MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) – The second new Borey class ballistic missile submarine will enter Russian Navy service on Saturday, a defense industry source has told RIA Novosti.
“The commissioning of the ship into the fleet, as well as a flag-raising ceremony on the ballistic missile submarine Alexander Nevsky, is planned for December 21,” the source told RIA. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu will attend the ceremony at the Sevmash shipyard in the northern city of Severodvinsk.
The Defense Ministry said last month that delivery of the boat would be delayed until 2014 following the failure of an onboard missile system during sea trials in September. The malfunction was the latest in a string of eight failures of the new Bulava missile – developed for the new Borey class submarines – out of a total of 19 or 20 launches.
The new Borey class boats are currently incapable of performing their primary role of nuclear deterrence while the Bulava has not yet been cleared for service, a navy command source said on November 1.
The Alexander Nevsky, with a length of nearly two football fields, can carry sixteen Bulava missiles, each fitted with up to ten independently-targetable nuclear warheads. The first ship of the Borey class, the Yury Dolgoruky, entered service in January.
Ballistic missile submarines comprise one leg of Russia’s strategic nuclear triad along with land-based ICBMs and the bomber force.
The Borey is Russia’s first post-Soviet ballistic missile submarine class and will form the mainstay of the strategic submarine fleet, replacing aging Typhoon, Delta-3 and Delta-4 class boats. Russia ultimately expects eight of the type to enter service by 2020. The third boat in the class, the Vladimir Monomakh, is expected to be launched for manufacturer’s acceptance trials this month.