Saturn and the Alekseev Hydrofoil Design Bureau discuss strategic partnership

Georgy Antsev, chairman of the board and general designer, and Sergei Platonov, general director and chief designer, from JSC R. E. Alekseev Hydrofoil Design Bureau, visited Saturn on May 19.

Sharing experiences and discussing joint projects were central topics for the meeting between the leading companies in high-speed boat design and aviation engine design, which also forms the basis for domestic nautical gas-turbine engine-building. Ilya Fedorov, managing director of NPO Saturn invited the company’s leading specialists in nautical gas-turbine construction to the meeting – general designer Yury Shmotin, chief engineer Vladimir Stogov, and director of the nautical gas-turbine program Dmitri Novikov.

As a leading developer and producer, Saturn has earlier been tasked with organizing Russia’s only production of next-generation naval gas turbine power units with capacity between 8 and 40 mWs, units for a wide range of vessels for the navy, the border guards, and commercial shipbuilding.

NPO Saturn and Alekseev Hydrofoil Design Bureau have worked together for a few decades now. The Alekseev company’s very first hydrofoil, in operation for more than 25 years, sports VD-7B engines made in Rybinsk. They also have experience of working together on hydrofoils with wings. From 2005 to 2008 Saturn carried out research and development on a project for gas turbines for the Dyugon cutter. Today Alekseev specialists are betting on the use of powerful Saturn engines in a range of new civil projects.

“We are currently looking at three global projects,” says Georgy Antsev. “One of them is a project for a transport-expeditionary hydrofoil vessel with a displacement of 1,200-1,500 tons, a pretty serious ship for coastal areas for vital activities by Russia and a number of foreign customers.

The second is the creation of a new generation of hydrofoils of two types, with displacements of up to 60 tons and up to 650 tons. We have already spent quite a while working on engines for hydrofoils with the Kuznetsov design firm. The current state of this firm does not provide long-term prospects for engines in the 17-20 ton range with one engine. Therefore we would like to work with Saturn as a strategic partner, with whom we could create a hydrofoil with a capacity of about 60 tons.”

Sergei Platonov adds the third project, which has much to do with the need for new high-speed passenger and passenger-freight vessels. “We’re talking about high-speed naval and river vessels. Among the projects in the pipeline, we are also studying the possibility of using engines that Saturn has already developed. This is another big layer in our cooperation.”

Commenting on the visit, Georgy Antsev noted, “In Saturn, we see a reliable partner. The years we have spent working together on projects such as the Dyugon, hydrofoils, seeking an engine for the 1,200-1,500 ton vessels, and a number of others, show that we are in a position to do a lot of serious work.

Saturn is actively developing – they are undergoing technical re-fits and new construction. We see a youthful design firm – a young chief designer, young faces, sitting not at drafting tables but in front of computer screens. We see a young chief engineer, young faces in the production section, overall a youthful team. It’s a team of serious professionals, with drive and ambition, and the desire to make Saturn a world-class company. And it’s not just a whim. Saturn’s joint projects with France have achieved concrete results. The design, production, the entire process chain – they’ve got it all, at the most modern level.

Having known Ilya Nikolaevich Fedorov for about three decades, I can attest to his professionalism. This is a man who can quickly get to grips with the most complex management and technical questions, who has vast experience in working both with the armed forces and with industry. He has seen industry in the Soviet period, in the transitional period, and in the modern period in which he has worked with serious private enterprise. Taking into account the current political situation in the country and Rostechnology’s corporate processes, I can say that Ilya Nikolaevich is just the right man to lead the modernization at Saturn. And in my opinion he has made the right decision in banking on youth – for without the young, there’s no future.”