Admiral Viktor Chirkov, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, said during the Army 2015 international military and technical forum in Moscow:
"In order to avoid pauses and standstill, we have started design work on developing submarines of the next, i.e. fifth generation."
The completion of the new submarine type, known as the Yasen project, could take some time. The Yasen-class submarine will replace Soviet-era nuclear submarines by 2020.
The new submarine is expected to be 118 meters (390 feet) long, 13.5 meters (44 feets) wide and weight almost 14 tons. The Yasen will have a maximum speed of 31 knots when submerged and 16 knots surfaced.
All future Yasen-class submarines will have a state-of-the-art design featuring a modified hull profile and modernized equipment. The hull is made of low-magnetic steel.
It is expected that the Yasen will be among the stealthiest submarines in the world. According to Russian designers, the Yasen will be quieter than the latest US Seawolf nuclear submarine.
In addition to its 533-mm torpedoes, a Yasen-class submarine is capable of firing cruise missiles from its eight vertical launching systems.
They also can carry Onyx and Kalibr supersonic anti-ship missiles or land attack cruise missiles.
The submarine has a crew of about 90, which suggests a high degree of automation in the submarine's different systems. For comparison's sake, the newest US Virginia-class attack submarine has a crew of 134.