"The Yasen-class nuclear-powered submarine has turned out to be approximately twice as cheap, while exceeding the American submarine in terms of numerous tactical and technical characteristics," Makiyenko, deputy director of the Moscow-based Center for Strategic and Technology Analysis in Moscow, asserted.
The Yasen-class sub is estimated to cost approximately US$1.6 billion, while the Virginia class ships are said to cost $2.7 billion per unit.
Ruslan Pukhov, who heads the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said that the Yasen-class is also better armed that its American counterpart. The Yasen class can be outfitted with either 32 Oniks supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles or 40 Kalibr-PL anti-ship, anti-submarine and land attack cruise missiles.
The Virginia-class subs are currently capable of carrying 12 Tomahawk BGM-109 long-range subsonic cruise missiles, but the Block V boats will have a total of 40 Tomahawks. For its part, "the Yasen class is expected to receive sea-based cruise missiles with a range of 5,500 kilometers, double the range of the latest version of the Tomahawk," Gazeta.ru observed.
Four more Yasen-class subs are currently under construction, with the sixth Project 885 watercraft, called Perm, laid down in July 2016. A total of six updated Yasen-class submarines are due to join the Russian Navy by 2020.
A total of 13 Virginia class submarines have been in active service with the US Navy, with the USS Illinois commissioned in late October 2016. Long said to be the model defense-acquisition program, the Virginia class is said to have lately been plagued by delays and quality issues.
"Problems seem to stem from two primary factors: the move in 2011 to double the submarine construction rate from one to two per year has strained shipyards and the industrial base that supplies parts for the subs; and the Navy has successively reduced contractual building times as shipbuilders grew more experienced with building the submarines, cutting back on earlier, highly-trumpeted opportunities to beat deadlines," Defense News reported.
Never miss a story again — sign up to our Telegram channel and we'll keep you up to speed!