03.03.2010 Fourth Project 955/955A Borei nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine will be constructed under new modification – 955U, reports RIA Novosti citing representative of Russian military industry. Latest technical solutions will be applied in construction of the new sub; details are classified.
Four Borei-class subs are presently at Sevmash shipyard in different levels of completeness – Yury Dolgoruky, Alexander Nevsky, Vladimir Monomakh and Svyatitel Nikolai. The latter has not been officially laid down; nevertheless, it was reported early Feb that works on the sub had been already started.
Borei-class submarines are expected to have speed of 26 knots and displacement of 17,000 tons. Each sub of the project will be armed with 16-20 launching tubes for SLBM Bulava which is the basic weapon.
Gen. Col. Vladimir Popovkin, Deputy Minister of Defense previously said development of Project Borei would be delayed due to faulty launches of Bulava. It was initially assumed that eight Project 955/955A submarines would be built by 2015. New deadlines for the completion have not been determined yet.
On Feb 24 it was reported that in 2010 test launches of SLBM Bulava will be carried out by two submarines – Project 941UM Akula SSBN Dmitry Donskoy and Project Borei SSBN Yury Dolgoruky. The missile will be launched by Borei-class sub for the first time. Bulava tests are expected to be resumed in summer 2010.
In total, there were 12 test launches of Bulava and only 5 of them were successful. All launches were performed by SSBN Dmitry Donskoy since one of the sub's launching tubes is refitted for Bulava. The last faulty launch of the missile was carried out on Dec 9, 2009.