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Project 885 Graney-M / Project 885M Yasen - Kazan class

On 17 May 2019, TASS reported that the multi-purpose nuclear submarine "Kazan" of the project 885M (code Yasen-M) will not be handed over to the Russian Navy in 2019 because of the "need to refine the auxiliary systems that do not meet the requirements of the Ministry of Defense". Although this first unit of the re-started program had been launched on 31 March 2017, TASS reported "Its possible that it will take the whole year 2020 and Sevmash will be able to transfer Kazan to the fleet only in 2021. The initial Project 885 boat, the Severodvinsk had also required a four year shakedown from launch to commissioning. American submarines of the Virgina class typically are commissioned within about a year after being launched.

The Project 885M / 08851 / Ash-M / Graney-M is an updated version of the Project 884 Severodvinsk, which was first laid down in 1992, and comissioned two decades later. Work on this boat was suspended in 1996, and the project was suspended for a decade until it was Included in 2007 National Defense Procurement. This unit was launched in mid-2010, conducted sea trials in 2011, and entered service in 2014.

The original idea of the "universal silos" was a design with a multi-task profile, making it possible to change the profile of weapons loaded to adjust to several missions. Project 885 / 885M may be intended to eventually replace the 945 Barrakuda [NATO Sierra] attack submarine and 949A Antei [NATO Oscar II] "aircraft-carrier-killer" cruise missile submarine, so that only two classes of attack submarines will eventually remain in the navy. By the year 2020 the Russian fleet of cruise missile submarines will number 4 boats, down from 56 at the end of the Cold War, and 9 as recently as 2010. Attack submarines will number 8 boats, down from 64 at the end of the Cold War, and 15 as recently as 2010.

The first of the improved 885M / 08851 / Ash-M / Graney-M was laid down in 2009, and expected to commission in 2019. Five more units were "laid down" at a rate of one per year from 2013 through 2017, but the pace of construction seems to be slowing by about one year every year, raising questions of whether the "laid down" milestone was in fact a "cut first metal" formality. By 2019 there were theoretically five boats under construction, and if this meant there were five hulls in various stages of commpletion, it would not be difficult to find photographic evidence, which is in fact lacking.

The delays may in part reflect difficulties in restarting production after nearly a quarter of a century of simply repairing the Soviet inheritance. It would have been irresponsible to build new boats with Cold War technology and designs, but even modest upgrades could pose production challenges. A submarine is far more than simply a hull - rather it is stuffed with and coated with all manner of exotic devices. The industrial supply chain for many of these ingredients must have originally come from enterprises that dried up and blew away many years ago, located on sites that are now bustling condo complexes.

These submarines are built at Sevmash - Workshop #55, the same production facility that built 941 Akula / TYPHOON [made famous in The Hunt for Red October]. This facility is also currently building the 955 Borei ballistic missile submarine. It was reported 04 December 2018 that by 2028, it was planned to build on Sevmash two more serial atomic strategic submarines of Project 955A Borey-A. It should be noted that this effectively represents a restart of the 955 production cadence, as there is an eight year gap between unit #8 being laid down in 2016 and the new unit #9 being laid down in 2024. It seems probable that the priority afforded the SSBN project has contributed to the delay in the 885M attack submarine.

The construction of the Kazan, a second Project 885 Yasen (Graney) class nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine started at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia on 24 July 2009. The Kazan submarine will feature more advanced equipment than the first vessel in the series - the Severodvinsk, which was laid down in 1992 and was scheduled to join the Russian navy in 2010 or early 2011 after a long delay for financial reasons. "The second submarine will have improved electronics and fire-control systems, and will be built exclusively with Russian-made materials and components," Sevmash spokeswoman Anastasia Nikitinskaya said. The submarine's armament will include 24 cruise missiles, including the 3M51 Alfa SLCM, the SS-NX-26 Oniks SLCM or the SS-N-21 Granat/Sampson SLCM. It will also have eight torpedo tubes as well as mines and anti-ship missiles such as SS-N-16 Stallion.

On 26 July 2009 Navy chief Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said the Russian Navy command had made a decision on building one nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine a year from 2011. Vysotsky said that construction of a second Project 885 Yasen (Graney) class nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine started at the Sevmash shipyard in northern Russia on July 24. Vysotsky said the state currently had all possibilities, including economic and financial, to implement this project as soon as possible.

Russia's Vedomosti daily said 15 June 2010 that the fourth-generation Russian nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine is too expensive for serial production, with the price of the strategic project kept secret, but the estimated cost reached $1 billion. Mikhail Barabanov, the editor-in-chief of Moscow Defense Brief magazine, said the submarine's cost was too high to make it viable for serial production. Barabanov told Vedomosti that the US Navy did not produce a large number of advanced Sea Wolf submarines, similar to the Project 885 Severodvinsk vessel, since they were too expensive. Instead of these, they use cheaper and unsophisticated Virginia-class submarines.

The expert said the Russian Navy would probably replace the Severodvinsk nuclear submarine with a more affordable analog. Barabanov said the second Yasen (Graney) class submarine Project 885M Kazan was the most probable alternative to the Severodvinsk submarine. Russian experts expected Graney-class submarines to boost the Navy's operational effectiveness and combat capabilities.

The Russian Navy will receive a second Graney class nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine in 2015, a spokesman for the Malakhit design bureau said in February 2011. The construction of the Kazan submarine at the Sevmash Shipyard in the northern Russian city of Severodvinsk began in 2010. The first vessel of the Graney class, the Severodvinsk submarine, will enter service by the end of 2011. "The hull of the Kazan sub has been built, but we still have to make many upgrades compared with the first vessel in the series. We are planning to deliver the submarine to the Navy in 2015," the official told RIA Novosti.

As of March 2011 the construction of the third Graney class nuclear-powered attack submarine was to begin in 2011.

On 03 December 2011 the Sevmash shipyard said it would start building a series of five advanced Graney-M class attack submarines in 2012 under a recent contract between the Russian United Shipbuilding Corporation and the Defense Ministry. The Kazan will feature more advanced equipment and weaponry than the Severodvinsk, and can be considered as a prototype of modernized Graney-M class submarines.

The active submarines of the Akula class are in restricted service to conserve their remaining reactor core lives. Assuming the nominal 30 year service life of their American counterparts, the oldest Akula I submarines might be withdrawn from service by around 2015, with all but the Gepard Akula II being withdrawn from service by 2025. The restricted service of these boats might easily extend their useful lives to 35 years, suggesting a phase-out in the 2020-2030 timeframe. The remaining four active Victor III submarines may be in restricted service, to conserve their remaining reactor core lives. Assuming the nominal 30 year service life of their American counterparts, at least the four youngest remaining Victor III submarines [if not even K-412] might remain in service until around 2020, but surely not much beyond that date.

Retaining the prevailing inventory of 21 active attack submarines would require completing a total of at least five and possibly as many as eight Graney-class submarines by around 2020, in addition to the pair slated for delivery prior to 2015. This could imply a construction rate of two boats a year for about four years in the 2020 timeframe, though the pace might slow thereafter.

Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky, the Navy chief, said 26 July 2009 that the Russian Navy command had made a decision on building one nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine a year from 2011. Vysotsky said the state currently had all possibilities, including economic and financial, to implement this project as soon as possible. Vysotsky also said that Russia would annually build warships and nuclear submarines for the Russian Black Sea Fleet stationed in Ukraine's Crimea. "From 2010, we'll annually lay down one surface ship and one nuclear submarine for the Black Sea Fleet," he said.

The Russian Navy was planning to commission up to 10 Graney class nuclear-powered attack submarines by 2020, a high-ranking Navy official said. "We are expecting to receive about 10 new Yasen [Graney] class attack submarines in the next ten years," the source told RIA Novosti 19 March 2011. The Russian Navy will receive at least eight Graney class nuclear-powered attack submarines in the next decade, Navy chief Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said on 29 July 2011. "We are expecting to receive at least eight attack submarines of this [Graney] class by 2020," Vysotsky said in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.

The Russian Navy will receive an improved Project 885M Yasen-class nuclear-powered attack submarine in 2016, Russia's Malakhit design bureau said 28 October 2014. "The first improved Project 885M submarine, the Kazan, will be delivered to the Russian Navy in 2016," Malakhit's Deputy General Director Nikolai Novoselov said.

The Kazan will feature more advanced equipment and weaponry than the Severodvinsk, which had been under construction since 1993. Russia planned to have at least eight Yasen class cruise-missile carrying attack boats in its submarine fleet.

Russia's latest Project 885M Yasen-class attack submarine will have an advanced sonar system allowing it to detect enemy ships at an early stage, the submarine's engineering bureau said on 26 July 2013. The Novosibirsk, the third of eight Yasen-class boats (designated Graney-class by NATO), is to be laid down at the Sevmash shipyard near the White Sea on Friday. The boat's designer, the Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau company said ahead of the ceremony that the new Yasen-M will be have an advanced design that would significantly increase its ability to detect enemy vessels at speeds far higher speed that those of its predecessors.

Its bow section will be "acoustically clean" and will be entirely dedicated to housing sonar systems, with the torpedo systems relocated to another part of the boat, according to the company. In order to reduce noise and increase its stealth capability, new power supply and acoustic defense systems have been developed for the boat, Malakhit said. In addition to the torpedo tubes, the Yasen class will be armed with a multirole missile system including a vertical-launcher for cruise missiles. Both the torpedo and missile tubes could be used "for a variety of weapons without being specially re-equipped," the company said.

A new-generation nuclear-powered submarine of the Yasen-M project was laid down at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk in northern Russia on 19 March 2015. The submarine dubbed the Arkhangelsk was the fifth Yasen-class multipurpose submarine, which the Sevmash shipyard is building.

As of 2015 it was planned that the Sevmash shipyard will build eight Yasen-class nuclear submarines fitted out with cruise missiles in accordance with Russias state armaments program until 2020.

The project to build a series of 7 Yasen class nuclear submarines will be completed after 2023, CEO of the St. Petersburg-based Malakhit Marine Engineering Design Bureau Vladimir Dorofeyev told TASS on 16 June 2015. According to previous reports, the state armaments program for the period until 2020 envisaged construction of 8 Yasen class submarines. In addition, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Viktor Chirkov said that after that the series would be continued. "In accordance with the state armaments program, the project to build a series of 7 submarines will be completed after 2023," Dorofeyev said.

The Kazan submarine was floated out by the shipbuilder Sevmash in northwestern Russia on 31 March 2017. It was due to enter service with the Russian Navy's Northern Fleet in 2018 after the completion of a series of state tests. The Russian Navy was currently equipped with one Yasen-class submarine, the Severodvinsk.



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