Ka-29 transport/attack helicopters, writes Izvestiya.

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