Russian Navy to Get Project 667BDRM Submarine by End of 2012
Project 667BDRM nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Verkhoturye which is currently being repaired on the main slipway of JSC Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center will be delivered to the Navy by the end of 2012, reports the yard’s press service.
The submarine is supposed to leave the covered slipway in March 2012. After that, nuclear reactor cores will be refueled. By that time, floating workshop PM-63 will be ready to perform this technologically complicated process. Before the sub is placed in the dock, shipbuilders of Zvezdochka will perform an array of works, i.e. assembling of the dock equipment, reactor refueling systems, and damage control systems. Also, access patch of the strength hull must be placed and welded in the 3-rd section.
To meet the deadline, the shipyard will have to work in the New Year holidays. It is planned to use repairing experience of SSBN Karelia in order to reduce time of the dock operations. For instance, experts of Severny Reid will adjust navigation system Shluz inside the covered slipway before the sub’s withdrawal.
SSBN Verkhoturye is not a young submarine; she was built in 1984 and passed interim overhaul at Zvezdochka in 1993-1998 in the times of persistent underfinancing. Old equipment from utilized subs was mounted instead of new one. In this regard, most of onboard systems has been rejected and need replacement. The shipyard has already spent so-called internal reserves, so it is almost impossible to deliver new equipment in a relatively short time.
In the second half of 2011, Zvezdochka shipyard and contracting companies have repaired outer and strength hulls, bulkheads, fairings, high-pressure air tanks, submergence and surfacing systems, etc.
Testing of ballast tanks has been almost completed; turbines of autonomous turbo generator, turbine-geared propulsion unit, and main condensers have been repaired; gyro room is ready for installation of Shluz navigation system. Internal tanks have been painted; battery wells are ready for battery mounting. Curiously, SPO Arktika used nonstandard solutions in order to finish repair of large-size electric machines in time. For instance, a specially designed bearing was installed in one of pumps; that made possible not to cut access holes in gas-proof coverage for taking out that large-size equipment.
JSC Askold (Far East) has carried out complicated overhaul of air system fittings, and JSC Zvezda (St. Petersburg) delivered two diesel generators.
In Sept 2011, director general of JSC Zvezdochka approved the beginning of mooring trials for particular systems. As for now, over 50 projects have been finished.
Naval Today Staff, December 21, 2011; Image: zgjunshi