Kazan Nuclear-powered Cruise Missile Submarine
Kazan Nuclear-powered Cruise Missile Submarine

Russian Navy Inducts Kazan Nuclear-powered Cruise Missile Submarine

Russian Navy inducts Kazan (K-561) nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine, the lead vessel of the Yasen-M project was inducted into its Navy. Kazan’s first crew had been formed in March 2016, and the submarine was originally to be commissioned in 2017. On 31 March 2017, Kazan was rolled out of the construction hall and subsequently launched on the water. It has began its sea trials on 24 September 2018 and was expected to join the Russian Navy in 2019. As of April 2021, the commissioning date was reported to be 25 July 2021, but the vessel was actually commissioned on 7 May 2021.

The submarine project was developed in the Malachite Design Bureau in Saint Petersburg. The Russian navy declared that the submarine will be improved in comparison to Severodvinsk, the first of the class. Compared to the first-of-class, Kazan is some 40 feet (12 m) shorter than Severodvinsk, resulting in the deletion of a sonar array from the former’s bow. According to one naval analyst, the intention was likely to reduce construction costs without meaningfully reducing the submarine’s capabilities. Kazan will also include a nuclear reactor with a newly designed cooling system.

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 Kazan Nuclear-powered Cruise Missile Submarine
Kazan Nuclear-powered Cruise Missile Submarine (Photo by Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)

The Yasen-M class boats are 9.2 meters shorter than the Yasen-class ones and would be powered by the new generation KTP-6 reactor which would significantly reduce its noise level. Six more submarines of this type are reportedly under different phases of construction at the JSC Sevmash Shipyard (part of united shipbuilding corporation) include Novosibirsk, Arkhangelsk, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Ulyanovsk, Voronezh and Vladivostok. It is expected that four of the Yasen-M class submarines will sail for the Northern Fleet, while the four others are designated for the Pacific Fleet.

The Yasen-M class is an improved version of the Yasen multi-purpose nuclear-powered submarines. The submarine will carry the advanced sea version of the cruise missiles 3M-54 Kalibr, P-800 Oniks and likely the hypersonic Zircon, as well as torpedoes and surface-to-air missiles. Kazan’s trials included the firing of the 3M-54 Kalibr and P-800 Oniks cruise missiles. Those missile types are available in different anti-ship, land attack, and anti-submarine versions, with optional nuclear warheads, and are delivered from vertical launch system (VLS) tubes.

 Kazan Nuclear-powered Cruise Missile Submarine
Kazan Nuclear-powered Cruise Missile Submarine (Photo by Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation)
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