13 May 2019 18:02

Every Project 12700 mine countermeasures vessel of Russian Navy to get robotic systems - Region State Research and Production Company General Director

MOSCOW. May 13 (Interfax) - All Project 12700 minesweepers that will be provided to the Russian Navy will be equipped with integrated mine detection and destruction systems Aleksandrit-ISPUM, Region State Research and Production Company General Director Igor Krylov told Interfax.

"According to the Defense Ministry's plans, all Project 12700 vessels will be equipped with these systems and all fleets of the Russian Navy will receive Project 12700 minesweepers in the next few years," Krylov said.

"Those who work with the Aleksandrit-ISPUM say that this system is not just a step, but a gigantic leap forward," he said.

"When they started using it in the Baltic [sea] last year, they found not only sunken vessels and boats, but also objects from troops' equipment," he said.

The system comprises a ship hydroacoustic station and two machines 9a self-propelled underwater machine and a towed machine), as well as several ship systems. The self-propelled machine with engines and hydrolocation examines its trajectory and the underwater situation. The entire information from the underkeel station where low-frequency and high-frequency radars are installed and the machine are integrated in the command system created by Region, which is located on the vessel.

After the system detects an underwater object, a self-propelled machine equipped with a camera is sent there. It has its own hydrolocation and hydroacoustics, autonomous lighting. The information appears on the unit commander's screen. If a mine is found, the machine has special devise for destroying it, it has wire cutters and some other specialized equipment," Krylov said.

The Russian Defense Ministry earlier said the minesweeping forces of the Russian Navy will receive several dozens of Project 12700 minesweepers in the near and mid-term perspective.

Krylov also there is a possibility of using the robotic system Aleksandrit-ISPUM for non-military purposes.

"Machines that will be more maneuverable, maybe less informative, but simpler to use can be created" under the production diversification program to achieve purely civilian goals. Krylov said.

"We know that such equipment is needed, it has good prospects, including the recent activities in the exploration of the World Ocean. Therefore, we are focusing on the creation of a modular platform on which several machines with various target functions can be created to study the underwater situation," Krylov said.

Region has been set the task to implement a diversification program, Krylov said, adding that the enterprise has state defense contracts until 2022-2023. "Plus our obligations under export contracts," Krylov said.

"However, we understand that the situation may change, and when we fulfil the orders on diversification we calculate how we can occupy out production facilities and scientific-technical personnel if the need arises. One of the options is the use of the capabilities of the robotic system Aleksandrit-ISPUM for non-military purposes," he said.

State defense contracts accounted for 80% of the enterprise's revenue and export accounted for 20% in the past two years, Krylov said. "All weapons developed by Region since the end of the last century are produced on a serial basis," the source said.

Region is an affiliate of the Tactical Missiles Corporation.