Saturday, October 29, 2011

Russia's Curious Borei SSBN

Russia's Borei class (lead vessel, Yuriy Dolgorukiy) are ballistic missile subs designed to replace the Delta III, Delta IV and Typhoon classes. The name Borei comes from the Russian Boreas, or North wind.

The Sevmashpredpriyatiye shipbuilding plant launched the first Project 955 submarine, Yuri Dolgorukiy, on 15 April 2007. The vessel appeared to have been incomplete at the time, lacking forward planes on its bow or sail.

Officially, the Borei class is less detectable to sonar than it's predecessors. Other advances include pump jet propulsion powered by an OK-650 series nuclear reactors.


The city of Moscow sponsored the lead vessel named after Prince Dolgoruky, the traditional founder of the city. Wages of shipyard workers and the crew of the new boat were reportedly guaranteed by the city of Moscow in the event that the federal government could not pay.

Russia's 2006 state defense order allotted some 8 billion rubles to the construction of nuclear submarines, while other shipbuilding received just 4 billion rubles. Minister Vladislav Putilin, deputy chairman of the Military Industrial Commission told Kommersant that construction of five missile-bearing nuclear submarines was planned over the next 9 years.

"New" Russian submarines built from parts salvaged from older subs
The two newest Russian ballistic missile submarines, the Yuri Dolgoruky and Alexander Nevsky due for sea trials this fall in the White Sea, are partly partly from boats older than 20 years.
According to the Russian newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta, front and rear sections of Borei class boats were recovered from unfinished submarines of Akula and Lynx design.

The hull of the 2nd submarine of the Borey class, the Aleksandr Nevsky, is also based on that of an Akula submarine that was never completed. The Aleksandr Nevsky began its first sea trials last Saturday.

The French Portal des sous-marins and GlobalSecurity articles linked above both make the point that Russia has been particularly cash-strapped. The Portal, however, in mentioning use of recovered bow and stern sections hints what cost savings may have been effected without significant loss of either ship worthiness or advanced capabilities, as independent study of the older class subs may suggest.

Submarines are always silent and strange.



Post a Comment

<< Home