Sub with Emperor’s new clothes arrives in Gadzhiyevo

Strategic missile submarine "Yury Dolgoruky" arrived to Gadzhivo naval base on Russia's Kola Peninsula last Friday.

Strategic submarine with missiles that might not work arrives to port on Kola ten months after President Vladimir Putin supervised the official handover.


Friday was supposed to be a game-changer date in Russia’s strategic missile forces. A test launch of the new said-to-become super ballistic missile Bulava should prove its readiness simultaneously as the first submarine to carry the missiles would arrive at her homeport Gadzhiyevo.

The test launch, supposed to be the final, took place from the “Aleksandr Nevsky” in the White Sea. It failed as reported by BarentsObserver yesterday. While a commission will look into what went wrong this time, further tests of the missiles are halted. 

While the missile launch failed in the White Sea, the Northern fleet’s orchestra was lined up at a pier in the naval town of Gadzhiyevo north of Murmansk on the coast to the Barents Sea. A tug vessel assisted “Yury Dolgoruky” to the pier.

video-news from the event is posted by the regional broadcaster TV21 in Murmansk.

The event happened ten months after the submarine was handed over to the navy from the Sevmash shipyard. President Vladimir Putin witnessed the flag hoisting ceremony from a video-link in Severomorsk, while Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was in the central command post of the sub at port in Severodvinsk. In Moscow, Vice Premier and former Ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin posted a message on Twitter commenting that “Yury Dolgoruky” was ready for mission. “Дрожите, буржуи! Кирдык вам).” English translation would be something like: “Shiver, bourgeois! You’re done with!).” The word “буржуи» is Soviet slang for capitalists or foreigners. 

Russian media reports this week says nothing about why it took ten months from the submarine was handed over to the navy until she arrived to Gadzhiyevo. “Yury Dolgoruky” is like the other Borey class submarines especially designed to carry the Bulava missile and cannot carry other intercontinental missiles, like the Sineva that are onboard the fleet of Delta-IV class submarines. 

While “Yury Dolgoruky” stays at port in Gadzhiyevo with weapons that could be called the Emperor’s new clothes, the Defense Ministry has put trails of the two next submarines in the class on hold, reports RIA Novosti. A total of eight Borey-class submarines are planned to join the navy by 2020.

Awaiting the results from the state commission investigation of last week’s test failure, the current missiles onboard “Yury Dolgoruky” might have to be pulled out of the tubes and checked. The submarine can carry 16 missiles.