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Project 971 Shuka-B Bars-class
Akula class
Attack Submarine (Nuclear Powered)

There is some non-trivial disagreement between authoritative sources as to launch and commission dates for all units, as well as which units are 'Improved Akula' vs. 'Akuka-II'. Initially the boats of project 971 bore only tactical numbers. However, on 10 October, 1990, left the order of the VMF Commander-in-Chief V.N. Vhernavina about the awarding to the boat K-317 of name "Panther". Subsequently names were obtained by other nuclear-powered ships of this project.

Thinking about the "active duty" inventory of these boats is also a bit tricky, as they seem to have a very un-American maintenance cycle. In the US Navy, ships are either under construction / Pre-Commissioning Units, or in commission, or in reserve / inactive / stricken. Ships that are in commission are typically moving through a maintenance cycle of 12 months on duty and six months in maintenance. The number of ships available for service at any given moment is at least one third and upwards of two-thirds of the number in commission, the exact number being a function of crew training and readiness.

At least with the boats of this class, by some time before 2015 the Russian Navy appears to have decided to maintain four boats in active service, with another seven boats undergoing prolonged multi-year modernization of at least five years, if not upwards of a decade. Byt thi means, the service life of the type has been extended well into the middle of the 21st Century.

Class Listing

Unit Shipyard Fleet Chronology Notes
# number Name Laid Down Launched Comm. Stricken *
Project 971 Shuka-B (Akula)
1 K-284 Puma SY 199 PAC 10/06/1982 12/30/1984 **/**/1985 07/**/1985 1995 stricken
2 K-263 Del'fin SY 199 PAC 1982 07/15/1984 09/**/1986 2011
3 K-322 Kashalot SY 199 PAC ---------- 07/**/1987 11/**/1987 ? 2022
?? 2037
1998 in reserve ??
2005-2007 mid-life repairs
2018 : returned to the customer in 2018-2019 ?
4 K-480 Bars
[Snow Leopard]
SY 402 NOR 1982 05/**/1988 10/**/1988 ? 2018 1997 in reserve ??
?? possibly "Improved"
2010 : recycled to Zvezdochka
5 K-391 Bratsk
ex-Kit
SY 199 PAC ---------- 14 Apr 1989
**/04/1989
29 Dec 1989
**/07/1989
? 2019
?? 2034
2014 : at Zvezdochka for modernization
2018 : returned to the customer in 2018-2019 ?
6 K-317 Pantera
[Panther]
SY 402 NOR 11/**/1986 05/**/1990 10/**/1990 ? 2020
?? 2035
1998 in reserve ??
1999 Pacific Fleet?
2007 mid-life repairs and sea trials
2018 : returned to the customer in 2018-2019 ?
7 K-331 Magadan
ex-Narval
SY 199 PAC ---------- 23 Jun 1990
06/**/1990
23 Dec 1990
09/**/1990
? 2020
?? 2035
1993 : designated Narval
2001 : designated Magadan
2014 : Dalzavod repairs to be completed
2017 : under repair at Dalzavod
2018 : returned to the customer in 2018-2019 ?
Project 971U Shuka-B (NATO code "improved Akula I")
1 K-461 Volk
[Wolf]
SY 402 NOR 1986 06/**/1991 12/**/1991 ? 2021
?? 2036
possibly not "Improved"
2014 : at Zvezdochka for modernization
2018 : returned to the customer in 2018-2019 ?
2 K-419 Kuzbass
ex-Morzh
SY 199 PAC ---------- 18 May 1992
05/**/1992
31 Dec 1992
08/**/1992
? 2022
?? 2037
2015 : returned to Northern Fleet after modernization
3 K-328 Leopard
[Leopard]
SY 402 NOR 10/**/1988 10/06/1992 02/28/1993 ? 2023
?? 2038
2011 : under repair
2014 : at Zvezdochka for modernization
2018 : returned to the customer in 2018-2019 ?
4 K-154 Tigr
[Tiger]
SY 402 NOR 1989 07/10/1993 12/**/1994 ? 2024
?? 2039
also reported as K-157
5 K-295 Samara
ex Drakon
[Dragon]
SY 199 PAC ---------- 04 Aug 1994
05 Aug 1994
29 Jul 1995
17 Jul 1995
? 2025
?? 2040
hull # possibly K-267
2014 : entered modernization at Zvezdochka
2018 : returned to the customer in 2018-2019 ?
6 K-152 Nerpa SY 199 1986 12/**/2009 2001 - 82% complete
? construction suspended
Included in 2007 National Defense Procurement
2008 - sea trials
2008-Nov-08 fire supression accident kills 20
2009-Dec. Completes sea trials
leased to Indian Navy under the name INS Chakra for a 10-year period($650 million reportedly)
7 Kaban SY 199 1992 25% complete
? construction suspended
Project 971A / 971M Shuka-B (Akula II)
1 K-157 Vepr
[Wild Boar]
SY 402 NOR 1991 12/10/1994 07/**/1995 ? 2025
?? 2040
possibly "Improved"
2 ----- Gepard
[Cheetah]
SY 402 NOR 1990 09/18/1999 04/12/2001 ? 2031
?? 2046
Akula III ?
name possibly Belgograd
2015 : returned to Northern Fleet after modernization
3 ----- Kuguar
[Cougar]
SY 402 1992 1999 ----- name possibly Yaguar
4 K-333 Rys SY 402 1994 2000 ----- name possibly Bison
Not completed, the hull section was used in the construction of Alexander Nevsky SSBN
5 Iribis ?? SY 199 ? construction suspended
2013 : to be completed for India

* As reported 17 March 2017 in an interview with the newspaper "Krasnaya Zvezda"
Commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Korolev, said about 971 "Pike-B" and 949A "Antey" :
"The life of submarine project 971 and 949 will increase by almost half, and
improved performance characteristics will significantly increase the
effectiveness of their use in the battle of the submarine forces".

This implies a service life extension from about 30 year to about 45 years.



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