Russia Launches New Nuclear-Powered Submarine

The second Project 885-M Yasen M-class multipurpose nuclear-powered attack/cruise missile submarine was floated out at the Sevmash shipyards in Severodvinsk, RT reported late last month.

A short video clip released by the Russian Ministry of Defense’s (MoD’s) Zvezda television network, shows the “Novosibirsk” lowered into the water by a submarine lift in the port city on Russia’s White Sea in Arkhangelsk Oblast.

The submarine, which can be equipped with Kalibr and Onyx cruise missile systems, and later with Tsyrkon hypersonic missiles, is expected to join the Russian Navy in 2020, together with another submarine of this class, the Kazan.

Four more submarines of the Yasen-M class, Krasnoyarsk, Arkhangelsk, Perm, and Ulyanovsk, are currently under construction at the Sevmash shipyard, according to Russian media reports.

The Yasen-M class submarines, also known as Project 885M submarines, are projected to replace the Russian Navy’s aging Soviet-era nuclear attack submarines.

While little is known about the new submarine, it is said to be significantly more advanced than its predecessor – the original Yasen-class submarine. The new vessels are capable of using every type of Russian naval-based cruise missile – the multi-purpose Kalibr and anti-ship Oniks in particular – as well as carrying massive 533-mm homing torpedoes.

The submarines are also likely to carry the new Zircon hypersonic cruise missile since it can be launched from the same tubes used for the Kalibr and Oniks – though there has been no official confirmation yet. Moscow has been keen on fitting new munitions on more of its ships lately – and this is unlikely to exclusively affect surface vessels.