Saturday, June 25, 2016

"Staryy Oskol" Heading to the Black Sea

"Professor Nikolay Muru" heading south through the Turkish Straits - March 4, 2016
[credit: Yörük Işık]

On June 23, "Professor Nikolay Muru" possibly began escorting new Kilo-class submarine "Staryy Oskol" as it continues its transfer to the Black Sea.

According to an anonymous source, "Staryy Oskol" departed Polyarnyy on or before June 1 following state weapons testing in the Barents Sea. The submarine was being escorted near the Netherlands on June 7. Soon after, the submarine, with its escort - rescue tug "Altay" - were spotted in the English Channel.

The trail went silent until Interfax and RIA Novosti, again citing anonymous sources, revealed on June 22 that "Staryy Oskol" was located in the central Mediterranean Sea. According to the RIA Novosti source, the submarine would transit the Turkish Straits in late June and arrive in an unspecified Russian port in early July.

AIS reporting for "Professor Nikolay Muru" - June 22-25, 2016

AIS reporting for Russian Navy rescue tug "Professor Nikolay Muru", which has been supporting Russian Navy ships operating in the eastern Mediterranean Sea since March, departed Tartus, Syria, on June 17. The tug made a direct 10- to 11-knot transit to the vicinity of Malta, where it was photographed on June 23. At approximately 11:00pm GMT on June 23, the tug began transiting east and has since maintained an average speed of 7.5 knots. The slower speed suggests the tug is either escorting a slow-moving vessel or towing something.

Ship spotters should provide the answer in the coming days.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fire on "Georgiy Kurbatov"

Fire onboard "Georgiy Kurbatov" - June 7, 2016
[credit: St. Petersburg Department of Emergency Affairs]

A fire broke that out on Tuesday at the Sredne-Neskiy Shipyard damaged "Georgiy Kurbatov", a new mine countermeasures ship being built for the Russian Navy.

Fire at Sredne-Nevskiy Shipyard -- June 7, 2016

At 7:30pm on June 7, emergency officials received their initial report about a fire at the shipyard in Pontonnyy, located a few miles east of St. Petersburg. Within five minutes, the first fire engine arrived at the scene. By 8:10pm, the severity of the fire had been raised to Category 3. The fire was localized by 10:20pm, and fully extinguished at 2:54am on June 8.

Fire at Sredne-Nevskiy Shipyard -- June 7, 2016
[credit: TASS]

Despite the damage to the minesweeper, shipyard press secretary Aleksandr Malakhov told reporters that the ship will still be delivered to the Russian MOD on time - fall 2017. Malakhov said this was possible as no major equipment or systems had been installed on the ship prior to the fire. According to Maksim Meyksin, chairman of the St. Petersburg Committee on Industry, the minesweeper's launch, scheduled for July 2016, will be postponed.

"Aleksandr Obukhov" launched at Sredne-Nevskiy Shipyard -- September 22, 2011
[credit: TASS]

"Georgiy Kurbatov" is the first of three Project 12700/Aleksandrit mine countermeasures ships being built under a contract (1418187404941020105004105/Z/1/1/0231/GK-14-DGOZ) signed with the Russian MOD in 2014. However, the lead ship of the class, "Aleksandr Obukhov" (built under contract 253/05/8/K/0011-07, later replaced by 1415187407072010105000101/N/1/1/0210/GK-14-DGOZ) has already been launched and began sea trials in the Baltic Sea in April 2016. The minesweeper conducted at least four rounds of at-sea tests between April 29 and May 27; it departed Kronshtadt on June 7 for another round of sea trials. Once commissioned, "Aleksandr Obukhov" will transfer to the Northern Fleet; "Georgiy Kurbatov" will transfer to the Black Sea Fleet.