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12 Sep, 2014 08:44

Russia’s newest Borei-class nuclear sub completes sea trials

Russia’s newest Borei-class nuclear sub completes sea trials

Russia's third Borei-class nuclear-powered strategic submarine, Vladimir Monomakh, has finished state sea trials, the vessel’s builders at Sevmash shipyard announced. The advanced vessel is virtually ready for deployment by the Navy.

Vladimir Monomakh has just returned from a trial run in the White Sea, during which the sub successfully test-fired a Bulava strategic missile.

"This is basically the last stage of the state trials. Now the submarine's mechanisms will be re-examined, finishing work completed, and spare parts, tools and accessories furnished,’ Mikhail Budnichenko, Sevmash CEO, is cited by Itar-Tass news agency.

According to Budnichenko, the new submarine might be officially handed over to the Russian Navy as early as December 10.

Vladimir Monomakh is the third Borei-class – or Project 955 according to the Russian disambiguation – vessel to be built by Sevmash, based at the Russian White Sea port of Severmorsk.

The fourth Borei-class submarine, Knyaz Vladimir, is currently under construction at the shipyard, while the fifth one, Knyaz Oleg, was laid down at Sevmash in July.

Nuclear submarine (NS) "Yuri Dolgoruky" (RIA Novosti/press-service of JSC "PO "Sevmas)

Knyaz Oleg will become the first of the upgraded Project 955A submarines, which will boast smaller hulls and cons as well as better acoustic characteristics and lower noisiness.

The first two Borei-class submarines, head vessel of the series Yuri Dolgoruky and Aleksandr Nevsky, joined the Russian Navy in 2013.

By 2020, the Russian Defense Ministry plans to have eight Borei-class submarines that should become the backbone of the naval component of the country’s strategic nuclear deterrent.

Each Project 955 submarine, designed by the Rubin Naval Design Bureau from Saint Petersburg, can carry up to 12 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles. The advanced 955As are designed to be armed with 16 SLBMs.

The safety measures at the subs include a rescue chamber, which can host all 17 crew members.

A Borei-class submarine is 170 meters long and 13.5 meters wide and can dive up to 450 meters.

According to the Russian military, Project 955 are state-of-the-art submarines, featuring characteristics superior to any submarine currently in service such as the ability to cruise silently and be less detectable by sonars.

They have a compact and integrated hydrodynamically efficient hull for reduced broadband noise and are the first to use pump-jet propulsion among Russian submarines.

The Bulava missiles, which have an operational range of 10,000 kilometers, are able to carry 10 hypersonic, individually guided, maneuverable nuclear warheads with a yield of 100–150 kilotons each.