Russia’s New Mine Sweeper Begins Shipbuilders’ Sea Trials

According to the press release of Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard’s press office, latest Alexandrite class minesweeper (Project 12700 ) Vladimir Yemelyanov has left the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation) dock and is underway to the Gulf of Finland for shipbuilders’ sea trials.

“The trials will last a month and a half. Over this period, the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard’s specialists and the crew of the latest minesweeper will check the operation of the vessel’s basic systems and mechanisms in real conditions of a sea transit. After completing the shipbuilders’ sea trials, the Shipyard’s delivery team and the minesweeper’s crew will switch to state trials,” the press office said in a statement.

The shipbuilders are set to deliver the minesweeper to the Russian Navy in December 2019.

The minesweeper Vladimir Yemelyanov was floated out on May 30 at the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard in St. Petersburg. The Vladimir Yemelyanov became the Project 12700 ‘Alexandrit’ fourth vessel laid down at the Shipyard. The minesweeper was named after Hero of Socialist Labor Vladimir Yemelyanov who had been the Shipyard’s head during the Soviet period.

The minesweeper will join Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

Displacing about 890 tons and having max speed up to 16.5 knots, the Project 12700 composite minesweepers were designed by Almaz Design Bureau located in Saint Petersburg. Basic mission of these ships is searching and disposal of mines in the waters of naval stations. They are equipped with sonars based both onboard and on remotely-controlled/standalone submersibles. However, the ships may use traditional sweeping equipment as well. In addition, the minesweepers feature unmanned motorboats.

In April 2018, the eight-ship series of Alexandrite-class minesweepers for Russian Navy was extended to ten ships, and delivery date of the last minesweeper was rescheduled for 6 years and set on 2027.

Currently, Russian Navy operates two Project 12700 minesweepers, Alexander Obukhov and Ivan Antonov. The third Alexandrite-class ship, Vladimir Yemelyanov, has already started the state trials program.