The designers will rise at foil

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Source: “Kommersant. Privolzhe”, dated from May 17, 2017.
Author: Anna Pavlova
Photo: Roman Yarovitsyn

Hydrofoil Design Bureau intends to resume the building of the legendary “Meteor”.

After half a century break, R.E.Alexeev’s Hydrofoil Design Bureau begins to load a production unit with new orders. What is more, it is the first time, when the company undertakes the building of vessels on the projects, designed by other bureau. So, on May 16, Hydrofoil Design Bureau launched the general service boat “Katran” on the project of DB “Almaz”. It is planned to launch three more vessels until the end of the year, while in the future they planned to revive the building of the legendary hydrofoil of the type of “Meteor”. The experts believe that the updated concept of “Meteor” can receive the support from the Ministry of industry and trade of the Russian Federation, but the project implementation will take years.

The boat “Katran”, built under the contract with JSC “Shiprepairing Center “Zvyozdochka” (Severodvinsk is a part of United Shipbuilding Corporation) for oceanographic research vessel “Academician Alexandrov” is a first vessel, launched by Hydrofoil CDB in 2017, and first one in post-Soviet history of the enterprise, built on not their own project. The designer is CMDB “Almaz”, which designed the research vessel. According to the general Director if CDB, Sergey Dementiev, this boat became the first project in the development of the own production of the company since post-Soviet period. “This project is interesting for us due to the fact that it was the first time, when we built the boat, according to not our design documentation, in frames of the development plans of our own production area.  We do it to develop the skills set in the production field: we should teach the workers, and the best object for studying is ready-made design documentation. All in all we plan to launch three more hydrofoils”, - said General Director.

The boat wil provide the daily work of ‘Academician Alexandrov”, it will be used for lightweight diving from the board and carrying out the towing works. The two-seat boat with the passenger capacity of 10 people and displacement of 5.73 tons costs about 50 mln. rubles in accordance with “Ъ-Privolzhye”. It is planned to deliver “Katran” to the customer in the end of June during International Maritime Defence Show in Saint-Petersburg.

Hydrofoil CDB expects to order the more vessels of the type “Katran” under the state contract. “We plan to sign the contract with Shiprepairing Center “Zvyozdochka” in this year for the delivery of two more items of such boats, we have already received the guarantee letter. It the contact sign, the second “Katran” will be laid down for “Zvezdochka” in this year, the third one – in 2018. What is more, in case of successful contraction, we plan to laid down the similar boat for the plant “Yantar” in this year”, -  Mr. Dementiev bounced the plans.

The company is prepairing to launch a small modernized boat “Volga” in the VIP version on the end of May, while in August-September – high-speed hydrofoil boat of mixed type “river-sea” “Sagaris”, which is built by the order of the Ministry of industry and trade of the Russian Federation, and it can achieve the speed up to 130 km/hour. Hydrofoil Design Bureau plans to launch the headmost sample of the first in modern Russia high-speed passenger hydrofoil “Valdai 45R” in September (it is being built with the support of the Ministry of industry and trade of the Russian Federation), which was designed by CDB since 2013.

Another new project in the development of passenger high-speed fleet for Hydrofoil Design Bureau can become the resumption of the building of hydrofoil “Meteor”, which was operated on the Soviet perios on inland waterways for scheduled passenger transportation, and now it is operated on the routes of Saint-Petersburg. “Now we carry out the revival of the long-awaited “Meteor” in new vision together with the leadership of the basin of Saint-Petersburg. We have already received the technical specification, I hope, we will be able to work out a new concept of the vessel and we will get the order, but it is necessary to negotiate with the customer in order to show him that we can do it”, - noted the Head of Hydrofoil Design Bureau. They hope to receive the support in design and building of headmost sample from the Ministry of industry and trade of the Russian Federation, or to negotiate with the leadership of Saint-Petersburg. The company expects to determine the project before the end of summer.

It should be noted that last summer, a passenger catamaran, which was designed to replace the outdated “Meteor” on suburban water routes of Saint-Petersburg, was launched by Sredne-Nevskiy Shipyard  (it is included in United Shipbuilding Company). Theexperimentalvessel, whichcostsabout 300 mln. Ruble, was built by the order of the Ministry of industry and trade, but the authorities of Saint-Petersburg stated that they do not plan to order passenger vessels. The building of catamarans will be financed by the private companies-carriers, if the project is in demand. We also should remine that in 2014 the government of Tatarstan initiated the design of the pilot project of the revival of interregional river passenger transportation in Privolzhsky Federal District (PFD). The issue was studied by the office of the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President in district, however, the issue about the economic feasibility of such project remained open.

The Deputy Director of Central Scientofoc-Research Institute of shipbuilding industry, Vitaliy Savchenko believes that the project of the development pf new concept of “Meteor” can receive the support form the Ministry of industry and trade of the Russian Federation in the frameworks pf the general trend in the development of civil projects in defence industry products. “Now the Ministry is interested in civil products of shipbuilding companies and it can support the project, if CDB can offer a quality product. However, the research and development works, if they are carried out in the framework of the state program of shipbuilding development, will take at least two years from the date of adoption of the relevant decision, and it can be years  and before the building of headmost sample and exit the vessel in a series’, - says Savchenko. The competitiveness of the updated “Meteor” in the market will depend on their prices and efficiency, - said the General Director of the Marine Engineering Bureau, Gennadiy Egorov. “The main issue of such vessels is economy. If the Hydrofoil Design Bureau’s proposal of costs per passenger/kilometer corresponds with the market opportunities, it can be interesting to the market. Otherwise, even the support of the Ministry of industry and trade does not guarantee the demand”, - believes Mr. Egorov.