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Russian Navy conducts live-firing with Yakov Balyayev mine countermeasures MCM vessel.

| 2020

According to information published by the Russian press agency TASS on December 17, 2020, Russian Navy Project 12700 Alexandrit-class mine countermeasures (MCM) vessel ‘Yakov Balyayev’ conducted the first live-firing during the final stage of its sea and state trials, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported on December 17, 2020.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001Russian Navy Project 12700 Alexandrit-class mine countermeasures (MCM) vessel ‘Yakov Balyayev’. (Picture source militaryleak website)

“The crew of the ship used an AK-630 30 mm close-in weapon system engage air and surface practice targets. The platform also conducted an exercise to destroy a floating sea mine with the use of the AK-630 and a 12.7 m heavy machinegun,” said the MoD. The vessel also employed its acoustic and contact MCM systems during the trials.

The ‘Yakov Balyayev’ is set to join the Pacific Fleet on December 26.

The Project 12700 MCM vessel ‘Yakov Balyayev’ was laid down in December 2017 and was launched in December 2020. It became the fourth ship in the series built at the Sredne-Nevskiy Shipyard (SNSZ, a subsidiary of the United Shipbuilding Corporation). The type ship, ‘Alexander Obukhov’, was delivered to the Navy (VMF) in 2016. In 2018, the shipyard supplied the second ship, ‘Ivan Antonov’. The third ship, ‘Vladimir Emelyanov’, joined the Navy in December 2019.

The SNSZ now builds four Project 12700 MCM vessels, including ‘Georgy Kurbatov’, ‘Pyotr Iliychev’, ‘Anatoliy Shlemov’, and ‘Lev Chernavin’. The Project 12700 MCM vessels are planned to form the backbone of the Russian Navy’s MCM force in short term.

The design of project 12700 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 flails, as well as teleoperated and autonomous unmanned underwater vehicles and unmanned surface vehicles to disable or destroy mines at safe distances. 

The displacement of project 12700 minesweepers is close to 900 tons, the length is over 60 meters and the width is 10 meters. The speed is 16.5 knots and the crew comprises 44 men.

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