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Russia builds nuclear submarine for deep-water research

Commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov and General Director of Sevmash Mikhail Budnichenko took part in the launching ceremony at Sevmash. (Photo: Sevmash)

Russia’s Sevmash Shipyard on Thursday officially launched construction of a nuclear-powered submarine capable of both research and rescue missions.

Location

The new submarine, dubbed Project 09852, is designed by the construction bureau Rubin and is based on the project 949A Antey-class (NATO reporting name Oscar) attack submarine, Sevmash writes on its web site.

The submarine will be able to conduct different scientific research operations in ‘remote areas’ of the World’s oceans, take part search and rescue operations, provide installation of underwater equipment and inspection of them, tests of new equipment for scientific research and monitoring of underwater transport routes, according to the shipyard. The submarine will carry unmanned rescue submersibles.

K-141 “Kursk”, which sank in the Barents Sea on August 12 2000 was of the same 949A Oscar-class as the new submarine.

This is not the first ‘special operations’ submarine Russia starts construction of these days. As BarentsObserver reported, Zvezdochka shipyard recently recommenced construction of a deep-diving titanium submarine like the one Russia used this summer to collect data for the country’s application to the UN Law of the Sea. 

Russia has three unfinished Oscar-class submarines laid down in the period 1992-1994. It is possible that it is construction of one of these that now has been resumed at Sevmash. Then Commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky in February told RIA Novosti about plans to reconstruct the “Belgorod” for a ‘series of special missions’. 

The Project 949M class has a displacement of 23,860 tons, a length of 150 meters, speed of 33 knots and crew of 118.