NEW DELHI, February 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will begin construction on nine submarines in the next two years, the head of the country’s largest shipbuilder said Friday.
Mikhail Budnichenko, CEO of the Sevmash company, said at a defense expo in India the shipyard would lay down eight nuclear submarines in the next two years, including four of the new strategic missile Borey class.
He added that the company would also build a special-purpose submarine, a term that in the past has been used for boats testing new technologies and weaponry.
The boats are to be armed with the new Bulava intercontinental missile, which has been plagued by a string of failures in test launches as recently as September.
A senior navy source said in November that the submarines will be unable to perform their primary role of nuclear deterrence until the missile is operational.
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 III and Delta IV-class boats. Russia ultimately expects eight Borey-class submarines to enter service by 2020.