Russian Defense Ministry Signs Contract for SLBM Bulava Production

Russian defense ministry has already tied a contract for production of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) Bulava to be executed till 2020, deputy defense minister Alexander Sukhorukov told reporters on Jan 24.

“State tests of Bulava missile system have successfully finished in December, and now we prepare presidential draft decree for the missile’s commissioning”, Sukhorukov said.

The contract for production of Bulava missiles was signed in 2011 and is to be implemented till 2020, added the deputy defense minister.

However, Sukhorukov declined to name the planned date of Bulava commissioning. Neither he specified whether the Bulava‘s standard platform – newest SSBN Yury Dolgoruky – would join the Navy along with the missile.

President Dmitry Medvedev said in Dec 2011 that Bulava had successfully passed all trials and would be commissioned into Russian Navy. Earlier on, representative of United Shipbuilding Corporation told RIA Novosti that SSBN Yury Dolgoruky would join the Navy in the second quarter of 2012.

Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine Yury Dolgoruky (Project 955 Borei) was developed by Rubin Central Design Bureau (St. Petersburg) and is the lead submarine in fourth-generation.

The sub was laid down at Sevmash shipyard on Nov 2, 1996 and got the name of Yury Dolgoruky. Having length of about 170 meters, beam of 13.5 meters, and full displacement of 24,000 tons, the submarine is capable to carry 16 SLBMs Bulava developed by Moscow Thermotechnics Institute.

Missile of this kind is capable to deliver up to 10 nuclear independently targetable warheads with advanced characteristics. Operating radius is 8,000 km. Except for ballistic missiles, the sub is armed with torpedo tubes. Nuclear powerplant with one screw is capable to accelerate up to 15 knots (on surface) and 29 knots (underwater).

According to Russian Navy command’s plans, strategic submarines of Project 955 will be a key component of Russia’s maritime nuclear force after decommission of currently in-service SSBNs of projects 667BDR and 667BDRM (Calmar and Delfin, on NATO classification – Delta III and Delta IV respectively) in 2018. At present, Project 955 Borei SSBNs Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh are under different levels of completion at Sevmash shipyard. Keel laying of the fourth submarine of that project is scheduled in the current year. Totally, it is planned to build eight subs of that type till 2020.

Naval Today Staff , January 26, 2012