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Russia's Navy is planning to order some 40 corvettes, ten for each fleet
The first vessel of this class will make the maiden voyage as early as this May, senior officials at the Severnaya Verf shipyard in St.Petersburg told Itar-Tass on Wednesday. "A corvette which is a new generation warship by its performance characteristics and weaponry, will be launched in May to begin a complete range of trials. It is expected to be combat ready and join the Navy in 2007," the officials said. The first two corvettes will be given to the Northern and Baltic Fleets. Simultaneously, efforts are underway to round up production capacities and place an orders for building such corvettes with a Maritime shipyard, to replenish the taskforce of Russia's Pacific Fleet. The Northern design bureau which developed the corvette, has said vessels of this class are "a must to our fleet." They will replace small submarine hunters of Project 1124M because as they surpass them to a considerable extent in firepower and seagoing qualities. In late January, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov briefed a meeting of the Maritime board under the Russian government on the corvette project. "We've launched the construction of a series of corvettes for near maritime zone, the first of them will go into service in 2006," Ivanov said. The corvette is intended for such mission as the protection of water areas and ensuring of a favorable operations regime for surface ships and submarines in coastal areas. Its primary function is the search and monitoring of submarines and the fight against them. It has a displacement of 3,000 tons, a speed of up to 35 knots and fuel endurance of 10 days. The main weapons include anti-submarine missiles, air defense systems, torpedoes and artillery systems. Earlier, Navy chief Admiral Vladimir Masorin attended the official ceremony which launched the construction of a new generation frigate of Project 22350. It will be the largest surface ship ever built after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The project will be completed by 2009. Masorin's aide Igor Dygalo said the frigate has a displacement of 4,500 tonnes and a cruising range of 4,000 miles. It will carry anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-submarine missile and artillery complexes and a Ka-32 helicopter.
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