According to the press service of the Eastern Military District and reported by LiveJournal, on June 19, 2020, the sea tugboat “Andrey Stepanov” of project 23470, built specifically for the Pacific Fleet, completed tests on the Black Sea and is preparing to move from Sevastopol to Kamchatka, where it will be part of the troop-support vessels and forces in the North-East of Russia. It is planned that the ship will arrive at the place of deployment by the Northern Sea Route.
The crew formed earlier in Kamchatka has already completed training, mastered the material part of the vessel and worked closely with the factory commissioning team. During the tests, the landing was carried out by the tug of a deck helicopter. The main tasks of the tug include escort operations in the far ocean, transportation of goods, breaking ice, as well as participation in search and rescue and special operations, including the elimination of the consequences of emergency oil spills, taking ships and ships aground, putting out fires on floating objects and onshore facilities.
The vessel has a displacement of about 3,200 tons, autonomy for more than 30 days, cruising range of more than 3000 nautical miles. Andrey Stepanov (serial number 411) is the second in a series of five marine tugboats of Project 23470, being built for the Navy of the Russian Federation at PJSC Yaroslavl Shipbuilding Plant (YaZZ), BMPD comments. The designer is JSC “Central Design Bureau“ Balsudoproekt ”. State contract No. З / 1/1/0135 / ГК-14-ДГОЗ for the manufacture and supply of the first two sea tugs of Project 23470 for the Navy of the Russian Federation was concluded between the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and the YaZZ on March 24, 2014.
On the initiative of the YaZZ in connection with the 110th anniversary of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, the first two naval tug boats of project 23470, by order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy dated September 16, 2014 No. 809, were given the real names “Sergey Balk” and “Andrey Stepanov” in honor of the heroes of the Russo-Japanese War – the commanders of the auxiliary fleet.
The lead tug of project 23470 Sergey Balk (serial number 410) was laid down at YaZZ on October 30, 2014 and launched on December 27, 2016, and the second Andrey Stepanov (serial number 411) was laid down on July 23, 2015 and launched at the water on July 29, 2017.
Under the terms of the contract, the first tug was to be delivered to the Black Sea Fleet by November 25, 2016, the second – to the Pacific Fleet by November 25, 2017. However, the construction of both vessels turned into a long-term construction due to the need to revise the project to replace on ships a number of Western-made equipment that fell under the sanctions, primarily propeller columns.
As a result, the lead tug of project 23470 under this contract, Sergey Balk, was towed on July 16, 2018 via inland waterways from Yaroslavl to Sevastopol to Perseus Ship Repair Plant LLC, where it was completed and completed. Factory trials of the vessel in Sevastopol were only begun on July 12, 2019, and the fleet Sergey Balk was only delivered on February 21, 2020, with a delay of more than three years in relation to the contract terms.
The second tugboat “Andrey Stepanov” was towed by inland waterways from Yaroslavl to Sevastopol to Perseus Shipyard LLC in July 2019, its factory sea trials began on March 11, 2020, and the state trials were completed only now. The ship, presumably, will be transferred to the North by inland waterways, after which it will go along the Northern Sea Route to the place of basing in Kamchatka.
The construction of the next three tugboats of project 23470 is being carried out at YaZZ according to a modified design, with the installation of predominantly domestic equipment, including GA2800Arc4 rotary-column columns with a capacity of 2.5 MW developed by Mechanika-R LLC (St. Petersburg), manufactured at the production facilities of the Stanokmash industrial park in Chelyabinsk (both enterprises are controlled by a group of JSC “KONAR”). The third sea tug “Captain Found” (serial number 412) was laid down at the YaZZ in 2016 and launched on November 28, 2019. Now the next two tugboats of this type with serial numbers 413 (Kapitan Sergeev) and 414 are under construction at YaZZ.