Russia has decided to purchase a second domestically produced Ivan Gren–class tank-landing ship now that delivery of two large amphibious-assault ships from France appears unlikely in the near future due to international pressure over the situation in Ukraine. The 6,000-ton (full load) Ivan Gren class is being built in Kaliningrad and remains one of the few options available as the Russian fleet attempts to increase amphibious lift and assault capabilities. These new LSTs are capable of carrying around 36 armored personnel carriers and up to 300 troops. The first unit, pictured here while under construction in mid-2012, was laid down in December 2004 but has yet to enter service despite more than a decade of construction. These and other domestic shipbuilding challenges were likely a major factor that previously led the Russians to view foreign shipyards as a solution to fill their amphibious gap.
By Eric Wertheim