Monday, May 30, 2011

The Next Generation Of Russian Submarines

     When the Cold War ended in 1991 all of the Russian Ministry of Defense's projects were either outright cancelled or delayed for several years because of a lack of funding. Now, 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has begun to replace some of it's Cold War-era military equipment, especially in the area of submarines. As of 2011 Russia has 3 new classes of submarines in the works or somewhat operational, these classes are the Yasen-class attack submarines (SSN), the Borei-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) and the Lada-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK).
     The Yasen-class submarines are nuclear powered with a max speed of 35+ knots submerged and max speed of 20 knots on the surface. The Yasen-class has length of 120 meters and a beam of 15 meters along with a draft of 8.4 to 10 meters and, a displacement of 5,800 to 9,500 tons on the surface and a displacement of 11,800 tons submerged. Yasen-class submarines are believed to be armed with 8 torpedo tubes used for torpedoes and mines along with 8 vertical launch tubes for SS-N-26 SLCMs (Submarine Launched Cruise Missile) and SS-N-27 SLCMs.
    The Borei-class SSBNs are the latest Russian SSBN and will carry 16 RSM-56 Bulava SLBMs on early ships and 20 Bulava SLBMs on the unofficial Borei II-class. The Borei-class has a length of 160 meters and a beam 13.5 meters along with a draft of 10 meters. The Borei-class has a displacement of 14,700 tons on the surface and a displacement of 24,000 tons submerged. The Borei-class is believed to have operational diving depth of 380 meters and a maximum diving depth of 450 meters. Borei-class submarines are reputed to have a submerged speed of around 29 knots and a surfaced speed of 15 knots. An interesting side note about the Borei-class submarines is that they are the first class of submarines in the Russian Navy to use pump-jet propulsion which has the advantage of reducing the sub's sonar signature.
     Last but, by no mean least is the latest in the long line of Russian diesel-electric submarines, the Lada-class SSKs. The Lada-class is improved version of the Improved Kilo-class submarines with improvements such as newer combat systems, lower displacement and possibly air independent propulsion . The Lada-class submarines have a length of 72 meters, a beam of 7 meters and a draft of 6.5 meters. The Lada-class has a displacement 2,700 long tons submerged and displacement of 1,765 tons on the surface (versus 3,500 and 2,300 tons for the Kilo-class). The operational diving depth of the Lada-class is around 250 meters and a max diving depth of 300 meters. The Lada-class is armed with 6 533mm torpedo tubes that can fire both standard torpedoes and P-700 SLCMs (see SS-N-26 above).
     With the ending of the Cold War approaching it's 20th anniversary much of the U.S.'s and Russia's equipment is beginning to age out and needs to be replaced (read Minuteman III ICBMs, Black Hawk and Huey helicopters, etc...). And as older equipment it will interesting to find out more and more details about how these new systems work. Also the top picture is not a photo of a new class of subs, it is a photo of an Akula-class sub.

Photo Credit: Department Of Defense,

No comments:

Post a Comment