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​The russians Build Special Ship for Ka-52 Helicopters to Cruise in the Sea of Azov

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Nikolay Kamov training ship after its launch in April 2024 / Open-source photo
Nikolay Kamov training ship after its launch in April 2024 / Open-source photo

The russian navy is set to complete the construction of a vessel that can offer nothing but exercises for naval aviation personnel

Shipyard in the port city of Gorodets, in Nizhny Novgorod region of russia, has launched the first and so far only ship of Project 14400 Nikolay Kamov into water, russian naval-themed media report. Warships of this class are designed to carry out trainings for helicopter crews of naval aviation.

The russian sources anticipate that the finished ship will be commissioned to the russian Ministry of Defense by the end of 2024. The permanent deployment base will be in Yeysk, on the Sea of Azov coast; this is where also the 859th training center for russian navy pilots is located.

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Scale model of a Project 14400 special ship for training of naval aviation helicopter pilots / Defense Express / The russians Build Special Ship for Ka-52 Helicopters to Cruise in the Sea of Azov
Scale model of a Project 14400 special ship for training of naval aviation helicopter pilots / Archive photo

A Project 14400 ship has quite extraordinary specifications: hull 66.9 meters in length and 12.7 meters wide, the draft is 2.1 meters, water displacement: 842 tons, sailing speed: up to 12 knots, operational range: 500 n.miles or 2 days without refueling. The helipad can accommodate one helicopter of Ka-27, Ka-29, Ka-31 or even Ka-52 type. On-board armament is absent.

Basically, the russians built a training helicopter carrier the size of a corvette, which is not seaworthy enough to go into the open sea but it will be still possible to relocate it to the destination base through the internal waters of the russian federation (i.e. from the Nizhny Novgorod region to Yeysk).

Also, this ship has an interesting construction history. For starters, this watercraft was formally laid back in June 2018, but de facto works began over a year later, in October 2019. The interval is explained by the fact that the russian defense ministry first ordered the construction of Nikolay Kamov, and only then began to deal with the issues of technical documentation for the ship.

The ship was transferred from the building berth to a dry dock in October 2021. So it turns out that russia has already spent at least 3 years on the construction of a small-sized ship whose only function is hosting military drills.

At this point, we can see the paradox: one explanation for why it took so long to complete Nikolay Kamov is because the russian military didn't consider it a priority; but at the same time, the fact they still persisted with completing the project shows that the russian federation continues to spend significant resources on its navy.

Project 14400 Nikolay Kamov training ship after its removal from the building berth, October 2021 / Defense Express / The russians Build Special Ship for Ka-52 Helicopters to Cruise in the Sea of Azov
Project 14400 Nikolay Kamov training ship after its removal from the building berth, October 2021 / Open-source photo
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