MOSCOW, December 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Sevmash shipyard will float out a third Borey class strategic nuclear submarine, the Vladimir Monomakh, on December 30, Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said on Wednesday.
“The Vladimir Monomakh will be floated out on December 30 and its construction will continue as planned,” Chirkov said.
The Borey class submarines are expected to form the core of Russia's strategic submarine fleet, replacing the aging Project 941 (NATO Typhoon class) and Project 667 class (Delta-3 and Delta-4) boats. Russia plans to build eight Borey and Borey-A class subs by 2020.
Two Borey class vessels, the Yury Dolgoruky and the Alexander Nevsky, have been already built and are undergoing sea trials.
The Yury Dolgoruky was expected to join the Russian Navy by the end of this year, but tests carried out during the latest sea trials revealed a number of technical flaws. For instance, software glitches in the automated launch control system prevented further tests of the Bulava ballistic missile, the submarine’s main weapon.
Recent statements by military officials indicated that the commissioning of the Yury Dolgoruky had been postponed until 2013, but Chirkov said on Wednesday it could still happen this year, if all the problems are fixed.
“If the final ongoing tests show positive results, the acceptance act could be signed by December 30,” the admiral said.
A Borey class strategic submarine is 170 meters (580 feet) long, has a hull diameter of 13 meters (42 feet), a crew of 107, including 55 officers, a maximum depth of 450 meters (about 1,500 feet) and a submerged speed of about 29 knots.
All the Borey class strategic submarines will carry the Bulava ballistic missiles, up to 16 ballistic missiles with multiple warheads.
The subs will be assigned to Russia’s Northern and Pacific fleets.
Chirkov said that the stage-by-stage construction of infrastructure to accommodate Borey class vessels at the Northern Fleet had been going according to plans.
“It will be ready to receive the first Borey class submarine as early as in 2013,” he said.