Source: keel laying for the first russian helicopter carriers to mark the 75th Victory anniversary
The ships will be named Sevastopol and Vladivostok.
The first two Russian general-purpose amphibious assault ships (LHA) will be laid at the Zaliv shipyard in Crimea in early May to honor the 75th Victory Day anniversary. This was reported to TASS by a source within the defense industry on Monday.
“Helicopter carriers are scheduled to be laid in early May to mark the 75th Victory Day anniversary of the Great Patriotic War,” the agency's interlocutor said. He noted that the ceremony would be held up to May 9 with participation by Defense Ministry leadership, but the exact date has not yet been determined. The source added that the contract for constructing the ships is expected to be signed between the Ministry of Defense and the Zaliv plant in February.
TASS has no official confirmation of the information provided by the source.
As TASS previously reported, the ships will be named Sevastopol and Vladivostok. Each ship will displace 25,000 tons, with a maximum length of about 220 m, which can support an air group of more than 20 heavy helicopters. One LHA will be able to carry up to 900 Marines and have a dock chamber for landing boats.
In an interview with "Krasnaya Zvezda" in late December last year, Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said that the contract for constructing general-purpose amphibious assault ships should be signed in 2020.
Last December, Mikhail Budnichenko, head of Sevmash, described plans to lay down two nuclear submarines as part of the Yasen-M 885M project on May 9, 2020, at this plant.
Regarding the class of ships
General-purpose amphibious assault ships, also called helicopter carriers, are able to carry a group of heavy helicopters for various purposes (up to 16 Mistral helicopters and more than 30 U.S.-style Wasps), carry anywhere from a few hundred to over 1,000 marines, are equipped with a dock for boats and can transport armored vehicles. Ships of this class were not built in Russia and the USSR.