Russia offers ‘Alexandrit-E’ mine countermeasures vessels to India

By Editor 18-May-2020

The 890-ton Alexandrit-E class is the latest Russian mine countermeasures vessel designed to detect and destroy all kinds of mines around naval bases and in the open sea. It can also provide mine protection to ships.

The Indian Navy has been searching for new advanced minesweepers to replace its Pondicherry-class vessels for quite some time now. One suitable option to have emerged recently is Russia’s ‘Alexandrit-E’ project. This became evident when the Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev revealing that Russia would be participating in the tender for the minesweepers.

“We are waiting for the announcement inviting tenders for 12 mine countermeasures vessels. We will participate in the tender process with our modern Alexandrit-E vessel and believe that we would win the contract. It may be recalled that we have already bagged the major contract for the ‘11356 Project’ frigates,” Shugayev told Interfax news agency during an interview. The 890-ton Alexandrit-E class is the latest Russian mine countermeasures vessel designed to detect and destroy all kinds of mines around naval bases and in the open sea. It can also provide mine protection to ships. The Russian Navy already operates the Alexandrit (domestic version) class vessels.

The most striking feature of the ship is that it has the biggest hull in the world made of monolithic fiberglass formed by vacuum infusion. Although the ship is relatively large compared to other mine countermeasures vessels, its measurements indicate good seaworthiness that enable it to successfully perform missions in the rough seas. Alexandrit-E ships can use advanced anti-mine complex, which includes autonomous underwater vehicles.

These systems search and neutralize mines ahead of its course and so the ship doesn’t have to enter the mine -infested zone. At the same time, according to a technical source of Aeromag, the vessel combines the profile of both mine countermeasures ship and the classic minesweeper. In short, it can also use the ‘traditional’ mine clearer, which enables the vessel to neutralize significant amount of mines in a short time in the times of war.