Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Russia to auction off huge landing ship

The Russian Navy is preparing to auction off its largest landing craft. The boat will be sold for scrap as the costs of modernizing the vessel would be just too high to make it worth while.
A source in the Russia Navy told a reporter:“Modernization of the landing ship ‘Mitrofan Moskalenko’ has been considered unpractical for economic reasons, also the ship is morally and physically outdated..The cost of its modernization is equal to construction of at least two small artillery ships. Also, [the] ship’s necessity is questionable from a strategic point of view. Russia does not plan to land seaborne troops anywhere."
The line of landing craft were built back in Soviet times with the Moskalenko being built in 1991. They were part of Project 1174 with the ships being in the the northern fleet. The ships could transport and land up to 50 tanks or 80 armoured vehicles or 120 trucks as well as 500 marines. They were also designed to carry four helicopters, air defense missiles and other weapons to support landing operations.
The Soviet Union constructed three of these ships in all. The first was built far back in 1978 and scrapped in 1996. The second the Aleksandr Nikolaev was built four years later in 1982. It is now in conservation as is the Mitrofan Moskalenko which for most of its life simply remained docked!

Naval expert Andrey Frolov said that the remaing ships will all likely be scrapped. The ships will be replaced by French-made helicopter aircraft carriers and two more carriers to be built in Russian shipyards. As well a new series of large landing ships are being built to replace the old out of date carriers.
The first in the new series the Ivan Green was launched May 18, 2012. The older ships are actually more adaptable than the helicopter carriers. They can launch troops on shore. Until the new landing craft are actually built and in service Russia will be lacking in landing craft. The Russian Navy is not expected to make much from selling the Moskalenko, about $2.5 millionor the price of the 11,500 tons of steel in the ship. Perhaps some entrepreneur will buy it and turn it into a museum cum bar! For more see this article .Maybe the Russians should list the ship on eBay

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