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New Pacific Russian Nuclear Missile Submarine Facility Could Open by October

Borei-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN).

Borei-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN).

Upgrades to the Russian Navy’s ballistic nuclear missile submarine (SSBN) base in the Pacific could be completed by October, Russian Navy chief Adm. Viktor Chirkov said on Wednesday according to Russian state-controlled media.

The improvements to the Russian Navy’s boomer base on the Kamchatka peninsula will include improvements that will allow the operation of the new Project 955 Borei-class submarines.

“The system for basing the Borei-class strategic submarines in Kamchatka is moving along according to schedule and the work will be completed by October 1 of this year,” Chirkov said in the Sputnik news service.

The new construction includes medical and recreation facilities for sailors as well as warehouses and a new crane used to install missiles on the Boreis.

At the height of the Cold War, the Russian Navy based more than a dozen SSBNs at the Kamchatka Rybachiy Nuclear Submarine Base but that number dwindled following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Russian Navy accepted the latest Borei-class boomer — Vladimir Monomakh (K-551) — in December.

The 19,400-ton boat is armed with 16 Bulava nuclear submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and is slated to replace the Project 941 Typhoon-class and Project 667BDRM Delta IV-class boomers.

The next Borei — Knyaz Vladimir — is designated as a Project 955A Borei II and could field up to 20 Bulava missiles, according to Naval Institute’s Combat Fleets of the World.

The planned class of eight boats will serve as the backbone of the Russian sea-based nuclear deterrence force.