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Media: Vilyuchinsk Base Cannot Accommodate New Borei Subs

Media: Vilyuchinsk Base Cannot Accommodate New Borei Subs 22.02.2012
Text: Vzglyad
Photo: Project 955 Borei SSBN. wikipedia.org
Kamchatka Peninsula has not appropriate coastal infrastructure to accommodate new Borei-class submarines, writes Izvestiya.

Speaking about national armed forces, Vladimir Putin said that Borei-class submarines the recent breakthrough of Russian shipbuilding industry armed with renowned unfortunate missiles Bulava will be stationed at "up-to-date" base in Vilyuchinsk which was saved in 2002 thanks to oil companies Surgutneftegaz and TNK.

But what does the term "up-to-date" actually mean? If one talks about coastal infrastructure, nothing crucially new has been created in the naval base near Vilyuchinsk so far, writes Izvestiya.

According to 16-th Submarine Squadron, Borei subs will be moored at Krasheninnikov Bay which quays were built far back in 80's. Now they are occupied by somewhat 20 submarines of four different classes: Calmar (Project 667BDR), Schuka-B (Project 971), Antei (Project 949A), and Paltus (Project 887). One of the officers from the squadron said the quays "have seen no repairs at all, and it is planned to unload and store Bulava missiles at the same place with other missiles, i.e. at Dalny Pier located on the other bank of the bay. They said new quayside and missile storage would be constructed for Borei subs, but it is still words".

It should be noted that the base has been modernized with newly constructed residential buildings, hospital, nursery school, and huge sports center with water park opened in 2007 personally by Vladimir Putin. According to Pacific Fleet HQ, "hard work" was done to maintain basing of Borei submarines in Vilyuchinsk. "The quayside was retrofitted there, mostly, that was about electronics, electric systems, communications and perimeter defense", specified the fleet's spokesman. As for him, Borei subs do not need any special basing conditions.

"Those submarines can be based anywhere, quay doesn't matter. The subs have all necessary equipment", he said.

Vice president of Geopolitics Academy Konstantin Sivkov confirmed that Borei-class submarines had same requirements to power supply and coastal facilities as other subs did, so they would match well infrastructure of Vilyuchinsk even without the quayside modernization. Sivkov emphasized that storage conditions of SLBM Bulava are almost same with those of Sineva ballistic missiles currently carried by Calmar-class subs based in Vilyuchinsk.

"Both Sineva and Bulava need identical conditions related to temperature, humidity, and chatter-free storage. So, Bulava and Sineva missiles can be easily stored together", he stressed.

Directors of Sevmash shipyard which builds and tests Borei-class submarines declined to specify basing conditions for the subs referring to secrecy. Eastern Military District Commander ADM Konstantin Sidenko also refused to tell what had been done in Vilyuchinsk to accommodate Bulava-carrying subs. Director of national security analytic center Anatoly Tsyganok is sure that Russian Navy will not radically adapt Vilyuchinsk base for Borei submarines. As for him, Bulava storage technology has not been mastered so far, and that may result in serious accidents.

"I feel doubtful whether this missile would be really put in service this year. Bulava has only 52% of successful test launches while it is needed to have 95% for commissioning", he said.

According to a source in Pacific Fleet HQ, Borei submarines will arrive in Vilyuchinsk when they join the Navy along with missiles. This may happen in the coming fall or in spring 2013; exact date will depend on summer test launches of SLBM Bulava and completion of state trials.

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