The Russian Navy operates seven Delta IV Class strategic missile submarines. The submarines operate in the Northern Fleet and are based at the Saida Guba Naval Base.
The submarines were built at the Severodvinsk Shipyard between 1981 and 1992. In Russia, they are referred to as the Delfin or Dolphin Class Project 667 submarines.
The first of class, K51, was commissioned in December 1984. Following it were the K-84, K-64, K-114, K-117, K-18 and K-407 submarines, which were commissioned in December 1985, December 1986, October 1987, September 1988, October 1989 and November 1990 respectively. Later on, the third submarine of the class, K-64 Vladimir, was converted from a ballistic missile submarine for use by special forces.
Delta IV Class design
The submarine design is similar to that of Delta III (Project 667 BDR). The submarine constitutes a double-hulled configuration with missile silos housed in the inner hull.
The nose horizontal hydroplanes are arranged on the sail. They can rotate to the vertical for breaking through the ice cover. The operational diving depth of the submarine is 320m with a maximum depth of 400m. The propulsion system provides a run speed of 24kt surfaced and 24kt submerged. The submarine carries supplies for an endurance of 80 days. The surface of the submarine has an acoustic coating to reduce the acoustic signature.
The Delta IV submarines are strategic nuclear missile submarines designed to carry out strikes on military and industrial installations and naval bases.
The submarine carries the RSM-54 Makeyev missile (Nato designation: SS-N-23 Skiff) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). The RSM-54 is a three-stage liquid-propellant ballistic missile with a range of 8,300km.
In June 2009, the Russian Navy announced plans to refit the R-29RM (SS-N-S3) missile, called Sineva, on to its Delta IV Class submarines. In July 2009, two test missiles were launched from two of the Delta IV Class units in service with the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet.
The warhead consists of four to ten multiple, independently targeted re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), each rated at 100kt. The missile uses stellar inertial guidance to provide a circle of equal probability (CEP) of 500m. The CEP value is a measure of the accuracy of strike on the target and is the radius of the circle within which half the strikes will impact.
In July 2007, the Sineva SLBM, a development of the RSM-54, entered service with the Russian Navy. Sineva is being fitted to the Delta IV class submarines. It is reported to have ten MIRVs and have a range of 8,300km.
The submarine is also capable of launching the Novator SS-N-15 Starfish anti-ship missile or mk40 anti-ship torpedoes. Starfish is armed with a 200kt nuclear warhead and has a range of up to 45km.
The submarine has four 533mm torpedo tubes capable of launching all types of torpedoes, including anti-submarine torpedoes and anti-hydroacoustic devices. The system is fitted with a rapid reloading torpedo system. The submarine can carry up to 18 missiles or torpedoes. All torpedoes are accommodated in the bow section of the hull.
The radar warning receiver is the Brick Pulp system. The optronic mast is the Brick Spit.
The Snoop Tray surface search radar operates at I-band.
The sonar suite includes the hull-mounted Shark Gill sonar, which operates at low and medium frequencies in active and passive search and attack mode. The Mouse Roar active attack sonar is hull mounted and operates at high frequency. The Shark Hide flank array sonar is a passive low-frequency system. A Pelamida towed array sonar provides a very low-frequency passive search capability. The dispenser for the thin-line towed array is visible on the after fin.
The submarine has two floating VLF and ELF antenna buoys to receive radio messages, target designation data and satellite navigation signals while remaining at a safe depth.
The Delta IV is nuclear-powered with two VM-4 pressure water reactors rated at 180MW. There are two turbines, type GT3A-365 rated at 27.5MW. The propulsion system drives two shafts with seven-bladed fixed-pitch propellers.