Russia: Nuclear-Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine Verkhoturye Leaves Covered Slipway

Nuclear-Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine Verkhoturye Leaves Covered Slipway

Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Verkhoturye on March 24 was withdrawn from covered slipway of JSC Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center, reports the yard’s press service.

Project 667BDRM Delfin (on NATO classification – Delta-IV) nuclear-powered subs are basic assets of Russia’s maritime nuclear deterrence force. Their construction was started in 1981 at Sevmash shipyard. In total, the Navy had received seven submarines of this class since 1984 till 1990. Presently, Russian Navy operates six of them. Zvezdochka had repaired and modernized all of them in the period of 1999-2012.

SSBN Verkhoturye – lead sub of the project – was laid down at Sevmash shipyard in Feb 1981. Naval ensign was hoisted on the sub in Dec 1984, and she joined Soviet Navy.

In Feb 1999, administration of Sverdlovsk region and Navy command signed a patronage agreement, and the submarine was named Verkhoturye in honor of the ancient town at Urals founded in 16-th century by Vasily Golovin as an outpost for Siberia’s exploration.

In 1999, Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center performed interim overhaul and modernization of the submarine. In Aug 2010, when the overhaul life was over, the submarine was transferred to Severodvinsk for technical recovery at Zvezdochka shipyard again.

By the time of withdrawal from covered slipway, repair works on the sub’s hull, outboard systems, damage control systems, steam-generating plant, and other systems have been completed. Technical recovery will be continued afloat at the shipyard’s outfitting plant. According to the state contract, the submarine will be delivered to the Navy in Nov 2012. Fulfillment of contractual commitments would be impossible without excellently arranged assistance of contracting parties, i.e. JSC SPO Arktika, JSC Severny Reid, JSC BIUS, JSC Makeyev Rocketry Center, JSC Afrikantov Design Bureau, etc.

According to Director General of JSC Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center Vladimir Nikitin, “overhaul of SSBN Verkhoturye kicks off the second yard-repair cycle of Project 667BDRM subs. Performing those works, Zvezdochka maintains long lifetime of strategic submarines which are presently the core of maritime nuclear deterrence force. Zvezdochka will gradually improve technical condition of every Delfin-class sub, and their lifetime will be 35 years instead of 25-year designed service period”.

Zvezdochka shipyard will start overhaul of the next Project 667BDRM submarine – SSBN Yekaterinburg – in June 2012.

Length of Project 667BDRM nuclear-powered submarines is 167 meters; beam is 12 meters; displacement is about 12,000 tons; test depth is 400 meters; cruise submerged speed is up to 24 knots; crew is 140. Such submarines are armed with 16 ballistic missiles Sineva. The project was developed by Rubin Central Design (St. Petersburg).

Project 667BDRM submarines accomplish important tasks defending Russia’s territorial integrity. Repair and modernization works carried out by Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center through the recent 20 years provide Delfin-class subs with up-to-date combat and performance characteristics keeping nuclear deterrence force at high readiness, said the yard’s press release.

Naval Today Staff , March 27, 2012; Image: flot