Russia: Borei Submarines to Get New Infrastructure


New infrastructure is to be constructed in Vilyuchinsk before new submarines armed with SLBM Bulava arrive at the base, writes Izvestiya.

Mooring quay for Borei-class subs will be constructed on the Rybachy Peninsula to the right of the piers where Calmar-, Schuka-, Paltus-, and Antei-class subs are currently moored. Second quay will be built on the opposite shore of Krasheninnikov Bay next to missile loading terminal. Submarines and coastal infrastructure will be powered by a floating nuclear power plant.

“Quays will be constructed by traditional technology, nothing crucially new has been developed there – bedded rockfills and anchored metal sections on them”, said a spokesman for the Navy. According to him, quays will supply submarines and crews with electric power, fuel, fresh water and food.

New quays for Borei-class subs will not have any distinctive features. The only difference is that the missile loading quay will be protected from winds and waves by a special pier. This will deliver the crews from the necessity of waiting for good weather to load or unload missiles.

“They sometimes wait up to 2 weeks. So, that protection pier is a long-standing dream of our submariners. In contrast to quayside at Rybachy, winds and swell waves are permanent problems here”, commented the Navy’s spokesman.

To make “electronic-filled” Borei-class subs independent from steam electric plants and energy infrastructure of Vilyuchinsk and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski, it is planned to deliver a 70-mW floating nuclear power plant which power is 8.5% of the Dnepr Hydroelectric Power Station. This will be enough to supply the submarine base and adjacent town and villages.

So far, it is uncertain whether the floating power plant would be finished before subs arrive in Vilyuchinsk. According to the plant’s manufacturer Baltiysky Zavod shipyard, completion of the power plant is postponed to the end of 2013 due to current bankruptcy procedures.

United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) which is a parent company of Baltiysky Zavod confirmed that the situation was really unstable at the shipyard and the floating nuclear plant might not be completed by the end of 2013. Currently, USC and Rosatom negotiate on deadlines and financing of the plant’s completion, said USC press secretary Alexei Kravchenko.

It is prematurely to say anything about deadlines, says Sergei Zavialov, chief of Rosenergoatom‘s department dealing with the floating nuclear plant.

“According to initial estimates of USC experts, the power plant would be completed by 2014, but that deadline is unacceptable for us”, he said.

As for him, advantage of Baltiysky Zavod is its unique expertise in construction of nuclear-powered cruisers and icebreakers; that is why, handing over of the project to another organization is impossible, writes Izvestiya.

Naval Today Staff , March 15, 2012;