The JSC Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard (Sredne-Nevskiy sudostroitelnyy zavod) in St. Petersburg in Russia’s northwest will float out the Project 12700 fourth serial-produced minesweeper Yakov Balyayev on January 29. The ship will be named after the Hero of the Soviet Union Yakov Balyayev. The first ship, Alexander Obukhov (507), was laid down on September 22, 2011 and was launched in June 2014. A total of 40 ships are planned to be constructed. On June 9 2017, the Russian Russian Ministry of Defence announced that the first two ships would be delivered in 2018.
The Project 12700 Alexandrit-class coastal-type minesweepers are referred to the new generation of minesweeping forces and are designated to fight sea mines, including smart naval mines, which the new ships can encounter in the sea and on the seabed without entering the dangerous zone. The minesweepers designed by Almaz and being built by the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard displace 890 tonnes at full load, are 62 meters long and ten meters wide and have a crew complement of over 44 men.
The Project 12700 mine minesweepers (countermeasures) vessels have their hull made of glass-fibre reinforced plastic. As its advantage, this solution provides for the ship’s higher strength compared to the steel hull. The hull made of the monolith glass-fibre reinforced plastic has a longer service life (up to 30 years) than the hull made of low-magnetic steel while its weight is considerably smaller. At the same time, the fiberglass hull weighs less.