TASS Russian news agency
The source said at the SIMBF international maritime business forum in Sevastopol:
“Infrastructural facilities are being prepared in Sevastopol for the helicopter carrier Mitrofan Moskalenko under construction at the Zaliv Shipyard. The process is on schedule. Work is underway in the waters of the Sevastopol Bay where its berth will be located. Everything should be ready by the time the ship arrives at the base,”
According to the source, when the ship arrives in Sevastopol, it will become the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet. The source said that the ship would occupy the place, which had been intended for the second Mistral-class ship designated as Sevastopol.
TASS does not have any official confirmation of the information provided by the source.
The versatile amphibious assault ship can carry a group of heavy helicopters, armored vehicles and transport up to 1,000 Marines or even more. It has a dock for landing boats.
The Project 23900 ship was developed by the Zelenodolsk Design Bureau. The first two ships of the type, namely, the Ivan Rogov and the Mitrofan Moskalenko, were laid down by the Zaliv Shipyard on July 20, 2020.
About Project 23900 LHD
Zaliv Shipyard in Kerch laid the Ivan Rogov (factory # 01901) and the Mitrofan Moskalenko (01902) universal amphibious assault ships designed by Zelenodolsk Bureau of AK BARS Corporation.
The displacement is over 20000 tons. The ship is 204 meters long and the draft is over 7 meters. It can carry a thousand marines and 75 hardware units, and up to 16 helicopters. The dock of the ship can keep six landing boats.
Sources told TASS in November 2019 that the new amphibious assault ship can carry over 20 helicopters and two reinforced marine battalions of 900 men. They said the displacement will be 25000 tons and the length close to 220 meters.
The Russian amphibious assault ships resemble French Mistral. They have a through flight deck for helicopters and an island superstructure in the starboard. It carries two masts for radars and two funnels.
Mistral uses rudder-propeller units. The Russian ships have a traditional rudder-propeller group, according to the poster displayed in January 2020 at a show in Sevastopol.
Images published by Business Online show Ka-27 and Ka-52K helicopters on the deck of project 23900 ships. It is highly likely that the ships will be armed with Pantsir-M air defense guns and rotating Paket-NK SM-588 launchers with 324mm antitorpedoes.
Sources told TASS in April 2020 the two universal amphibious assault ships of project 23900 will cost close to 100 bln rubles. The lead ship is to be handed over to the Navy in 2026 and the second one on 2027.