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Zvezdochka Shipyard Puts Afloat Vamped SSN Smolensk

Zvezdochka Shipyard Puts Afloat Vamped SSN Smolensk 28.08.2012
Photo: vdvsn.ru
Russian defense-oriented shipyard Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center launched Northern Fleet (NF) nuclear-powered attack submarine K-410 Smolensk (Project 949A) after dock and recovery repairs, the yard's press service told ITAR-TASS today.

The submarine was put in a dry dock in Dec 2011. Shipwrights of Zvezdochka have performed main scope of hull repair works on the slipways. After launching, the overhaul will continue afloat. It is planned to refuel nuclear propulsion plant and perform all-round repair of onboard systems. "Upon termination of repairs, the submarine's service life will become 3 years longer. Smolensk is to be recommissioned in the summer of 2013", said the shipyard's spokesman.

SSN Smolensk is the second Project 949A (Antei-class) submarine passing repair at Zvezdochka. In Nov 2011, the shipyard had finished breakdown maintenance and prolonged by 3.5 years service life of similar submarine SSN Voronezh. "Returning Antei subs to the ranks, we prepare not only production facilities for prospective upgrade but our staff, too", said Vladimir Nikitin, Director General of Zvezdochka. "Experience acquired on Voronezh and Smolensk will be a perfect basis for further effective modernization of those and other third-generation nuclear subs, in particular Project 971 Schuka-B".

When lifetime of Project 949A submarines is expired, they are supposed to be modernized and equipped with up-to-date arms, such as Onyx and Caliber missile systems. Those works will be performed by companies of United Shipbuilding Corporation. Antei-class subs of Northern Fleet will be refitted by Zvezdochka, and Pacific Fleet ones Ц by Zvezda shipyard.

As is known, SSN Smolensk was built in 1990 by Sevmash shipyard (Severodvinsk) under the project developed by Rubin Design Bureau (St. Petersburg). It is a third-generation Project 949A Antei nuclear-powered attack submarine (known in NATO as Oscar II). Length of such subs is 155 meters, displacement is up to 24,000 tons, operating depth is down to 600 meters, max submerged speed is 32 knots (approx. 59 kph), complement is 107 men. Antei-class submarines are armed with 24 launch tubes for Granit cruise missiles with firing range of 500 km, and 6 torpedo tubes.

Today, Antei subs armed with supersonic cruise missiles are the main strike force of Russian Navy capable to counter any surface targets including carrier groups.

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