23 Apr 2019 11:45

Putin to witness laying of 4 ship keels, launch of Belgorod nuclear sub on Tuesday

MOSCOW. April 23 (Interfax) - The keels of four ships will be laid for the Russian Navy at two shipyards in western Russia on Tuesday during President Vladimir Putin's trip to St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, according to materials prepared by the Kremlin press service.

"A ceremony of keel-laying, interlocking, and launching of ships for the Russian Navy will take place at the [Severnaya Verf] shipyard on April 23. In all, a video link will connect three shipyards. Keels of two serial frigates of Project 22350, the Admiral Amelko and the Admiral Chichagov, will be laid at Severnaya Verf," the materials said.

The same shipyard will interlock parts of the hull of the Merkury corvette, the lead ship of Project 20386.

"Meanwhile, keels of two landing ships, the Vasily Trushin and the Vladimir Andreyev, will be laid at the Yantar Baltic shipyard (in the Kaliningrad region)," the materials said.

In addition, the Belgorod nuclear submarine will be launched in Severodvinsk, the materials said.

The Belgorod of Project 09852 started as Project 949A. According to the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) magazine, "its hull was modified consistent with the new project in 2012 to exclude cruise missile launchers."

Russian Navy Commander Vladimir Korolyov said in 2018 that Russia was working on a multipurpose oceanic system comprising nuclear submarines carrying self-propelled submersibles and powered by a nuclear reactor.

"These weapon systems will enable the Navy to accomplish a broad range of missions in the distant oceanic zone and waters near the enemy territory," Korolyov said.

Presumably, the Belgorod of Project 09852 and the Khabarovsk of Project 09851 could be carrying Poseidon underwater attack drones.

Putin said on February 20 that the first Poseidon-carrying nuclear submarine would be launched this spring.