The delivery of the nuclear submarine Generalissimo Suvorov by the shipbuilders of Sevmash, and then its transfer to the Pacific Fleet, as stated in the Ministry of Defense, is scheduled for July 2023. The current completion of nuclear submarine tests, including the launch of the Bulava missile, gave reason to assume that the handover of the new ship to the Navy could occur even ahead of schedule. That’s why Sevmash’s managing director, Mikhail Budnichenko, says that “the company’s commissioning crew and ship’s crew fully fulfilled the tasks.” But he does not give specific dates for the delivery of Suvorov.
“Test work on the submarine is currently underway, even while it is on the rig,” a source from the Russian Navy’s General Staff told socialbites.ca. – There are a number of mandatory conditions, which include the overhaul of mechanisms, the loading of all standard equipment. A nuclear submarine is a very complex mechanism whose reliability must be verified in advance so as not to detect any shortcomings during combat missions. Everything is going according to the planned schedule. It can be reduced, but in any case, there is no need to rush.”
The Russian fleet has been replenished with Borei since 2013. Then the submarine K-535 “Yuri Dolgoruky” appeared in the Northern Fleet. Less than a year later, K-550 “Alexander Nevsky” entered the 25th submarine division of the Pacific Fleet, and a year later K-551 “Vladimir Monomakh” arrived there. Already in 2020, the improved project 955A (Borey-A) in the form of the K-549 Knyaz Vladimir submarine, followed by the K-552 Knyaz Oleg nuclear submarine was transferred to the Northern Fleet.
“In the Russian submarine fleet, a planned replacement of boats with new promising projects is currently underway,” Vasily Dandykin, captain of the 1st rank of the reserve, told socialbites.ca. – This concerns not only the commissioning of the Borey or Yasen-M projects, but also the Varshavyanka diesel-electric boats. This process remains intangible for a while: the construction of a submarine, especially a nuclear missile carrier, is quite long. The same current Generalissimo Suvorov was laid off in 2014 and only now is preparing to enter combat order. But the process is long, new boats are being built and the submarine fleet is being updated, replacing already aging ships.
Boreas will now gradually replace nuclear submarines of the Soviet Dolphin project. The last, K-407 Novomoskovsk, entered service at the end of 1990. These boats will serve at least another five years after repair and during this time should be replaced by boats from the Borey project.
Now in 2023, “Emperor Alexander III” is expected, as well as “Generalissimo Suvorov”. “Prince Pozharsky”, “Dmitry Donskoy” and “Prince Potemkin” are also being built. And that’s just for the Borey-A project. For comparison, the cessation of production of class-like Ohio-type American submarines dates back to 1997.
In total, by 2027, the Russian Navy should receive 14 new nuclear submarines – a similar figure was announced by the Russian Ministry of Defense in 2020. The delivery schedule for nuclear submarines of the Borey-A and Yasen-M projects is implemented almost exactly on time. Some of the submarine nuclear-powered ships have already been transferred to the fleet.
No one knows for sure how many nuclear submarines Russia currently has, including those that are active and on combat duty (except for the Naval Headquarters). It is believed that there are more than 60 (nuclear and diesel). It is only possible to work with those who are out of stock and entered the fleet. For greater certainty, we can say that about 250 nuclear submarines were built during the Soviet period.
“The current number of submarines has become a relative concept,” Alexander Pushkarsky, the former commander of the submarine and captain of the 1st rank of the reserve, told socialbites.ca. – My Buki-28 of project 641 (“B-28” in translation from the sea – “socialbites.ca”) was one of the largest diesel-electric boats, more than seventy of them were built. It was a good boat, all four of them were involved during the Caribbean crisis. Compared with modern submarine nuclear missile carriers, this, of course, is not even a kindergarten, but a nursery group. Every time has its heroes, and the current Borey project is one of them. This is perhaps the best we have in the fleet’s submarine forces.
Barbara Dickson is a seasoned writer for “Social Bites”. She keeps readers informed on the latest news and trends, providing in-depth coverage and analysis on a variety of topics.