KUBINKA (Moscow Region), (Sputnik) — Igor Ponomarev, the USC vice president for military shipbuilding, said at the Army-2017 forum testing should be completed before the end of 2021 "since we are all interested in carrying out the Navy's plans for the construction of non-nuclear fifth-generation submarines.
Ponomarev noted that a decision was made for the Ministry of Industry and Trade to create the propulsion system's prototype fitted to a testbed.
"At the present time, the corresponding terms of reference are being formed," he added.
Air-independent submarines are quieter than conventional diesel-electric boats and do not have to surface or use snorkel tubes to breathe air, thereby avoiding exposure to radar and other sensors.
As of now, three Borey-class (Project 995) submarines have been completed and another three are under construction. Eight Borey-class submarines are expected to enter into service by 2020 and become the primary nuclear force for the Russian Navy.
Russia's third Yasen-M cass (Project 885) nuclear submarine will be floated out in 2019. They are Russia's newest class of submarines.