Russia to Build 5 Nuc Subs with 20 SLBMs Bulava Each
Photo: Project 955 Borei SSBN Yury Dolgoruky. Press service of JSC Sevmash
Five Project 955A Borei strategic submarines armed with increased number of nuclear ballistic missiles will be constructed under a contract to be tied between Russian Defense Ministry and United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC). Each of them will be capable to carry 20 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), said a source in Russian Government's military industrial committee.
"The contract can be signed even this April", the source told Interfax. "However, the subscription will be possible only if defense ministry presents detailed conclusion on each item of price offer earlier drawn by the industry, particularly, Sevmash shipyard", he added.
He reminded that "on Apr 14 Russian vice premier Dmitry Rogozin controlling defense industry tasked defense ministry to give such detailed conclusion on all price parameters of Borei-class strategic submarines.
So far, the ministry has not done that but promised to make reply within a month.
According to the source, if the military replies in the last decade of April, Rogozin will hold a meeting with representatives of defense ministry and USC and settle all problematic issues of the state contract.
"The question is a shipbuilding contract for five Project 955A Borei strategic subs with enhanced nuclear missile arms. At least 50 percent of onboard systems are crucially new and have no analogs in national shipbuilding", explained the source. "The contract cost exceeds RUR 100 bln", he specified. Russian Navy Main HQ earlier reported that batch-produced Project 955A Borei strategic subs (beginning fr om the fourth SSBN Svyatitel Nikolai) would carry 20 SLBMs Bulava instead of 16 missiles designed for the first three submarines. Reportedly, it is planned to build 8 subs of this project.
According to Sevmash, works on Svyatitel Nikolai are already in progress, although there was no official keel-laying ceremony and the shipyard has not received money for construction.
Deputy defense minister Alexander Sukhorukov said that the draft contract for Borei subs had been ready and "would be sent to the shipyard for subscription probably in this week, perhaps today or tomorrow".
At present, Russia operates Delfin-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. Each of them carries 16 SLBM Sineva.
In accordance with START-3, Russia and the US lim ited amount of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and nuclear warheads without restriction of platform type. Increasing number of ballistic missiles on Borei-class submarines means that Russia is shifting to sea-based strategic nuclear weapons more than it was initially planned.
American Ohio-class SSBNs carry 24 Trident-II ballistic missiles each.
Recall that Russia had only one class of submarines armed with 20 ballistic missiles Ц Project 941 Akula. Currently, subs of this kind are not used in combat patrols.