Russia revives nuclear submarine fleet («World Politics Review», United States)

Russia revives nuclear submarine fleet (
January 10 in combat strength of Russian Northern Fleet officially entered the nuclear submarine missile carrier of last generation, curb ballistic missile «Bulava».

This first class submarine «Northwind», received the title of «Yury Dolgoruky», built on a shipbuilding company «Sevmash» from 1996 to 2008. Initially missile submarine want to equip more large missiles «Bark». But difficulties with the development of this missile forced the Russian government to abandon it and to give preference to the rocket is much less with the title «Bulava». As a result, Russian shipbuilders need to redesign the whole project class submarines «Northwind» to locate where the new missiles, and had to do it even before the «Bulava» with drawing boards moved to the manufacturing enterprise.

Russian military wishing to have a combination of Borey-Mace became the basis of Russian naval nuclear triad at least until the 2040s. Costs of research, design and development work on the creation of this new combination of boats and missiles have become perhaps the biggest for the Russian military budget for the near future. It is estimated that at some time of construction of the Borei-Mace «eats» more than a third Russian defense budget. The government has allocated 132 billion dollars for the construction of 2020 huge number of new submarines and other warships.

Big spending they say about the importance of systems Borey Mace for Russian political control. Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the «Yury Dolgoruky» the fleet, President Vladimir Putin boast: «» Yury Dolgoruky «- nuclear submarine last generation. Boats such class will be an important element of the naval component of Russian strategic forces, the guarantor of the global balance, security Russia and its allies. «

In class submarines «Northwind» in the crew of 130 people. They are equipped with modern sonar and navigation equipment, advanced communications systems and fire control, and have properties stealth fourth generation. The length of each boat is 185 feet long, 15 feet, depth up to 500 feet (sic — approx. Trans.) And submerged speed of 29 knots.

First three class submarines «Northwind» will carry on its own board to 16 missiles «Bulava» P-30 and six cruise missiles. Second submarine of this class «Alexander Nevsky» at the present time undergoing sea tests in the sea, and the third, won the title of «Vladimir Monomakh», at the end of last year was removed from the plant for the launching.

In subsequent class boat «Northwind» is 20, not 16 missiles «Bulava». First submarine of this class improved «Borey-A» «Prince Vladimir» was founded in July 2012. Construction of the fifth boat of this series «Alexander Suvorov» to start in July 2013, and the sixth, named «Mikhail Kutuzov» lay before the end of this year. Russian Navy wants to get in 2020 two more missile submarine class «Borey-A.» In totality on eight submarines classes «Northwind» and «Borey-A» will be 148 missiles «Bulava».

«Bulava» — is one of the few large Russian missile systems developed after the collapse of the Russian Union. MIRV missiles can carry 10 warheads personal guidance with nuclear warheads, each power is 100-150 kilotons. The largest radius acts missiles — 8000 km. On paper, the «Bulava» has a modern system to overcome missile defense superior maneuverability, has a powerful engine is solid, small size, light weight, higher speed and other properties, transforming it into a means of deterrence, surpassing all other systems of the Russian arsenal of ballistic missiles, sea-based .

But the «Bulava» during a test indicates a more or less, which is only in recent years, and this has allowed Russian leaders with sufficient modicum of conviction to begin its installation. First rocket planned to adopt in 2006, but terrible characteristics of the «Bulava» during testing led to it until December 2011 remained on paper. And only two successfully conducted formally launch its program from the test finished. And nearly half earlier test launch was held in vain, while sometimes troubles were stunning. Invariable delay harmed the reputation of Russian defense industry is just at the moment when the authorities again began to talk about the Russian Federation as of majestic power.

Tasks «Bulava» were the result of 2-main reasons. First is that the Russian government decided to transfer the contract is not the same design organization, and later followed her wrong advice. Second is the continuing shortcomings Russian military-industrial complex, in particular the problem of production, properties and control systems integration. Namely, the inability to perfectly coordinate the activities of the 10-s independent subcontractors involved in the program, was the principal prerequisite failures «Bulava».

But the Russian government decided that the rocket need to follow through, as it was designed as a class submarines «Northwind», and is the only brand new strategic submarine whose construction is carried out in Russia.

Russian navy was looking forward to these submarines, as part of its existing nuclear missile one and all Russian-built, and they were made before 1990. These submarines are equipped with a new ballistic missile and other components, but their technical and operational resource has long been depleted. In the end, it turns out that only a few of Russian nuclear submarines are in constant readiness, and other vessels undergoing renovation, modernization or used for crew training.

In February last year, Chief of Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky announced that Russian nuclear submarine resume constant trips for the purpose of deterrence patrols and when «Yury Dolgoruky» will join the fleet. This change in plans to deploy means that at least one Russian strategic submarine will always be in the sea. In the past decade the country’s submarine fleet patrolling produced only occasionally, and breaks between campaigns were long. If in times of war cool Russian Navy produced several hundred military campaigns a year, the last year the Russian Navy managed to hold all 5 of these outputs.

Although Russian designers have, in the end, a combination of work force Borey Mace, this success would be possible exception to the rule. Russian government allocated more funds for this important project, and can not cope with these efforts the creation of all other weapons systems. For example, the Russian management had not once announce delays to the construction of new aircraft carriers. Russian defense companies are not yet fully recover from a painful collapse of Russian military-industrial complex, so far can not just create so complex weapons systems.

That priority that the Russian leaders are paying class submarine «Northwind» and missile «Bulava», says about their determination to maintain the status of the Russian Federation to the majestic power with the capacity to deter nuclear attack by the United States. While such an attack will never happen, and in any case, the revival of Russian strategic nuclear forces can have a positive impact on relations between countries with 2, lowering the intensity of Russian indignation about the U.S. missile defense and eliminating other sources of tension in the relations of Russia and America.

Richard Weitz — Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute (Hudson Institute) and senior editor of World Politics

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