Akula-class submarine in the Barents Sea. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Russian navy upgrades multi-purpose submarines

Akula-class and Oscar-II class nuclear powered submarines get lifetime expanded with at least a decade.
March 20, 2017

«Lifetime for submarines of project 971 and 949 will increase by almost a half, and improved performance characteristics will significantly increase their battle effectiveness,» says Commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Korolev in an interview with the military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda. 

Project 971 is the Akula-class while project 949A is the Oscar-II class. Both are third generation nuclear powered submarines, sailing for both the Northern fleet and Pacific fleet.

Until 2020, the two shipyards Zvezdockha in Severodvinsk and Zvezda in Bolshoi Kamen will do the upgrade work on the submarines. 

«They will be equipped with the most advanced support systems, sonar and navigation, and systems for control and communication,» Korolev says.

 Based on the Kola Peninsula, the Northern fleet operates six submarines of the Akula-class and three of the Oscar-II class. 

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Northern fleet’s the oldest Akula is «Pantera», commissioned in 1990 and is already 27 years old. The newest is «Gepard”, commissioned in 2001. The three Oscar-II were commissioned between 1989 and 1992.

With the lifetime expansion now announced, the Oscar-II submarines will be more than 40 years old before being retired.

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