The Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau (CMDB) joint stock company, part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation since 2009, is a leading design & engineering company with a diversified range of products covering practically all types of surface combatants and special purpose vessels.
The design bureau traces back to October 1949 when it initially specialized in design of long-range high-speed combat craft.
The Almaz CMDB’s ancestor is the design bureau founded in 1932 at the Sea Border Patrol Service’s shipyard in Leningrad. This bureau has developed legendary MO-4 small submarine hunters and Â-3 torpedo boats, famous for their World War II experience.
In 1956, the special design bureau was renamed as the CDB-5 Central Design Bureau.
Having developed the best Russian torpedo boat of the postwar decade (Project 183), the CDB-5 initiated occurrence of a brand-new combat craft class by designing first missile boats in the world. Those were Project 183R Komar and Project 205 Osa missile boats. In reference to this class of surface combatants the Western countries coined the term fast attack craft (FAC). The Project 183 creators – P.G.Goynkis, G.I.Kitayenko, E.A.Popov – became Stalin premium prize-winners in 1951, and missile boats architects – E.I.Yukhnin, A.P.Gorodyanko and V.P.Gusev – were awarded with Lenin premium in 1961.
In a course of time the Bureau developed and enlarged the scope of design activity. In 1963, after merging with the CDB-19 Central Design Bureau which specialized in boats, the Company gets the actual name of the Almaz CMDB and becomes the USSR leader in design of innovative vessels.
During several decades combat craft developed by the Almaz CMDB made a large part of the Soviet naval materiel export. Delivered to the USSR partners’ navies, these boats were highly appraised. Deployment of Project 183R and Project 205 missile boats in local wars proved their high combat efficiency which made naval analysts change their views on future naval fleet development.
In the sixties, the Almaz CMDB created a new class of surface combatants, small missile ships, having developed Project 1234 Nanuchka, and later, innovative Project 1240 and Project 1239 Dergach missile ships. While a Project 1240 ship was an automatic control hydrofoil platform capable of attaining 60+ knots speed, a Dergach was designed as a hybrid of a catamaran and a surface effect ship, able to reach over 50 knots speed. Two Project 1239 ships, Bora and Samum, still serve in the Black Sea Naval Fleet. In 2002, the Almaz CMDB team became prize-winners of the State Premium of the Russian Federation for creation of Dergach small missile ship.
The Almaz CMDB is the creator of the first combat amphibious craft and landing air cushion vessels (ACV) in the world. By the bureau’s designs Russian and ex-Soviet shipyards have built more than 90 ACVs displacing from 27 to 550 t. In 1978, landing ACV designers L.V.Ozimov, M.V.Psarev, V.K.Dyachenko and Y.M.Mokhov were awarded with the State Premium of the USSR. One of the milestones in ACV development were Project 12322 Pomornik landing ACV serially built since 1988 and still remaining the largest landing ACV in the world. Export deliveries of Pomornik ACV to the Navy of Greece, NATO country, proves exceedingly high scientific and technological expertise of the Almaz CMDB designs. Besides, a series of smaller ACVs of Project 12061E Murena-E was delivered to the South Korean Navy and there are negotiations on Murena-E supply to Kuwait.
In 80s, by way of improving fast attack craft the Almaz CMDB develops a family of Tarantul missile boats armed with advanced supersonic antiship missiles and powered by diesel and/or gas turbine engines. India has purchased the license for one project, and a number of boats were delivered abroad. In 1998, Tarantul missile boats designers – A.V.Shlyakhtenko, E.I.Yukhnin, V.N.Ustinov, E.F.Volkovich, V.I.Portnykh and V.P.Pylev – were prize-winners of the Russian Government Premium.
The Almaz CMDB has long and fruitful experience of cooperation with marine border patrol service: ships and boats built by our designs have always made the backbone of their fleet. These are projects 199, 125A, 1400, 1398, 1207, 205P, 12412. For the Russian Coast Guard and for foreign customers Projects 10410 and 10412 border patrol ships are in build in large series. Over 30 units are commissioned to date. In 2000, authors of the project were awarded with the Russian Government Premium.
Following the package approach to marine border patrol activity, the Almaz CMDB has developed the System of ships and boats designed for patrol of sea borders, EEZ and continental shelf. Beside the Project 10410 it includes serially built high-speed boats of projects 12150, 12200 and 14310. These boats capable of reaching 50 knots speed allow rearranging the routine of sea border patrol. These speeds are made possible due to implementation of automatic control bottom interceptors. The team from the Almaz CMDB who took part in developing the system was awarded with the Russian Government Premium.
Presently, the Almaz CMDB is proposing a new design of a ship for patrolling 200nm EEZ. The Project 6457S Sproot fishery patrol vessel upgraded by the Almaz CMDB has also been commissioned to Russian Coast Guard in June 2009. In 1998, after merging with the Zapadnoye design bureau, the Almaz CMDB scope of design activity enlarged. The Almaz CMDB took over such directions as mine countermeasures vessels, salvage vessels, launch and transport floating docks, shelf exploration vessels. Designs of those were adequate, if not to say superior to the world’s best equivalents. To mention just a few, these are Project 12660 Rubin mine hunter capable of neutralizing advanced deepwater sea mines, and second-to-none Project 537 Osminog salvage vessel, and Project 2121 Sukhona launch floating dock for Sevmashpredpriyatie. One of the authors, V.N.Chesnokov was awarded with the State Premium of the USSR in 1984.
Nowadays, a number of projects designed for both the Russian Navy and foreign customers are under way - either in design or in build.
Firstly, this is a Project 20380 Steregushchiy-class multipurpose corvette, the procurement programme for which actually restarted renewal of the Russian Naval Fleet in a new millennium. In 2007, the first of class corvette Steregushchiy was handed over to the Russian Navy. The second, Soobrazitelniy, and the third, Boykiy, were launched, while two more still in build. These corvettes will be armed with up-to-date weapons and systems. A missile boat line of products is represented by Project 12300, Project 20970 and Project 12418 (one of Tarantul family) – a number of units were built for the Vietnamese Navy, build for two more foreign customers is in progress. As far as MCM vessels are concerned, commissioned in 2008 mine hunter “Vice-admiral Zakhar’in” is the unique vessel capable of detecting and neutralizing sea mines ahead on the course. Project 21300 salvage vessel designed for rescuing distressed submarines is fully under way. The ship will be equipped with advanced rescue capabilities. By her basic features the vessel is going to outmatch the world’s best equivalents. It is planned to be commissioned in 2011.
The Almaz CMDB has developed representation boats of projects 360 and 1360. The Project 1360 boat Kavkaz underwent upgrade in 2002 to become the presidential yacht of the Russian President. Worth mentioning are Project 21270 Burevestnik and 21600 Khosta representation boats.
Designing export-oriented projects plays an important role in the Almaz CMDB activities. By the Bureau’s designs there has been built over 1,000 units for more than 40 countries, saying nothing of license-building in China, India and Viet Nam. There were export deliveries of torpedo and missile boats, small torpedo ships, MCM vessels, patrol ships and boats, ACVs and floating docks. The Almaz CMDB has an exquisite expertise in various types of ships, boats and docks and is capable of proposing a wide variety of designs of diversified types, sizes and applications.
The Almaz CMDB works in a close cooperation with leading research, scientific, design and engineering organizations to improve speed and sea-keeping qualities of our vessels, to implement advanced weapons, sensors and navigation systems making our vessels meet the world’s highest standards.