New nuclear sub to be delivered to navy before year-end

Russia's new Borey-class nuclear submarines are being built at the Sevmash shipyard on the coast of the White Sea (Photo by Sevmash)

The Northern Fleet will receive its second Borey-class nuclear submarine “Aleksander Nevsky” by the end of the year. Test launching of the Bulava missile will be resumed in 2014.


The Russian Navy has postponed any further trials of the troubled submarine-launched Bulava ballistic missile until 2014, Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov said.

“All plans have been moved to next year in accordance with the schedule of state trials,” Chirkov said Wednesday at a conference on prospects for military shipbuilding until 2050, RIA Novosti reports. 

Military officials had earlier said that new test launches of the Bulava missile would start later this year, following an order from Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Shoigu said there would be five additional launches before acceptance, following a failed launch on September 6, when a missile fired during state trials of the “Alexander Nevsky” nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea fell during the second minute of flight.

The commission investigating the failure is expected to deliver its report in the near future, according to Jane’s.

Russian navy to receive second Borey sub by year-end
A total of eight Borey-class nuclear submarines are to be built for the Russian Navy by 2020. The first vessel, the “Yury Dolgoruky”, arrived at its home base in the Northern Fleet in September.

The second one, the “Alexander Nevsky”, will most likely be delivered to the Russian Navy around the end of November or early December this year, Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation said Friday, according to RIA Novosti.

“The “Alexander Nevsky” has completed state trials. It is currently undergoing some finishing works following recommendations by a state inspection commission,” the company said in a statement.

State sea trials of the “Alexander Nevsky” were suspended in September following the failed missile launch, but were resumed in October and the vessel is now expected to be put into service even without additional Bulava testing.  

The third boat, the “Vladimir Monomakh”, is undergoing sea and state trials, while the fourth Borey-class submarine, the “Knyaz Vladimir”, has been under construction at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia since July 2012.   

Fifth Borey to be laid down in 2014
The construction of a fifth Borey-class submarine is expected to begin in late 2014, Admiral Viktor Chirkov said Wednesday.

 “I cannot talk about a specific date … but the start to construction of another Borey will happen within a year,” he said, according to RIA Novosti.

Borey-class ballistic-missile submarines are to become the mainstay of the Navy’s strategic nuclear deterrent, replacing the aging Project 941 (designated by NATO as Typhoon-class) and Project 667 (Delta-3 and Delta-4) vessels.

Next generation sub will be non-nuclear
Russia’s fifth-generation strategic and attack submarines will most likely be non-nuclear-powered, more compact and less “visible,” a senior designer at the Rubin design bureau said Monday.

“I believe future submarines will be smaller, because of the use of more advanced technologies as well as the pursuit of more cost-effective production,” Sergei Sukhanov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

The designer said the most likely substitution for a nuclear reactor on strategic and attack submarines would be an air-independent propulsion plant (AIPP), which would make them stealthier than nuclear-powered boats. The AIPP allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without the need to access atmospheric oxygen.

“The endurance of submarines with this type of propulsion should be sufficient for a month or even more,” Sukhanov said, and added that the construction of fifth-generation submarines in Russia could start in the next 10 to 15 years.