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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

New Russian nuclear submarine will not enter serial production - paper

RIA Novosti

12:48 16/06/2010

MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) - A fourth-generation Russian nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarine that was floated out on Tuesday is too expensive for serial production, a business daily said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived in the northern port of Severodvinsk to attend the official float-out ceremony.

The construction of the Severodvinsk, the first Project 885 Yasen (Graney) class submarine, began in 1993 at the Sevmash shipyard in 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.

Russia's Vedomosti daily said the price of the strategic project was 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 U.S. Navy did not produce a large number of advanced Sea Wolf submarines, similar to the 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 analogue. Barabanov said the second Yasen (Graney) class submarine Kazan was the most probable alternative to the Severodvinsk submarine.

Russian experts expect Graney-class submarines to boost the Navy's operational effectiveness and combat capabilities.

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 conventional or nuclear warheads, and effectively engage submarines, surface warships and land-based targets.

The submarine's armament includes 24 cruise missiles and eight torpedo launchers, as well as the mines and anti-ship missiles.

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