The Alexandrit-class (Project 12700) mine countermeasures vessels are built by Sredne-Nevskiy Shipyard, a subsidiary of United Shipbuilding Corporation, for the Russian Navy. The vessels are designed to detect and destroy mines at naval bases and harbours.
The keel for the lead vessel in class, Alexander Obukhov (507), was laid at Sredne-Nevskiy Shipyard in St Petersburg, Russia, in September 2011. The vessel was launched in June 2014 and commissioned into the Baltic fleet in December 2016.
In April 2014, the Russian Ministry of Defence placed an order for the construction of three additional minesweepers for delivery by 2018.
Keel for the second vessel, Georgy Kurbatov (508), was laid in April 2015, while the vessel was launched in July 2017. It was scheduled to be commissioned in 2019. Keel for the third vessel in class, Ivan Antonov, was laid in January 2017 and its launching ceremony was held in April 2018.
The keel-laying ceremony of the fourth vessel, Vladimir Emelianov, was held in April 2017, and the vessel was scheduled to be launched in 2018. The keel for the fifth vessel, Yakov Balyayev, was laid down in December 2017, while its launch and commissioning were scheduled for 2019.
The Russian Ministry of Defence plans to acquire a total of 40 Project 12700 mine-sweeping vessels for the Russian Navy by 2035.
Design of Alexandrit-class mine countermeasures vessels
The Alexandrit-class was designed by the Almaz Central Design Bureau. The ship features a solid mono-hull made of glass-reinforced plastics. The hull is formed using vacuum infusion methods. It offers high strength to increase survivability during mine clearance operations. The lightweight and robust construction also ensures longer life than low-magnetic steel hulls.
The mine countermeasure ship has a length of 61m, beam of 10m and draught of 2.6m. The full load displacement of the vessel is 890t, and each ship complements a crew of 44 personnel.
The Project 12700-class is equipped with high-efficiency sonars placed on board the ship as well as remotely controlled and autonomous submersibles.
Mine countermeasures equipment
The vessel features a mine countermeasures automated control system. Each vessel is capable of employing traditional mine-sweeping equipment, including Diamond mine countermeasures systems, OUKT-B, PKT-B, Zhelatin and ShAT-U.
The vessel also deploys remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and unmanned surface vessels (USVs).
Sensors and communication systems of Alexandrit-class vessels
The Project 12700-class integrates PAL-N navigation radar, MTK-201M3.1 electronic-optical television system, Anapa anti-saboteur sonar, Struktura-35 underwater communication system and Ruberoid communication complex.
The Project 12700-class is armed with 9K38 Igla short-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, 30mm AK-306 gun mount, MTPU 14.5mm marine pedestal machine-gun mount, and UDM, MTPK and PMR series of mines.
The AK-306 can be mounted with a GSh-6-30L six-barrelled automatic cannon and SP-520M-2 opto-electronic control system. It can engage aerial targets, small-size surface and light-armoured coastal targets, and floating mines. The Igla SAM system allows the vessel to strike aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The propulsion system of Project 12700-class integrates two M-503M1 diesel engines, two rudder propellers with nozzles and two transverse thrusters. Each engine develops a maximum power output of 1,864kW.
The vessel is also equipped with two 315kW diesel generators and two 210kW emergency generators.
The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 16.5k and the vessel can attain a maximum range of 1,680nmi at a speed of 10k. The maximum endurance of the minesweeper is ten days.