Dozens of major flaws on newest submarine

Vladimir Putin inspecting the nuclear powered submarine "Aleksandr Nevsky" in Severodvinsk on Wednesday. Photo: Prime Minister's Office

Simultaneously as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits Sevmash yard attending the contracts signing for new submarines, a source in the Russian Navy says the crew is afraid to sail with “Aleksandr Nevsky” - the newest submarine that carries 16 intercontinental nuclear missiles.


Vladimir Putin arrived in Arkhangelsk Wednesday morning and drove to Severodvinsk to attend the contract signing for more submarines of the Yasen and Borey classes. The contracts were signed by Russia’s Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and the United Shipbuilding Corporation, reports the portal of the Prime Minister.

The contract signing comes after a long-lasting conflict on the price-tags between the submarine builders and the Defense Ministry. In total, contracts for three new Yasen-class and one more Borey-class, and several other surface naval vessels were signed.

Both the Yasen-class and Borey-class are Russia’s fourth generation submarines and will be the core of the Russian navy’s modernized fleet. The first Yasen-class, the “Severodvinsk,” sailed out in the White Sea earlier this autumn on her maiden voyage. The two Borey-class submarines, the “Yury Dolgoruky” and the “Aleksandr Nevsky” have also been test-sailing the White Sea this autumn.

In Severodvinsk, Vladimir Putin inspected the “Aleksandr Nevsky” reports the portal of the Prime Minister. The price tag of the submarine is estimated to be 23 billion rubles (€552 million). 

The Borey-class is the first strategic nuclear powered submarines to be commissioned to the Russian Navy since the early 90-ties. They are the first with a digital operation control system. A source in the headquarters of the Navy says to Izvestia that the crew is afraid to operate the “Aleksandr Nevsky” submarine. During the first sea trail, from which the submarine just has ended, the crew and designers identified dozens of major flaws and several thousand smaller ones.

Representatives of Sevmash, the naval yard that has built the submarine, assure to Izvestia that all problems are now solved. The Navy source, however, claims that the digital systems onboard might not work properly.

During the first sea trail this October, the crew discovered a lot of design flaws that had to be fixed as the vessel was sailing.

Also, just before the submarine was to sail out in the White Sea, it was discovered that there were no windows near the steering-cockpit in the tower, a lack that prevented the navigator to see where he was sailing. A window was then made.

The Borey-class submarines carries the new Bulava intercontinental nuclear missiles. Last test launch to place on October 28.