Russia will start building two helicopter carrier ships in 2018, according to a defence official who spoke with TASS. Capable of carrying helicopters such as the Ka-52K, the new carriers will have a combined diesel and gas propulsion system.
“The development of the helicopter carriers will begin in 2018, and the pilot model will be completed in 2020 and delivered to the fleet in 2024. The sole follow-on ship will be built in 2022 and delivered to the fleet in 2026,” the source said.
That said, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said the first helicopter carrier should be ready by 2022 but did not go into more details. Borisov spoke about the carriers at the HeliRussia-2017 exhibition.
The main propulsion will be fuelled by diesel and the turbine — most likely fuelled with gas — will be needed for high speed sailing.
Although no shipyard has been designated to build the two helicopter carriers, the construction is part of the new state armament program for 2018-2025.
The new carriers will host a variety of helicopters:
According to the same defence official, the helicopters should be delivered at the same time as the helicopter carrier.
Back in 2015, the Russian Navy displayed a model of the Priboy-class amphibious assault ship, capable of hosting a number of helicopters as well as landing craft. It is a replacement for the Mistal-class LHD, a sign of Russia’s commitment to improve its defense capabilities own its own.
The Priboy-class ship model is equipped with a wide variety of weaponry:
- Klinok (SA-N-9 Gauntlet) anti-aircraft missile system
- Pantsir-M shipborne anti-aircraft missile and gun system
- 100 mm A-190 artillery mount
As for the landing craft, the Priboy-class can host two Serna-class (Project 11770) and four Dyugon-class (Project 21820) landing craft utilities.
It is capable of hosting more than 500 personnel and 60 pieces of military equipment, perfect for the Russian Naval Infantry.