The submarine, named “Severodvinsk”, has world-record in construction delays. The first welding work with the hull started back in December 1993 following blueprints and drawings that still had the USSR-stamps. According to the first plans, the submarine was to be launched in 1995 and commissioned for the navy in 1998.
The submarine however went on its first sea trails Monday this week. The short press-release posted by the Sevmash construction yard reads that the submarine at this voyage will carry out her first sea trails.
If the sea trails are successful, “Severodvinsk” is expected to enter service with the navy by the end of this year, as previously reported by BarentsObserver.
”Severodvinsk” is the first of Russia’s new fourth generation multi-purpose submarines of the Graney-class. The submarine is the most heavily multi-armed submarine put to sea since the Oscar-II class. While the Oscar-II class, like the ill-fated Kursk submarine, can carry cruise-missiles with a limited range, the new Graney-class carries a variety of long-range cruise missiles. The new missiles is by RIA Novosti said to have a range of up to 5,000 kilometres. Due to the missiles long-range, the submarine is rather to be categorized as a sub-strategic weapon than a traditional attack submarine.
The press-note posted at the portal of Sevmash says nothing about any weapon tests at this week’s first sea trails of “Severodvinsk.”
Fully armed, the submarine can carry 24 cruise missiles and eight torpedo launchers. The cruise missiles onboard can be both tipped with conventional warheads or nuclear warheads.
The 120 metre long hull is made of low magnetic steel and the submarine is powered by a single-reactor. The submarine is by Voice of Russia said to have a maximum diving depth of 600 metre.
The second of the Graney-class submarine, named “Kazan”, is currently under construction at Sevmash and another eight of the class is said to be built before 2020.
It is not reported how many of the Greney-class submarines that will sail for the Russian Northern fleet’s bases on the Kola Peninsula or how many that will be based at the Pacific fleet.