According to Russian state-run news agency, TASS report Russia Building First Two Universal Landing Ships In Crimean Shipyard
Russia’s two first helicopter carrier warships will be laid at a shipyard in Crimea in the spring of 2020, according to two anonymous sources.
“Two LHDs with a displacement of up to 15 thousand tons are planned for the first time in Russian history at the Zaliv shipyard in Kerch in 2020,” one of the agency’s sources said.
He added that the lead ship is planned to be handed over to the fleet before the completion of the current state armament program, by the end of 2027.
Another source also said that “the laying of both ships will take place in May 2020.” He confirmed that each will have a displacement of up to 15 thousand tons. The warships, he said, will be able to carry more than 10 helicopters of various classes onboard, and will also receive a large docking chamber for landing boats.
The sources further said that “the development of a technical project for new ships is in the final stage, after its completion, in the coming months, a contract for the construction of the LHD will be signed.”
Earlier, another source in the shipbuilding industry told TASS that no later than the end of 2019, the Ministry of Defense would complete the formation of a tactical and technical task for the first Russian universal landing ships.
According to that source, it was planned to build and hand over the lead LHD to the customer within the framework of GPV-2027, and have it in serial production – by the beginning of the 2030s.
The Zaliv factory in Kerch has a slipway for building ships up to 300 m long and up to 50 m wide, which allows it to build ships with a displacement of more than 150 thousand tons.
Universal landing ships, also called helicopter carriers, are capable of carrying a large grouping of heavy helicopters for various purposes (up to 16 helicopters from Mistral and more than 30 from American type Wasp), and also carry from several hundred to a thousand or more marines.
In addition, the LHD has a dock for speedboats, and other small vessels, to ensure landing and the transport of armored vehicles.
If the reports are true, these ships would become the largest ships in the Russian Black Sea Fleet, and they will also be capable of operating in the Mediterranean.