Russian Navy’s Nuclear Force to Become 2.5 Times more Effective with Modernization of SLBM Sineva

Russian Navy's Strategic Nuclear Force to Become 2.5 Times more Effective with Modernization of SLBM Sineva

With modernization of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) R-29RMU2 Sineva, Russian Navy’s strategic nuclear force would become 2.5 times more effective, reports Izvestiya referring to a source in Russian Navy Main HQ.

“The upgraded missile will obtain the name of Liner and be based in the same submarines as Sineva and its predecessors were”, he said. “Meanwhile, in contrast to Sineva with 4 warheads, Liner will carry 10, so the Navy’s combat effectiveness will be increased more than twice”.

According to the spokesman, Russian Navy needs Liners until the new-generation Project 955 Borei submarines with Bulava missiles are put in service, and “maintain Russia’s maritime strategic force at up-to-date level capable to counter potential threats”.

However, the Navy has not set deadlines for the Sineva‘s modernization; renovation process will go on gradually up to 2020.

Earlier on, Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief ADM Vladimir Vysotsky announced SLBMs Liner would be mounted on all Project 667 submarines.

According to the Makeyev State Rocketry Center designed the basic missile R-29 and its further versions Sineva and Liner, the upgraded missiles can be used by all Project 667 subs.

“All missiles have same weight and dimensions, so Liner will fit for Sineva’s launch tube or that of any other R-29 missile. However, to use new missiles, submarines must be a bit upgraded. Missile control system and some missile-related electronics will need alteration. But those are minor works and can be performed during another scheduled overhaul”, explained a representative of the Makeyev center.

As for him, the system generally remains unchanged; designers only upgraded “missile’s brains” and increased number of warheads from 4 to 10. Modernization cost of each missile will make RUR 40-60 mln depending on a missile system’s condition.

Advisor for Strategic Missile Force Commander and ex-chief of Strategic Missile Force HQ Gen. Col. Viktor Yesin said such modernization was “restrained” and caused by designers’ wish to upgrade their missile which direct competitor is SLBM Bulava.

“Take note, service life of Sineva-carrying Project 667 submarines will expire roughly by 2020. Nobody knows what will happen to those subs then. Obviously, missiles are needless without subs”, explained Yesin. However, vice president of the Geopolitics Academy Konstantin Sivkov is sure that Sineva does need modernization.

“When timely repaired, a submarine may be in service for several decades. Thus, 2020 is by no means a deadline for Project 667”, noted Sivkov.

As for him, Sineva is considerably superior to Bulava as of yield, so the intention to preserve that project is obvious, writes Izvestiya.

Naval Today Staff , February 16, 2012; Image: fas