The “Knyaz Vladimir” nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine went to the White sea from Severodvinsk today starting its first base-to-base passage as part of the submarine force of the Northern Fleet. Within a few days the submarine’s crew will perform several predesignated tasks of the training course within the water zones of the White and Barents seas. They will also check the submarine’s systems and equipment in various modes. It is expected that by the end of the week the “Knyaz Vladimir” ballistic missile submarine will arrive at Gadzhievo – the main submarine forces base of the Northern Fleet.
K-549 Knyaz Vladimir is a Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, and the first upgraded Borei-A (Project 955A) unit to enter service with the Russian Navy. The submarine is named after Prince Vladimir the Great. Project 955A was developed by the Rubin Design Bureau, and the chief designer was Sergey Kovalev. The keel was expected to have been laid down in 2010 but this was delayed until July 2012 because of a price dispute between the Russian MOD and the United Shipbuilding Corporation. The K-549 Knyaz Vladimir submarine was laid down at “Sevmash” on July 30, 2012 and put into service on June 12.
Knyaz Vladimir was floated out on 17 November 2017, and began the first stage of factory trials by late November 2018. On 29 October 2019, the submarine conducted a successful Bulava launch from a submerged position in the White Sea. According to TASS’ defense industry sources, commissioning of the Knyaz Vladimir has been delayed until the first quarter of 2020 due to a number of detected deficiencies. The following Komsomolskaya Pravda report, has specified the commissioning period as “end of January” 2020. On 28 May 2020, Knyaz Vladimir was accepted by Ministry of Defence of Russia and was commissioned into service with the Russian Navy on 12 June 202
Knyaz Vladimir is the first unit of the Project 955A sub-class and will differ by several modifications from the previous units of the project 955. These modifications will include major structural changes, reduced acoustic signature, and more modern communication equipment. While initially reported to have four more (20 in total) launch tubes, the 955A includes 16 missile tubes same as the project 955. The submarine will be armed with the newest Russian submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the RSM-56 Bulava. Knyaz Vladimir and its sister ships will eventually replace the Soviet-era Delta and Typhoon-class submarines in the Russian Navy.