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City news, 19.05.2006 12:49

St. Petersburg shipyard launches new corvette for Russian Navy-1

shipbuilding St. Petersburg's Severnaya Verf shipyard Tuesday launched a new surface ship for the Russian Navy.

The Steregushchy corvette is the first in the Project 20380 series designed by the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau and being built at the shipyard.

Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir Masorin said at the launch ceremony that the event marked the beginning of a new stage in the development of Russian military shipbuilding.

"Russia must maintain its Navy," he said, adding that Russia planned to launch a new ship in each design series every year starting from 2006, and that construction of new combat ships would ensure security at sea and global stability.

"The ships of this series [project 20380] will be also helpful in ensuring Russia's energy security," Masorin said.

Russia has designated energy security its No. 1 priority for its period this year as chairman of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations.

Masorin said the corvettes would protect oil and gas transportation routes, especially in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea.

The construction of other two ships of the same series, the Boyky and the Soobrazitelny, is in its initial stages.

St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko said Almaz specialists had also designed an export version of the new corvette.

The Project 20380 corvette can be deployed to destroy enemy surface ships, submarines and aircraft, and to provide artillery support for beach landings. It uses stealth technology to reduce the ship's secondary radar field, as well as its acoustic, infrared, magnetic and visual signatures.

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