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17 Jun, 2014 11:39

Russian navy welcomes most-advanced nuclear-powered attack sub

The Russian Navy has officially accepted K-560 Severodvinsk, the most advanced nuclear-powered multipurpose submarine Russia has ever produced.

Severodvinsk is the lead of the Yasen-class submarines, which are to become the backbone of the Russian Navy’s conventional submarine force. It was laid down back in 1993, but budgetary restrictions stemming from the post-Soviet transition caused a long delay in its construction. K-560 was launched in 2010 and had been undergoing sea trials since September 2011.

The flag raising ceremony of the Russian Navy on K-560 took place on Tuesday in Severodvinsk, the city after which the submarine was named. It is to move to its new base in the Northern Fleet by year’s end and will remain in service for at least 30 years, Navy Commander Admiral Victor Chirkov told the crew of the submarine.

Yasen-class submarines are the successors to older Russian attack submarines like the Akula-class, on which it is based, and a counterpart to US nuclear-powered Seawolf and Virginia class submarines.

One of the most interesting features of the design is a large spherical sonar system, which occupies its entire bow. This required that torpedo tubes were slanted and placed behind the main control compartment.

Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missile, the export variant of Oniks. (Image from wiki.org)

In addition to 533mm torpedoes, Yasen-class submarines can fire cruise missiles from its eight vertical launching systems. They can carry Onyx and Kalibr supersonic anti-ship missiles or land attack cruise missiles.

Severodvinsk is 120 meter long, has a submerged displacement of 13,800 tons and can travel up to 30 knots (56 kmh) while submerged. It is manned by a crew of about 90, including 32 officers, demonstrating the highly-automated level of its functions.

Russia is currently building two additional Yasen-class submarines, with a third one scheduled to be laid down next month and three more contracted for 2015. The Navy says additional acquisitions are planned.

“We will build as many as we need to defend our motherland,” Admiral Chirkov said.

All future Yasen-class submarines will boast an advanced variation of the design, with a slightly modified hull profile and modernized equipment.

Design works for the future successor to Yasen class are underway, the Navy commander stressed at the ceremony.

“The harsh laws and rules of shipbuilding do not allow any pauses in designing new generations of submarines,” he said, adding that future Russian submarines are expected to have advanced drones among its armaments.

Image from sevmash.ru