Russian Submarine Fleet Celebrates 111th Anniversary

By | Mar 19, 2017 08:25 PM EDT
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RFS Kazan and her crew. (Photo : Russian Navy)

The Russian Navy's submarine fleet celebrated its 111th anniversary as an armed service on March 19, a day set aside in Russia as "Submariner's Day."

The anniversary marks the day in 1906 where Russian military submarines were organized into a separate branch of the Imperial Russian Navy.

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From a submarine detachment that first consisted of 11 submarines and 2 submarine tenders formed in 1911 as part of the Baltic Fleet, Russia's submarine force as of January 2017 consisted of 72 diesel-electric and nuclear-powered submarines, most of which are deployed to the Northern Fleet and Pacific Fleet.

Of this total, 13 are nuclear-powered Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBN); 18 are nuclear-powered Attack Submarines (SSN); 9 are nuclear-powered Guided Missile Submarines (SSGN) firing cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads and 23 Attack Submarines (SS).

The first Russian attack submarine, named Delfin (Dolphin) or Destroyer 113, was only built in 1903. It's interesting to note the first Russian submarines were designated as destroyers or semi-submarine vessels. Russian submarines began being called submarines only in 1906.

In 1958, the Soviet Navy received its first nuclear-powered submarine, Leninsky Komsomol. It became the first Soviet submarine to reach the North Pole underwater and to surface there.

Over 50 other nuclear submarines being built during the next decade.

Russia today continues to upgrade its submarine fleet, commissioning new nuclear-powered and diesel-electric vessels and developing new armaments for these ships.

The State Armament Program 2020 provides that Russia receive eight new Project 955 Borey-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines and eight new Project 885 Yasen-class nuclear-powered multipurpose attack submarines.

Russia's non-nuclear submarine fleet is also expected to be upgraded soon. Construction of submarines with an anaerobic power plant is scheduled to begin in 2018.

After being delayed for years due to a chronic lack of money, two new submarines will enter service with the Russian Navy submarine fleet in 2018.

The Russian Navy announced the RFS Kazan (K-561), a Sverodvinsk-class nuclear-powered multipurpose nuclear attack submarine (SSN) built under Project 885M, and the RFS Knyaz Vladimir (or Prince Vladimir), a nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) and lead ship of the fifth generation Project 955A Borey II-class, might be delivered to the navy in 2018.

RFS Knyaz Vladimir and the RFS Kazan will floated out in 2017, said Russian Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief Vice-Admiral Viktor Bursuk.

The Knyaz Vladimir and the Kazan will enter navy service in 2018, a year later than planned. It was expected both submarines will be delivered to the Navy in 2017.

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