Russian Navy Abandons Modernization of Dmitry Donsky-Class Submarines


Russian Navy will not modernize Dmitry Donskoy-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN, Project 941 Typhoon), reported Jane’s Defence Weekly referring to ARMS-TASS.

Complete modernization of one Project 941 submarine is equivalent to construction of two new Yury Dolgoruky-class SSBNs (Project 955 Borei), writes the London-headquartered magazine citing ARMS-TASS.

In total, Sevmash shipyard had built six submarines of that project (on NATO classification – Akula class) since 1981 through 1989. Each sub has displacement of 27,000 tons and is armed with 20 ballistic missiles RSM-52 (classified in NATO as SS-N-20). As of beginning of 2012, Russian Navy operates three subs – SSBN Arkhangelsk, SSBN Severstal, and SSBN Dmitry Donskoy. Two first ones were drawn out to reserve; the lead submarine SSBN Dmitry Donskoy had been under modernization since 1994 till 2002 and up to late 2009 was used as test platform for submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) Bulava designed for new fourth-generation Yury Dolgoruky-class SSBNs (Project 955).

Arkhangelsk and Severstal were supposed to be adapted for Bulava missiles. However, according to Jane’s, reports began appearing since 2009 about possible conversion of those subs to cruise missile platforms, just like four American ex-Ohio SSBNs were converted to Tomahawk-carriers in order to attack land targets.

Although neither SSBN Arkhangelsk nor SSBN Severstal will be upgraded in the context of the recent decision, SSBN Dmitry Donskoy will continue to be a test platform for weapon systems and sonars until 2019, reports Jane’s Defence Weekly.

Naval Today Staff , March 12, 2012;