New Russian nuclear submarines: New quality of the Russian Navy

In 2019, the Russian Navy will receive two nuclear submarines: "Prince Vladimir" and "Kazan." These new nuclear submarines are to strengthen the combat capability of the submarine fleet of the Russian Federation and to ensure the nuclear deterrence factor in relation to the United States.

Also this year, the Russian Navy will receive frigate "Admiral of the Kasatonov Fleet", the "Gremyashchy" corvette, large landing ship "Peter Morgunov", small missile ships "Mercury" and "Ingushetia", patrol ship "Dmitry Rogachev" and 20 support ships.

According to previously published official information, in 2019, the Russian Navy should receive strategic-purpose missile cruiser Prince ('Knyaz' in Russian) Vladimir (Project 955A Borei-A) and multi-purpose nuclear submarine Kazan (Project 885M Yasen-M).

The Prince Vladimir, like other Project 955 cruisers, was created at the Rubin Central Design Bureau in St. Petersburg. The submarine was launched in November 2017.

To date, there are three 955 Project cruisers on combat duty in the World Ocean - Yury Dolgoruky (the Northern Fleet), Alexander Nevsky (the Pacific Fleet) and Vladimir Monomakh (the Pacific Fleet). In the coming years, Sevmash Production Association in Severodvinsk will deliver four more cruisers: Prince Oleg, Generalissimo Suvorov, Emperor Alexander III and Prince Pozharsky.

According to representatives of the Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation, Borei-class submarines will form the basis of Russia's nuclear triad. In the future, they will replace third-generation nuclear-powered submarines of Kalmar and Dolphin project.

The displacement of Project 955 submarine makes up 24,000 tons; its length is 170 meters; width - 13.5 meters; speed - up to 29 knots (53.7 km/h); submersion depth - up to 400 meters, autonomous navigation - 90-100 days.

The main feature of Borei-class submarines is about the low level of noise. The design of the submarine includes special sound-absorbing materials. The propellers sit in ring nozzles, and, if necessary, the nuclear cruiser can use jet propulsion units. To crown it all, Borei-class submarines are equipped with modern radio-electronic and sonar systems.

Borei-A is fully a Russian submarine created in accordance with state-of-the-art international standards, including low-noise indicators. The Prince Vladimir is somewhat different from its predecessors. The new sub has a slightly different form of superstructure and the hull. In general, this is a more technological ship than all three of its predecessors.

A Borei project cruiser is a carrier of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) R-30 "Bulava" developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Engineering (MIT). The main advantage of this weapon is about the so-called dry start: the silo, from which the missile blasts off, is not filled with water before it is launched. This peculiarity reduces the probability of being detected by sonar equipment of the enemy.

A Bulava ICBM can be launched from under the thickness of the Arctic ice, which is a very important advantage of this weapon. It is worthy of note that Project 667 cruisers equipped with R-29RMU2 Sineva and R-29RMU2.1 Liner liquid-fuel missiles can fire missiles only when they break through the ice.

The range of the R-30 Bulava missile is 10,000 km, the missile is 12.1 meters long, its payload is 1.1 tons and its probable circular deviation (accuracy) fluctuates from 120 to 350 meters. Each Bulava ICBM is equipped with six individual guidance units with a capacity of 150 kilotons each. One Borei-class sub can carry 16 Bulava missiles in its silos.

All ballistic missiles in service with the Russian Navy are capable of overcoming missile defense systems. However, the Bulava missile is a more efficient sea-based ICBM. The Bulava is a solid-fuel missile. It is inferior to the liquid-fuel ICBMs in terms of range and combat load, but the R-30 is safer in operation and gives the Navy tangible advantages in secrecy.

The Kazan multi-purpose submarine developed by JSC Malakhit (St. Petersburg) will enter the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy in late 2019. The Kazan is the first serial submarine of 855M project.

Advanced Project 855M belongs to the fourth generation of multi-purpose nuclear submarines. The Kazan submarine is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. In particular, the submarine has hydroacoustic complex of new generation MGK-600 "Irtysh" with a bow-shaped spherical antenna. The system is necessary for noise-finding, measuring the thickness of ice, detecting hydroacoustic signals and classifying targets.

The Kazan carries a water-cooled nuclear power reactor of OK-650V family, which was developed at OKBM named after Afrikantov (Nizhny Novgorod). The reactor stands out for simplicity of its operation and should increase the reliability of the power system of the submarine.

The arsenal of Yasen-M project submarines consists of "Caliber" and "Onyx" missiles. According to experts' estimates, submarines will be equipped with hypersonic Zircon missiles after the tests are completed. Zircon missiles can reach speeds of 9 Mach and strike targets at a distance of over 1,000 kilometers.

Zircon missiles will give Yasen submarines significant advantages. They will be able to destroy  aircraft carrier groups, individual large warships and naval bases.

However, the main task of Yasen-M submarines will remain unchanged: they will be used to track strategic nuclear-powered vessels of Western states. Russian nuclear submarines should effectively prevent a nuclear attack from naval platforms on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Borei-A and Yasen-M projects submarines represent a new quality of the Russian Navy. Each new submarine is an upgraded version of a previous sub. It is highly important that all of Russia's serial submarines are completely domestic vessels.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov