SSBN Borei Class Nuclear-Powered Submarines, Russia
Borei Class is a Russian fourth-generation nuclear-powered missile submarine. It is intended to eventually replace the ageing Delta III and Typhoon Class submarines and become an important deterrent for the Russian Navy. It is the first class of submarines developed by Russia since the soviet era.
Designated Project 935, it began in 1996 to manufacture the first unit of the Borei Class submarine. The project name was changed to Project 955 and the submarine was redesigned to accommodate the new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) Bulava (SS-NX-30), in place of the abandoned R-39UTTH Bark missile.
Currently Yury Dolgoruky, Alexander Nevsky, Vladimir Monomakh and Knyaz Vladimir are the four submarines ordered under this project. These vessels were designed by Rubin Marine Equipment Design Bureau and built by Northern Machine Building Enterprise (Sevmash shipyard).
Russia has plans to build eight Borei Class submarines for its naval fleet by 2020.
Development of the Yury Dolgoruky vessel
The first in the class of the submarines is the Yury Dolgoruky vessel. The total cost of the submarine is $713m, including aresearch and development expenditure of $280m.
Project 955A, the higher version of Project 955, will build the Knyaz Vladimir and other follow-up submarines. This programme involves the construction of new submarines with various improvements and different hull shapes.
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Construction of the Borei Class submarines
The first submarine, Yury Dolgoruky, was laid down in November 1996. She was launched in February 2008 and began her sea trials in June 2009. The ship was formally inducted into the Russian Navy in January 2013.
Alexander Nevsky (K-550), the second submarine, was laid down in March 2004 and launched in December 2010. The ship was commissioned in December 2013, after completing a series of sea trials that started in October 2011.
Vladimir Monomakh is the third Borei Class submarine. She was laid down in March 2006 and launched in December 2012. The submarine was commissioned in December 2014. The fourth Borei Class ship, Knyaz Vladimir, was laid down in July 2012.
Bulava SLBM missiles on the Russian subs
The Bulava SLBM (designated RSM-56 in the START treaty), which is based on the Topol M design, is being fitted onto the Borei Class submarines.
These missiles are developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology and were launched on the Project 955 platform.
The missile is 12.1m long and has a diameter of 2.1m (including the launch container). It weighs a total of 36.8 metric tonnes and is capable of carrying six to ten re-entry vehicles with a yield of 100kt-150kt each.
The Borei Class submarines have lower displacement levels than the Typhoon Class, which can carry a similar number of missiles. Yury Dolgoruky could carry 16 of these missiles, while the improved versions of the Borei Class submarines may carry 20 of them.
The submarine also carries six of the SS-N-15 missiles. Each SS-N-15 is a 533mm calibre anti-ship missile that has a range of 45km and is capable of being fitted with a 20kt warhead or a type 40 torpedo.
Vessel propulsion systems
The submarine is powered by an OK-650 nuclear reactor, AEU steam turbine, a shaft and a propeller. The Borei Class submarines are the first in Russia to run on the pump jet propulsion system.
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The Udaloy Class of anti-submarine destroyers were built for the Russian Navy between 1980 and 1999.
The Russian Navy has 14 Bars Class project 971 submarines known in the West as the Akula Class nuclear-powered submarines (SSN).