Thursday, October 05, 2006

Astrakhan meets Astrakhan

Following article noted in the Russian MOD daily "Red Star" dated 5 October 2006. Translated by Old Crow and submitted to MT's Milcom Blog for information and interest.

Astrakhan meets Astrakhan...A new gunboat, the Astrakhan, which is designated to patrol and defend Russia's 200-mile economic zone in the Caspian Sea is now on the inventory of the Caspian Sea Flotilla. The hull was laid down on 30 January 2004 at the "Almaz" shipyard in St. Petersburg. The ship, of the type "River-Sea", has a displacement of around 500 tonnes. It is equipped with a powerful gunnery system, machine-guns, the "Grad" missile system and other weapons for the suppression of shore-based fire positions. Also, use of so-called "Stealth" technology renders the ship almost invisible to radar. The Governor of Astrakhan, Aleksandr Zhilkin, together with Caspian Flotilla command staffs have inspected the new combat unit. Two more vessels of the same class - "Makhachkala" and "Kaspijsk" are expected to join the flotilla by 2010.