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Project 677M Kalina

The military had planned to equip the new submarine type "Lada" air-independent power plants, allowing submarines to stay underwater longer increasing, making them less vulnerable to the enemy. However, the sea trials of such a unit will start only in 2016.

Kalina (lat. Viburnum) is genus of woody flowering plants in the family adoxaceae (Adoxaceae). More than 160 species are distributed mostly in the northern hemisphere. The fruits are used in some types of food. The bark and fruits of some species are used in scientific and folk medicine. Some species are decorative flowering plants.

The name Kalina is also a play on words - Kalina is a car from Lada. Kalina is the name of a family of Russian supermini cars under the more general brand of LADA available "AvtoVAZ". The development of AvtoVAZ car started in 1993 under General designer Ivanov I.I.A.S. Kalina [hence the name]. The first generation of Kalina was made on 1 on March 2013. The manufacturing plant from 2004 used the name of the brand of the car entering the Russian market, in Latin script, but the Russian government in their regulations and the state registration of the car required writing the name in the Cyrillic alphabet. It was the fourth most popular car in Russia in 2009. The contribution to its success is shared not only by the low price of this car, but also by the personal involvement of Vladimir Putin in the ‘factory test’, the organizing of special racing cup “Lada Granta Cup” (in 2012).

Before President Xi Jinping’s March 2013 visit to Russia and Africa, China and Russia signed two major contracts on the sale of arms. According to the contract, the two countries will jointly produce four Lada Class air-independent propulsion submarines which will then be sold to China. China will also buy 24 Su-35 jet fighters from Russia. Other sources reported that the arms deal included the purchase of the four Lada-class submarines, two of which will be built in Russia and the other two in China.

A prospective series of Russia’s new fifth-generation conventional submarine equipped with an advanced air-independent propulsion system would be designated the Kalina-class, the commander of the country's navy said 19 March 2014. “Russia is currently designing a fifth-generation conventional submarine, dubbed Project Kalina, which would be fitted with an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system,” Adm. Viktor Chirkov said. “Our industry promises to develop this AIP system by 2017 and build the first boat fitted with such a system by 2018,” Chirkov said.

The admiral earlier said that the new AIP system could be initially tested on the only operational Lada-class diesel-electric submarine in service with the navy, the St. Petersburg, which was undergoing sea trials in the Barents Sea after a series of design changes. Air-independent power plants offer significant advantages over diesel-electric submarines, which must surface regularly to recharge their batteries, and nuclear submarines, which must continually run noisy pumps to cool their reactors. Submarines with such systems can stay submerged for weeks at a time and are already in operation with a number of navies around the world. The United States has so far not employed the technology, however, in favor of the longer endurance and range of nuclear submarines.

The distinguishing feature of Russia’s newest, fifth-generation submarines would be stealth rather than higher speed or greater depth capabilities, Vladimir Dorofeyev, head of the Malakhit Design Bureau, said 19 March 2013. “It is quite possible that new technological solutions would appear to protect submarines from detection,” he said. The fifth-generation submarine would acquire new capabilities through close interaction with other components of the Armed Forces, including surface warships, warplanes, spacecraft, satellites, as well as other submarines, based on an integrated information space, he said. He added, however, that the incorporation of submarines, alongside surface warships and warplanes, into a single communications system is at odds with the idea of a “stealth vessel,” insofar as the sheer exchange of information is a “telltale sign.”

“But that is a field that requires serious scientific-technical research,” Dorofeyev said Rubin Central Design Bureau head Igor Vilnit said work is in progress on fifth-generation nuclear-powered and diesel submarines. The new submarine would have a service life of about 50 years, he said. The fifth generation would be distinguished by its lowered noise, automated control systems, reactor safety, and long-range weapons.

The Russian Navy currently relies on third-generation submarines with fourth-generation subs of the Yury Dolgoruky (Project 955 Borey) and St. Petersburg (Project 677 Lada) class just beginning to be adopted for service. In addition to Rubin, Defense Ministry research centers and the Navy Institute, as well as Rubin’s partners and contractors, are working to develop a basic design of the fifth-generation submarine. The Defense Ministry previously said Russia was planning to develop its fifth-generation submarine by 2020 under a 2011-2020 arms procurement program, to be armed with both ballistic and cruise missiles.

Russia’s fifth-generation strategic and attack submarines would most likely be non-nuclear-powered, more compact and less “visible,” a senior designer at the Rubin design bureau said 11 November 2013. Large nuclear-powered vessels, including Russia’s Typhoon-class strategic boats, have so far dominated past and current trends in combat submarine construction. “I believe future submarines would be smaller, because of the use of more advanced technologies as well as the pursuit of more cost-effective production,” Sergei Sukhanov said.

“The fifth-generation boat would also be less ‘visible’ compared with existing submarines. They could also feature a new power plant, including fully electric,” Sukhanov said, adding that changes could affect other sub-systems of future submarines. The designer said the most likely substitution for a nuclear reactor on strategic and attack submarines would be an air-independent propulsion plant (AIPP), which would make them stealthier than nuclear-powered boats.

The AIPP allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without the need to access atmospheric oxygen. While a nuclear submarine’s reactor must constantly pump coolant, generating some amount of detectable noise, non-nuclear boats running on battery power or AIPP can be practically “silent.” “The endurance of submarines with this type of propulsion should be sufficient [for patrol or strike missions] – for a month or even more,” Sukhanov said. He said the construction of fifth-generation submarines in Russia could start in the next 10 to 15 years.

The Russian Navy decided not to build Lada-class diesel-electric submarines (Project 677) since the funding will be spent on Kalina-class ships, a senior Russian Navy’s official said 19 January 2016. "The Navy has decided to complete the construction of two Lada-class boats and stop the work on the project. All three boats of this project will join the Baltic Fleet. Funding will be directed to the Kalina project," the official told RIA Novosti.

He added that a Russian design bureau, Rubin, was working on the project of the submarines equipped with anaerobic (air-independent) power units, dubbed Kalina-class. Their construction is expected to be launched after 2020.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:22:57 ZULU