The Russian Navy will start the construction of fourth Borey-class Project 955 strategic submarine in early 2010.

Russian Navy chief admiral Vladimir Vysotsky said the postponement of the submarine construction from late this year to early next year was not linked to the latest unsuccessful launch of Russia’s troubled Bulava intercontinental missile.

The Project 955 or Borey class is a forth-generation nuclear-powered missile submarine to replace the Navy’s ageing Russian Delta IV and Typhoon class ballistic missile submarines.

The Borey class submarine carries Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile, which was successfully launched only five times out of 12 test launches.

The Project 955 submarines could carry up to 20 ballistic missiles as well as carries up to 10 warheads and has a range of over 8,000km.

The 160m-long and 13.5m-wide Borey-class submarine has a submerged displacement of 24,000t and can cruise at a submerged speed of 26 knots with a crew of 130.