Asia Defense

Russia to Lay Down 2 More Yasen-M Nuclear Attack Subs By 2021

The two submarines are expected to join the Russian Navy by 2027 and 2028 respectively.

Russia to Lay Down 2 More Yasen-M Nuclear Attack Subs By 2021
Credit: Russian Ministry of Defense/Wikimedia Commons

Russia’s shipbuilding industry will lay down two more Project 885-M Yasen M-class multipurpose nuclear-powered attack/cruise missile submarines (SSN/SSGN) in 2020 and 2021 respectively, the CEO of the Sevmash shipyard, Mikhail Budnichenko, told TASS news agency at the St. Petersburg international maritime defense show earlier this month.

“These submarines will approximately be laid down in 2020-2021,” Budnichenko was quoted as saying. When asked about a delivery timeframe, the CEO of Sevmash shipyards, the company responsible for building Yasen M-class subs, said that “the construction cycle for these submarines is seven years.” Consequently, the two new Yasen M-class boats will enter service with the Russian Navy in 2027 and 2028.

This will bring up the total number of Yasen-class submarines serving in the Russian Navy to nine by the end of the 2020s. A total of five Yasen M-class SSNs are in various stages of construction. The first Yasen M-class SSN, Kazanwas launched at the Sevmash shipyards, part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, in Severodvinsk, a port city on Russia’s White Sea in Arkhangelsk Oblast, in March 2017 and is currently undergoing sea trials. It is not expected to enter service until the end of 2020 or later. The Yasen-class SSN Severodvinsk, the only boat of the original Yasenclass, was commissioned in 2018.

In December 2018, I wrote about the new SSNs technical characteristics and armament:

The improved Yasen M-class SSN is reportedly quieter than the lead Yasen-class boat. It is built with low magnetic steel to reduce its magnetic signature. The Yasen M-class SSN is purportedly not equal to the United States Navy’s new Virginia-class attack subs. Rather it is technically on par with older U.S. Seawolf-class SSNs, built by the U.S. Navy from 1989 to 2005, although the underwater top speed of the Russian subs is reportedly much lower than that of U.S. boats.

The Kazan is fitted with eight vertical СМ-346 complex (3Р-14В) silos for submarine-launched cruise missiles as well as 10 torpedo tubes for firing the 3M-54 Kalibr supersonic cruise missile, the P-800 Onik over-the-horizon supersonic anti-ship missile, and an improved variant of the 533-millimeter Fizik-1 homing torpedo. The Severodvinsk can carry up to 40 Kalibr cruise missiles while the second, Kazan, can carry 32. (The Kazan is approximately 10-12 meters shorter than the first boat.)

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The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) signed a contract with Sevmash for the two additional Yasen M-class boats at the “Army-2019” military and technical forum, which took place just outside of Moscow, in the last week of June.