Construction of the submarine forces of the Russian Navy in 2021

Groundbreaking ceremony for the “Prince Oleg” SSBN, July 27, 2014. Photo by Sevmash

On March 19, submariners celebrated their professional holiday. On this day, the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper published an interview with the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov. The commander-in-chief congratulated the submariners on their professional holiday, and also revealed current plans for the development of submarine forces, incl. for the construction and modernization of ships.

Special attention

The admiral noted that the issues of equipping the submarine component of the fleet receive special attention. This is due to the need to contain and neutralize threats to the country’s maritime borders. In accordance with geographical factors and current challenges, plans are drawn up for the further development of the submarine fleet. Current plans provide for the construction of fourth generation nuclear and non-nuclear ships, distinguished by high performance and wide capabilities.

Launch of the Bulava SLBM from the Knyaz Vladimir submarine, the newest Borey in the Navy. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

The Commander-in-Chief of the Navy revealed the current plans for the construction and acceptance of submarines this year. The commissioning of the next strategic missile submarine, project 955, and the laying of two new ones are expected. Also, two ships will replenish the fleet of multipurpose nuclear submarines of project 885. It is expected that one more diesel-electric submarine of project 636.3 will be commissioned and the laying of two next ships of this type is expected.

In parallel with the construction of the current 4th generation nuclear submarine, work is underway on the promising 5th. Work continues on non-nuclear submarines, project 677. In the short term, the Navy will receive two such ships, but the commander-in-chief did not name the exact dates. Also, the already begun modernization of the nuclear submarines of projects 949A and 971 continues.

Atomic perspectives

Let’s consider in more detail the announced plans for nuclear submarine shipbuilding. The main replenishment of the fleet this year will be the next SSBN pr. 955A “Borey” – “Prince Oleg”. This ship was laid down in 2014 and launched in July last year. The completion is completed, and now the submarine is undergoing mooring tests.

Lead nuclear submarine pr. 885, “Severodvinsk”. Photo of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

In the wake of the interview with the commander-in-chief of the Navy, possible details of subsequent work became known. TASS, referring to its sources, writes that in the coming months the nuclear submarine “Knyaz Oleg” will undergo state tests, during which it will launch the Bulava missile from a submerged position. Delivery of the submarine will be timed to the Day of the Navy, which will be celebrated on July 25. “Prince Oleg” will become the fifth “Borey” in the submarine forces and the third for the Pacific Fleet.

Three more Boreas are at different stages of construction, and one of the cruisers, Generalissimo Suvorov, will be launched this year. According to previous news, he will join the Navy by the end of next year. In the near future, construction of two more submarines will begin – “Dmitry Donskoy” and “Prince Potemkin”. Their service will begin in 2026-27.

The most important news about the construction of the multipurpose nuclear submarine pr. 885 “Yasen” is being received. To date, the fleet has managed to receive only the lead ship of this type, while the construction of the next has been noticeably delayed. After several years of waiting and a number of postponements, in the near future the transfer of the boat “Kazan”, built since 2009 according to the updated project “885M”, will take place. The next nuclear submarine “Novosibirsk” is expected to be accepted into the Navy by the end of the year. Recently, the media reported on preparations for launching the Krasnoyarsk ship. He will be taken out of the boathouse by the end of the summer.

Submarine “Kazan” on sea trials. Photo “Sevmash”

According to the results of 2021, the Northern Fleet will include two Yasen nuclear submarines. The third will be transferred to the Pacific Fleet. Six more submarines are under construction, including the Krasnoyarsk. They will be taken in the period from 2022 to 2028.

Diesel future

In the coming days, the next diesel-electric submarine pr. 636.3 “Varshavyanka” should be launched. The new “Magadan” will be completed and tested over the next few months, and by the end of the year it will become part of the Navy. Then the boat will be sent to the Pacific Ocean. In addition, this year the ship “Ufa” will be launched, which is to begin service in 2022. Mozhaisk and Yakutsk will be laid in the coming months.

The current construction of the Varshavyanka is carried out in the interests of the Pacific Fleet. He has already received two ships out of the planned six – “Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky” and “Volkhov”. Thus, thanks to the expected “Magadan”, half of the current plans for the re-equipment of the KTOF will be fulfilled.

Laying down of diesel-electric submarines “Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky” and “Volkhov” for the Pacific Fleet, July 28, 2017 Photo “Admiralty Shipyards”

In August last year, a contract was signed for the construction of the 13th Varshavyanka. The ship “Petrozavodsk” will be laid down in 2022 and will be built for the Baltic Fleet. Probably, in the future, there will be new orders for equipment for Baltic submariners.

According to Admiral Evmenov, in the future, the fleet will receive two diesel-electric submarines, project 677 Lada – Kronstadt and Velikiye Luki. This statement confirms previously reported information. In early February, the Admiralteiskie Verfi plant, which is building Lada, revealed plans for this series. The first serial ship, “Kronstadt”, is already undergoing mooring trials. “Velikie Luki” is still under construction, but will be launched next year. By the end of 2022, both diesel-electric submarines will be handed over to the fleet.

Thus, the long-suffering project 677 coped with all the difficulties and comes to serial construction. The lead ship of this type has long been listed in the Navy, it is planned to receive two more, and the next three diesel-electric submarines have already been contracted. They will probably be laid down at the same time as the delivery of the previous ships.

“Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky” on trials, October 2019 Photo “Admiralty shipyards”

Construction continues

To date, remarkable results have been obtained in the field of submarine shipbuilding, and this trend continues. Every year it is possible to complete and put into operation several nuclear and non-nuclear submarines of all main classes and types, from large diesel-electric to strategic missile carriers. As a result, both the total number of submarine forces and the proportion of new ships are growing.

The best results were obtained in the simplest direction, in the field of diesel-electric submarines. In 2010-20. built and handed over to two fleets eight “Varshavyanka”. Work continues, and no later than 2023-24. the construction of a series of such boats for KTOF will be completed, which will allow the transition to the rearmament of other fleets. It should also be recalled that since 2010, St. Petersburg, pr. 677 has been in trial operation.

In order to upgrade the naval component of the nuclear forces, it is planned to build 10 Project 955 (A) SSBNs. “Prince Oleg” will be the fifth in the series – its transfer to the fleet will mark the completion of half of the current program. The second half of construction will be completed in 2022-28.

Launching of the submarine “Kronstadt” pr. 677, September 20, 2018 Photo “Admiralty Shipyards”

So far, the worst situation is with the construction of multipurpose nuclear submarines of project 885 (M). Only one boat is ready, and after a long wait this year the Navy will receive two more. Problems with “Ash” are to some extent offset by plans to modernize existing multipurpose submarines with the replacement of key equipment and main weapons. However, in the long term, the number of modern “Ash” will grow, and this will gradually abandon the outdated samples.

It should be borne in mind that the development of submarine forces is carried out not only through the construction of new ships. The necessary facilities of the coastal infrastructure are being created, the processes of personnel training and living conditions for it are being improved, etc. Active work is already underway on the next generations of submarines.

Thus, the Russian submarine fleet celebrated its 115th anniversary in good condition and with good prospects. The work continues and allows us to count on the fulfillment of all the tasks set. Actual plans have been drawn up for several years ahead, almost until the end of the decade. As a result of their implementation, the appearance of the submarine forces will seriously change, and their capabilities will increase. And a significant part of such results can be observed already now.

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