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Russian Navy Accepts First in New Class of Nuclear Attack Submarine

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Russian submarine Severodvinsk

Russian submarine Severodvinsk

Russian television has reported that the Russian Federation Navy has accepted its first Project 855 Yasen-class nuclear-powered attack submarine into this week.

Called K-560 Severodvinsk, the 13,800 ton boat has been in construction at the Sevmash yards since 1993—its completion long delayed due to Russia’s economic malaise since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was not until 2010 when Russia launched the new submarine, which has been undergoing sea trials since September 2011.

Severodvinsk is expected to be the quietest and most capable Russian attack submarine to date being far more potent than the older Soviet-era Akula and Sierra-class designs. But the new vessel is not expected to be quite as silent as the U.S. Navy’s Seawolf or Virginia-class boats.

According to the state media outlet Ria Novosti, Severodvinsk has a submerged displacement of 13,800 tons, length of 119 meters, speed of 31 knots, and can dive to 600 meters. It has a crew of 90 including 32 officers. It is armed with 24 Oniks (SS-N-26) and Kalibr (SS-N-27) cruise missiles along with a host of 533mm torpedoes and mines. It is the first Russian or Soviet-designed submarine to feature a spherical bow sonar array.

In addition to Severodvinsk, there are two additional Yasen-class submarines that are already under construction. These additional vessels, Kazan and Novosibirsk, are being built to a somewhat modernized design standard designated Project 855M Yasen-M. A third vessel will be laid down in August, according to Russian Television.

Russia is expected to order three further Project 855M boats in 2015, and ultimately the country could build more than eight Yasen-class submarines.

Russia is already working on a follow-on design to the Yasen-class, Russian television reports. “The harsh laws and rules of shipbuilding do not allow any pauses in designing new generations of submarines,” Russian navy commander Adm. Victor Chirkov told the station.

Meanwhile, the Russian Navy continues production of the Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine to replace the Project 941 Typhoon-class and Project 667BDRM Delta IV-class boomers.

Three of the Borei-class submarines have been completed thus far, while a fourth vessel with a modified design called Knyaz Vladimir is currently under construction. The new design is called the Project 955-A Borei II—and may carry 20 ballistic missiles rather than the 16 found on older vessels in the class.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Sure hope it proves to be safer than that other “most advanced sub in their fleet” did some years ago (the Kursk). I think their sailors deserve better.

    • statepark

      If all their subs sunk, I would be happy. Chinese too.

  • http://nickysworld.wordpress.com/ Nicky

    I think the Russians are finally catching up

  • Bobby Wheeler

    When it sinks….. we can salvage it.

  • buzzman1

    The Russians design first rate stuff and build junk. This will be no different. Its probably over hyped junk. And their ships have long suffered from underpaid sailors stealing critical parts to sell.

    • James Bowen

      The Russians don’t build junk. Their Akula-class submarines were/are very capable platforms, as are the Oskar-class SSGN’s. Others platforms of theirs, such as the Alfa-class SSN’s, were very, very impressive in some respects but very problematic or lacking in others. What they do have a history of is being reckless and overriding safety measures. This has led to several tragic reactor accidents and submarine losses.

      • buzzman1

        The soviets had a long history of building large quantities of everything at very low quality. Ad to that corrupt officials cutting corners and underpaid crews stealing parts to sell as scrap for cash.
        Look at the 3 aircraft carriers they built. 1month at sea and 3 years in dry dock. Jet fighters and bombers. Have to be taken off line every year to replace rubber. Their engines wear out 20 times faster than ours, Russian helicopter engines are rebuilt 3 times and thrown away before ours go into rebuild the first time. etc etc etc.

        • James Bowen

          Much of what you speak of was a result of the economic turmoil that resulted from the collapse of the Soviet Union. That threw their industrial base into havoc. Prior to that, however, they were building very good weapons in large quantities.

          Regarding their aircraft carriers, traditionally they did not have any, and only started to build them in the 70’s and 80’s, and those were more or less gradual steps toward fleet carriers.

        • http://mlxxxtimislegioix@gmail.wordpress.com Secundius

          Actually at this time Russia has one Medium Aircraft Carrier, which on carries 48-aircrafts and two Helicopter Carriers.

          And during the Battle of Stalingrad in WW2. T-34 Tanks, shaved-off up too 2-pounds of metal, just starting their engines.

          There is even, a case about a factory shift, actually heels to the toes of high-heeled shoes and the actually went too market. That shows you what their quality control was like. Nonexistent!

      • Secundius

        That might be true. But, does Russia have the man power to crew the sub and does Russian have the funding too pay, the men crewing their submarines. That’s the $64,000 dollar question!!!

        • James Bowen

          Good question. Manpower certainly–it does not take all that much manpower to man a navy, even a large one. Adequate pay–not sure about that one. The Russian economy has improved greatly in the last decade, and conditions have gotten better for their military (and other government) personnel, but I’m pretty sure they still have a lot of problems.

  • http://www.usmc.mil @notrizzo

    If this is the first USSR/Russian sub to have a spherical bow sonar, I’m thinkin we may have grossly overestimated the capabilities of the past/present boats.

    It’s also humorous that they are finally including a spherical bow sonar when our sub designs are now moving past that to a Large Aperture Bow sonar array.

  • Peter Devereau

    We may want to keep a very close eye on this boat and not automatically discredit it or her crew. Let’s remember how their Aplhas freaked everyone out with their high power liquid metal cooled power plants that gave them 40+ knots submerged. Don’t play Russia short because that will come back to haunt us big time.

    • Beluci

      Liquid Sodium is very dangerous.

  • Beluci

    In my opinion this sub was designed for low speed, though no doubt it is capable of high speed. Low speed, low noise.

  • Secundius

    Considering Wi-Fi signals can travel underwater with ridiculous ease. The first
    country that developes a Wi-Fi Phased Radar System, for underwater usage. Is
    going to have Quantum edge over every other nation. I hope its going to be us!

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  • Marc Jansen

    The Russian is a strange animal, one has to wonder why Putin and the Russians have chosen to begin the Cold War anew inspite of a much weaker European position, damaged pride? I think a Russian would rather go to war and destroy the world rather then to be proven wrong or admit a mistake! Seeing how THREE different people had the power to unleash their missiles during the Soviet Era, I suspect it will be quite capable if it’s crew can survive or if has a competent commander and pose a real threat to American and NATO navies. Frankly, I’m glad they are upgrading their equipment, hopefully this will make it safer and less prone to errors as we hope is the case with allot of our junk!

  • Steven wessel

    Russians don’t design or build junk!