MOSCOW — Russia’ Ministry of Industry and Trade has announced three tenders for submarine parts in a move that appears to be driven by the country’s difficulties in obtaining foreign technology.

According to a March post on the official procurement website, 885M-class boats — otherwise known as fourth-generation Yasen-M nuclear submarines — are in need of parts for an auxiliary electric propulsion system or AEPS. This one contract is worth 286 million rubles (U.S. $3 million).

The ministry explained that during development work, foreign-made components were used as part of the AEPS because the domestic industry was unable to provide the required parts.

The West has hit Russia with economic sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, making it difficult and sometimes impossible for the country to procure foreign-made components. As such, Russia is unable to carry out subsequent serial deliveries and repairs of the AEPS.

To overcome this, the ministry has proposed the creation of a modified AEPS based on locally made components — essentially the production of a new system. The move would see industry make Russian analogs of foreign-sourced nodes for a static frequency converter with a microprocessor control system as well as for a propulsion panel with a switching unit.

The nodes for the static frequency converter include the microprocessor control system of the AEPS, the secondary power supply system, the local control panel and the power unit.

The propulsion panel and switching unit nodes include an instrument for measuring insulation resistance and a section of the propulsion panel.

The ministry noted the propulsion electric motor and the transformers with a rotating field will not change in this system.

The work is to take place in four stages and conclude by Nov. 26, 2027. The approximate date for the implementation of the new system is 2028.

Remote control

The second tender, valued at 295 million rubles, involves the creation of remote control devices for circuit breakers, which provide protection against electrical overloads, short circuits and the like.

Some Russian naval vessels currently use switches from foreign companies, including France’s Schneider Electric and the Switzerland-based firm ABB.

The ministry noted the Russian-made VA16M circuit breakers cannot fully replace foreign-made switches since they do not come with remote control devices.

With Russian versions, the ministry could increase the service life and reliability of the electronic level controller, reduce operating costs due to the increase in scheduled maintenance intervals of the controller, and move toward full automation of the controller.

The work for this potential contract would end by Nov. 30, 2026.

Emergency power

The ministry also published a tender for 444 million rubles to modify the main components of the static inverter POS-650 for the 955A (Borei-A) and 885M (Yasen-M) submarine classes. This would also replace foreign-made options, which the ministry noted are difficult to source.

A static inverter is commonly used as an emergency power system.

The main modifiable components of the POS-650 include the transistor modular switch; power switchgear; upper-level control system; power output measurement system; AC filter unit; power cables and connectors; and the cooling system.

The government will determine the final composition and number of modified POS-650 components needed during the first phase of this effort, which involves developing technical solutions based on the results of an analysis of existing POS-650 components and the availability of domestic production.

The contract work is to conclude by Nov. 26, 2027. The estimated time frame for the system’s implementation is 2028.

This story was updated April 1, 2024, at 5:01 p.m. ET with information about a third tender.

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.

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