Russia has begun construction of the second new Admiral Gorshkov class frigate for the Russian Navy at the Severnaya Verf shipyard in St Petersburg.

The second Admiral Gorshkov class frigate Admiral Kasatonov is intended for long-range strike, anti-submarine and escort missions in distant maritime zones.

The 130m-long and 16m-wide frigate has an operational range of above 4,000 miles and a displacement capacity of around 4,500mt.

The ship is equipped with eight SS-NX-26 Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles, a new 130mm gun mount, a Medvedka-2 ASW system and a Hurricane medium-range air defence missile system.

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The first Admiral Gorshkov class vessel is under construction at the Severnaya Verf shipyard and is expected to be launched in 2011.

The Russia Navy says it will procure up to 20 vessels of the same class.