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    New-generation sub to enter service soon-Navy chief

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    A new-generation multi-role lead submarine will enter service with the Northern Fleet in the foreseeable future, Russia's Navy commander said Saturday.

    MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) - A new-generation multi-role lead submarine will enter service with the Northern Fleet in the foreseeable future, Russia's Navy commander said Saturday.

    "It [the submarine] is expected to join the Northern Fleet a little later than we would like it to be the case, but in the very near future," Adm. Vladimir Masorin said.

    He said construction of the submarine was nearing completion.

    He said Wednesday sea trials of a new nuclear missile submarine were scheduled for 2007.

    "We will launch the Yury Dolgoruky submarine this year and start sea trials next year, 2007," Vladimir Masorin said.

    The Yury Dolgoruky, a Borey-class nuclear missile submarine, is being built at the Sevmash plant in the northern Arkhangelsk Region. It will be equipped with the Bulava ballistic missile, which is adapted from the Topol-M (SS-27).

    President Vladimir Putin said in March that a fourth-generation submarine armed with Bulava missiles would form the core of an entire fleet of modern submarines.

    He said that Russia's submarine fleet was a major instrument of Russia's defense policy.