MOSCOW, March 19 (RIA Novosti) - The distinguishing feature of Russia’s newest, fifth-generation submarines will be stealth rather than higher speed or greater depth capabilities, Vladimir Dorofeyev, head of the Malakhit Design Bureau, said on Tuesday.
“It is quite possible that new technological solutions will appear to protect submarines from detection,” he said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
The fifth-generation submarine will acquire new capabilities through close interaction with other components of the Armed Forces, including surface warships, warplanes, spacecraft, satellites, as well as other submarines, based on an integrated information space, he said.
He added, however, that the incorporation of submarines, alongside surface warships and warplanes, into a single communications system is at odds with the idea of a “stealth vessel,” insofar as the sheer exchange of information is a “telltale sign.”
“But that is a field that requires serious scientific-technical research,” Dorofeyev said
Rubin Central Design Bureau head Igor Vilnit said on Monday work is in progress on fifth-generation nuclear-powered and diesel submarines.
The new submarine will have a service life of about 50 years, he said.
The fifth generation will be distinguished by its lowered noise, automated control systems, reactor safety, and long-range weapons.
The Russian Navy currently relies on third-generation submarines with fourth-generation subs of the Yury Dolgoruky (Project 955 Borey) and St. Petersburg (Project 677 Lada) class just beginning to be adopted for service. In addition to Rubin, Defense Ministry research centers and the Navy Institute, as well as Rubin’s partners and contractors, are currently working to develop a basic design of the fifth-generation submarine.
The Defense Ministry previously said Russia is planning to develop its fifth-generation submarine by 2020 under a 2011-2020 arms procurement program, to be armed with both ballistic and cruise missiles.
Russia also plans to build eight fourth-generation strategic nuclear subs by 2020 and arm them with Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles.