On Tuesday, June 15, Dmitry Medvedev arrived in the city of Severodvinsk and visited the nation’s largest ship-building enterprise Sevmash. The enterprise has finally finished building Russia’s unique fourth-generation submarine, which was named after the city – Severodvinsk. The president took part in the official ceremony to launch the new submarine.
The works on the submarine began in 1993. The project was suspended in 1996 and then resumed in 2000. It usually takes Russia five years to build a submarine. With Severodvinsk, though, the time was much longer – 17 years. Officials of the enterprise assured reporters that the submarine had been outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment despite the long construction process. Severodvinsk will become one of the quietest submarines in the world. The sub will accompany strategic missile carriers and defend Russia’s Arctic deposits. Severodvinsk will have up to 90 crewmembers.
“World’s largest superpowers invest a lot in the development of offensive and defensive systems. Russia must do the same. We must conduct an effective modernization of our armed forces,” Dmitry Medvedev said.
If the tests of Severodvinsk are successful, Russia will build six other submarines like that. The tests will begin already this summer.
Yasen class submarine (Project 885), also known as the Severodvinsk class, is a new Russian nuclear multipurpose attack submarine class. The submarine is based on the Akula-class submarine and the Alfa-class submarines and are projected to replace Russia's older Soviet-era class attack submarines both Akula class and Oscar class.
The submarine's technology and design is claimed to be state-of-the-art. Though smaller than the older Akula class submarines, the Yasen class will have more firepower per its complement. The submarine's armament includes 24 cruise missiles, with several types suggested, including the 3M51 Alfa SLCM, the P-800 Oniks SLCM or the RK-55 Granat SLCM. It will also have 8 torpedo tubes as well as mines and anti-ship missiles like the RPK-7.
This class is the first Russian submarines to be equipped with a spherical sonar, designated as Irytysh-Amfora. Due to the large size of this spherical array, the torpedo tubes are slanted. The submarine will have a crew of 50, suggesting a high degree of automation in the submarine's different systems. The newest U.S. attack sub, the Virginia-class submarine, has a crew of 134 in comparison. If true, this might imply that much of the automated equipment could have been developed from the highly automated project 705 Lira, which is considered as the most automated nuclear attack submarine of all times (the entire half of the boat with reactor and propulsion was unmanned and controlled from the control room).
Length: 120 meters.
Width: 12 meters
Speed (underwater): 28-33 knots
Depth of submersion: 380-500 meters
Arms: 30 torpedoes, 24 Onyx missiles (5,000 km range).