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Project 12700 Alexandrite-class minesweeper Yakov Balyayev completes shipbuilder sea trials.

| 2020

According to information published by the Russian press agency TASS on December 24, 2020, the Project 12700 Alexandrite-class minesweeper Yakov Balyayev for Russian Navy has completed its shipbuilder's sea and state trials, the Russian Defense Ministry’s press office said. During the trials, the ship’s systems and mechanisms proved their inherent capabilities.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001Project 12700 Alexandrite-class minesweeper Yakov Balyayev for Russian Navy. (Picture source Military Leak)

“A system designed to detect mines in deep water was tested in the Sea of Japan. The minesweeper’s AK-630 small-caliber antiaircraft artillery system and heavy machineguns were used to hit seaborne and aerial targets during the trials,” the press office said. The minesweeper is planned to join the Pacific Fleet on December 26, he added.

The Yakov Balyayev was laid down in December 2017 and launched in January 2000. It is the fourth Project 12700 ship built by the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard.

The lead ship Alexander Obukhov joined the Russian Navy in 2016. The second Project 12700 minesweeper Ivan Antonov was delivered to the customer in late 2018. The third ship Vladimir Yemelyanov was made operational with the Navy in December 2019.

The Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard is currently constructing another four minesweepers of the type, namely, the Georgy Kurbatov, the Pyotr Ilyichyov, the Anatoly Shlemov and the Lev Chernavin.

According to the Russian Navy’s main command, new-generation mine countermeasures vessels will make up the mainstay of the minesweeper forces and boost their operating capabilities.

The Alexandrit class, Russian designation Project 12700 Aleksandrit is a new class of minesweepers designed in Russia by Almaz and being built by the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard for the Russian Navy. The design of the ship is based on a monolithic fiberglass hull shaped by vacuum infusion, a modern construction method that results in a lighter hull with longer service life. The ships of the class are designed to use various mine counter combat equipment including teleoperated and autonomous unmanned underwater vehicles and unmanned surface vehicles to disable or destroy mines at safe distances.

The propulsion of Project 12700 consists of two M-503M1 diesel engines, two rudder propellers with nozzles, and two transverse thrusters. The ship can reach 16.5 knots (31 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 1,600 nmi (3,000 km; 1,800 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). She has an endurance of 10 days with a crew of 45 people. The ship is armed with one 30mm automatic cannon AK-306 SAM, 9K38 Igla short-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, an MTPU 14.5mm marine pedestal machine-gun mount, as well as UDM, MTPK and PMR series of mines.

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