The Black Sea Fleet’s latest minesweeper Ivan Antonov is transiting the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits in its deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, the Fleet’s press office reported on Thursday.
“For the ship’s crew, this is the first deployment to the long-distance maritime zone after it was accepted for service in the Black Sea Fleet,” the press office said in a statement.
After the warship passes through the Black Sea straits, it will join the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean Squadron, the statement says.
The base-type minesweeper Ivan Antonov is the third built and the second serial-produced ship of this class. The contract for its construction was signed with Russia’s Defense Ministry in April 2014. It was laid down at the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard in St. Petersburg in northwestern Russia on January 25, 2017 and floated out on April 25, 2018. The latest mine countermeasures ship was delivered to the Russian Navy on January 26, 2019.
Project 12700 mine countermeasures vessels (minesweepers) have their hull made of glass-fiber 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-fiber reinforced plastic has a longer service life than the hull made of low-magnetic steel while its weight is considerably smaller.
Project 12700 warships displace about 900 tonnes and are over 60 meters long and 10 meters wide. They develop a speed of 16.5 knots and have a crew of 44. The warship can use various mine-sweeps, as well as remotely-operated and autonomous underwater drones.