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Russia Sells Largest Landing Ship for Scrap

Russia Sells Largest Landing Ship for Scrap 12.09.2012
Text: Lenta.ru
Photo: Landing ship Mitrofan Moskalenko. nashflot.ru
Russian defense ministry decided to decommission and sell for scrap Project 1174 landing ship Mitrofan Moskalenko, writes Izvestiya referring to a source in defense industry. The most capacious ship in Russian Navy has been in reserve since 2002. To sell the ship at a maximum price, Russian defense ministry will put her up for auction.

According to the newspaper, it would be impossible to sell the ship at a price higher than $2.5 mln. That is cost of 11,500 tons of steel which Mitrofan Moskalenko is made of. The source said the decision to sell the ship was made for economic reasons, since her repair and modernization would cost as much as construction of two corvettes.

Mitrofan Moskalenko was commissioned in 1990. Currently, the ship is in reserve of Northern Fleet (NF) Kola Flotilla. The ship is capable to take aboard either up to 50 tanks, or 80 armored personnel carriers (infantry fighting vehicles), or 120 wheeled trucks. Dock chamber of Mitrofan Moskalenko accommodates six landing boats, and flight deck has enough room for 4 transport/attack helicopters Ka-29.

Earlier on, Interfax reported that Russian defense ministry was not about to modernize landing ship Mitrofan Moskalenko. As for the agency's source, the ship "is overaged and obsolete" so that her modernization was found economically unreasonable.

Russia's amphibious fleet may become considerably smaller within the next few years. Basically, the reason is that its core consists of obsolete Soviet-built landing ships of Project 775 (in service since 1976-1991) and Project 1171 (in service since 60-70's). Moreover, Russia's landing assault objectives are still not clear, reports Izvestiya.

In June 2011, Russia and France signed the EUR 1.2-bln contract for two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. The first ship is to be delivered to Russian Navy in 2014, the second one in 2015. Other two Mistral ships can be optionally built as well.

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