There has been intense speculation in the military circles that Russia is developing two of the world’s biggest amphibious assault ships.
A pair of ships, Ivan Rogov and Mitrofan Moskalenko, are expected to be commissioned into the Russian Navy in 2025 and 2027 respectively, reports suggest.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has not been able to develop a destroyer or cruiser-sized ship. However, the new ships give them just the chance to put on display the most ambitious surface shipbuilding program in around 30 years.
According to reports, the two new assault ships under construction for the country’s navy will be even bigger than previously thought.
It’s still unclear whether these two assault ships will have the capability to carry aircraft or not. However, they are likely to provide the Russian Navy with a more flexible, affordable, and efficient alternative to the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.
In terms of displacement, the Ivan Rogov and Mitrofan Moskalenko give stiff competition to the best in the world, with Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko confirming that the new ships will amount to 40,000 tons each.
“Under the leadership of the President of the Russian Federation, two universal amphibious assault ships of a new project with a displacement of 40 thousand tons each were laid down,” said Krivoruchko, in an interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper.
With a displacement of 40,000 tons, the new pair will rank among the biggest assault ships around the world, including the US Navy’s Wasp Class, which was formerly considered the largest class of assault ships in the world, having a displacement of approximately 40,500 tons at full load.
This is almost similar to China’s new Type 075-Class assault ships with a displacement of around 40,000 tons.
The Project 23900 Class are miles ahead when pitted against France’s Mistral Class ships (21,500 tons), South Korea’s Dokdo Class ships (19,500 tons), and Japan’s Izumo Class (27,000 tons).
The two Russian ships — Ivan Rogov and Mitrofan Moskalenko — were laid down in July of last year. They are reported to have the capability of carrying more than 10 heavy helicopters. The multipurpose ships can be used to deploy the rotary combat aircraft in different missions, while also possessing the ability to transport over a thousand marine infantry personnel.
The advanced assault ships have been outfitted with a dock for landing craft that also enables the transporting of armored vehicles.
“The customer has set the task of ensuring the ship’s interaction with the land troops,” said Renat Mistakhov, chief of the Ak Bars Shipbuilding Corporation, while speaking to the Russian news agency TASS.
“We have been assigned the task of providing for a possibility of employing not only seaborne helicopters but also multi-purpose gunships so that they can temporarily land on the ship for the embarkation or disembarkation of a particular contingent,” Mistakhov added.
The introduction of new assault ships will pave the way for the elimination of the trouble-plagued Kuznetsov, and in turn, free up the funding Russia needs to make its future assault ships.