Topic: Russian Navy modernization
Built at St. Petersburg's Almaz shipyard, the Astrakhan will be the first in the navy warship to have stealth capabilities and can be armed with various artillery systems previously used only on destroyers.
Attending the ceremony, Navy Commander Vladimir Masorin said, "Our country is still capable of building combat ships without outside assistance and there is no doubt it will be in the future."
He said the Russian Navy was faced with difficulties in funding procurements, which resulted in a lack of ships and funds. He said ship-building was growing increasingly expensive as was technical equipment.
Masorin said the Astrakhan would operate in the Caspian Flotilla.
Almaz is one of Northwest Russia's leading shipyards. It was established in 1901 and has built more than 1,000 missile and patrol boats for the Russian Navy and Coast Guard and foreign clients since then. Sales in 2005 were more than 1.7 bln rubles ($61.46 million).
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