Russia Launches New Nuclear-Powered Submarine

Russia on Tuesday launches a new nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine after a short delay caused by technical reasons, the Sevmash shipyard said.

The construction of the Severodvinsk, the first Project 885 Yasen (Graney) class submarine, began in 1993 at the Sevmash shipyard in the northern Russian city of Severodvinsk but has since been dogged by financial setbacks. Russia planned to float out the submarine on May 7 to mark the 65th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in May 1945.

Last year, work started on the second sub in the series, the Kazan, which will feature more advanced equipment and weaponary.

Russian experts believe that the commissioning of Graney class would significantly increase combat capabilities of the Russian Navy.

"It is the newest generation of the Russian submarine fleet, which rightfully meets the demands of the 21st century," said Vladimir Pyalov, chief designer of the Malakhit design bureau.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived in the port of Severodvinsk to attend the official float-out ceremony.

Graney class nuclear submarines are designed to launch a variety of long-range cruise missiles (up to 5,000 km) with nuclear warheads, and effectively engage submarines, surface warships and land-based targets.

The submarine's armament includes 24 cruise missiles, including the 3M51 Alfa SLCM, the SS-NX-26 Oniks SLCM or the SS-N-21 Granat/Sampson SLCM. It is also equipped with eight torpedo launchers, as well as mines and anti-ship missiles such as SS-N-16 Stallion.

The Severodvinsk is expected to enter service with the Russian Navy by late 2010 - early 2011.


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