20 August 2012, 19:16

Russian Navy in for subsurface beef-up

Russian Navy in for subsurface beef-up

Boosted by generous government funding, the Russian Navy continues to place orders for new nuclear-powered submarines. By 2023 – or even by 2020 if the conditions are right – it is to receive as many as 16. Eight will be killer subs, and eight, intercontinental ballistic missile platforms.

The ships of the latter family, codenamed 995 and ordered to the Sevmash naval shipbuilders near Arkhangelsk, will be carrying Bulava intercontinental missiles. All will be named after medieval Russian Dukes.

After 17 years of construction work, the pilot ship of the family, Yuri Dolgoruki, is already in commission. The second ship, Alexander Nevsky, which took 8 years to be built, is to go into service before January. Both will be sent to the Pacific Ocean.

The third ship, Vladimir Monomakh, which, too, spent 8 years under construction, is to slip off the staple this winter and go into service in 2014. Sevmash has already laid down the keel of the fourth ship of the family, Duke Vladimir the Great. It should be built within 6 years.

Ships four and six are now in the design pipeline.

All six of the Soviet-built Delfin-class submarines are to stay in service until the early 2030s. Two earlier Soviet submarines are yet to serve out their useful lifetime.

The first three of the 995-family ships will be carrying 16 Bulava missiles each. The last five will be carrying 20 each. This spells a total of 148 Bulava missiles in service and 20 to 30 in test and upgrade programmes. The Yuri Dolgoruki has already got its missile arsenal, and the Alexander Nevsky is about to get it.

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