Russia’s defense capacity is not harmed by the absence of the Delta IV-class nuclear submarine “Yekaterinburg”, says Igor Korotchenko, presidium member in the Defense Ministry’s Public Council. “Yury Dolgoruky”, which is capable of carrying 16 ballistic missiles of the new Bulava type, will compensate for the Northern Fleet’s temporary loss of “Yekaterinburg”:
- There will be no harm to the defense capacity that is needed to sustain Russia’s strategic balance with the other members in the global nuclear club, Korotchenko said, according to RIA Novosti.
Russia will even be stronger armed, since the Bulava missile is a more powerful weapon than the Sineva missile, which “Yekaterinburg” was equipped with, Korotchenko says.
A military source told ITAR-TASS that there are only a few, purely technical problems to be solved before “Yury Dolgoruky” can be taken into service:
- [we need] to place intercontinental Bulava missiles in the launching tubes, to load torpedoes, water and supplies and to give the crew a chance to relax after last year’s testing of the submarine and the Bulava, and we need to make one more test of all the sub’s mechanisms and components.
“Yury Dolgoruky” on December 23 2011 conducted its first multiple launch of the Bulava missile, and the missile is ready to be taken into service in the Russian fleet in 2012, Interfax reported.
It has earlier been said that “Yury Dolgoruky” will be taken into service in the Pacific Fleet. There are no indications in Russian media that it will go to the Northern Fleet instead.
”Yekaterinburg” back in service in 2014 - Rogozin Military experts say that it will take some 3-4 years to repair “Yekaterinburg”. The submarine’s rubber coating and hydroacoustic system was seriously damaged in the fire and the repairs are estimated to cost some €24.5 million. The sub can be transported from Severomorsk to Sevmash shipyard outside Arkhangelsk only in May-June, when the White Sea is free of ice, and the Northern Fleet cannot expect to have the vessel back in service before 2015, at the earliest, ITAR-TASS reports.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on his Twitter account says that “we plan to return the submarine to duty earlier, in summer 2014.”