MOSCOW — The Russian Navy has received two nuclear-powered submarines and a diesel-electric boat, according to Russia state media, with two more undersea platforms also scheduled to join the service this year.
The government’s news agency Tass reported the Navy received the Varshavyanka-class submarine Mozhaysk on Nov. 28. Two days later, the service received two nuclear-powered boats, the Borei-A-class Emperor Alexander III and the Yasen-M-class Krasnoyarsk, the state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
The service is also expected to take ownership of the two Lada-class subs Kronstadt and Velikiye Luki this year, after they missed their delivery deadline in 2022.
The Central Design Bureau Rubin has been developing the non-nuclear Lada class, also known as Project 677, since the 1980s. The project’s first submarine, St. Petersburg, was laid down in 1997, launched in 2004 and entered service in 2010. However, it did not meet the required specifications, and an unnamed service representative told the Izvestia newspaper in 2011 that “the sub is fully inefficient in a number of important areas.”
A decision was made in 2020 to modernize the boat, but rejected earlier this year. The sub is now to be decommissioned.
The Kronstadt and Velikiye Luki subs were laid down in the mid-2000s and were to be transferred to the Navy in the 2018-2019 time frame. But three years ago, Alexey Rakhmanov, the head of United Shipbuilding Corp., told state media the serial production of two fourth-generation diesel-electric submarines of the Lada class was behind due to problems with a supplier.
Kronstadt and Velikiye Luki are currently undergoing tests. Admiralty Shipyards indicated when creating the latest submarines, it took into account lessons learned from the St. Petersburg.
But a military expert with the Moscow-based Institute of World Economy and International Relations said another delivery delay is likely due to sanctions.
“Deliveries and installation of Western equipment did not take place in the planned volume. Time was spent searching for alternative suppliers in Asian countries,” the expert told Defense News on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic. “I don’t believe they will be able to transfer these submarines to the Navy this year — [or] at best, one.”
Maxim Starchak is a Russia correspondent for Defense News. He previously worked as an editor for the Russian Defence Ministry and as an expert for the NATO Information Office in Moscow. He has covered Russian nuclear and defense issues for the Atlantic Council, the Center for European Policy Analysis, the Royal United Services Institute and more.