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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia delays launch of new nuclear submarine

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not float out a new nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine as planned on May 7 due to technical reasons, a source in the shipbuilding industry said on Tuesday.

Construction of the Severodvinsk, the first Project 885 Yasen (Graney) class submarine, began in 1993 at the Sevmash shipyard in the northern Russian city of Severodvinsk but has since been dogged by financial setbacks. Russia planned to float out the submarine on May 7 to mark the 65th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in May 1945.

"The launch of the new Severodvinsk submarine has been delayed for technical reasons," the source said, adding that the sub would be floated out and pass sea trials later this year.

Graney class nuclear submarines are designed to launch a variety of long-range cruise missiles (up to 3,100 miles or 5,000 km) with nuclear warheads, and effectively engage submarines, surface warships and land-based targets.

The submarine's armament includes 24 cruise missiles, including the 3M51 Alfa SLCM, the SS-NX-26 Oniks SLCM or the SS-N-21 Granat/Sampson SLCM. It is also equipped with eight torpedo launchers, as well as mines and anti-ship missiles such as SS-N-16 Stallion.

The Severodvinsk is expected to enter service with the Russian Navy by late 2010 - early 2011.

Last year, work started on the second sub in the series, the Kazan, which will feature more advanced equipment and weaponry.

Russia's Navy commander, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky, has called the construction of new-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile and attack submarines a top priority for the Russian Navy.

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