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

Akula could be sailing for another 25-30 years

The size of Russia's submarine fleet sailing the Barents Sea would grow, as older vessels will not be taken out of service when new ones enter.
February 18, 2019

Built in the 1980s and early 90s, the Akula class nuclear-powered attack submarines were considered to be some of the quietest sailing the world’s oceans.

Six of them are sailing for the Northern Fleet, with Gadzhiyevo on the Kola Peninsula as homeport.

Although Russia’s new 4th generation muliti-purpose subs of the even quieter Yasen class now are entering service, it seems like the Navy would keep the Akula class in operation for a long time.

With reference to the Defense Ministry’s Zvezda television, the military analyst new-site Jane’s reports that the Akulas with overhauls and maintenance can stay in operation at least another 25-30 years.

The oldest Akula sailing for the Northern Fleet is “Pantera” (K-317), commissioned in 1990. The newest is “Gepard” (K-335), commissioned in 2001. Sailing for another 25-30 years will make the submarines 50 to 60 years old before they reach retirement age.

Two of the new Yasen-class subs (“Severodvinsk” and “Kazan”) are already commissioned while fivemore are currently under construction at the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk. 

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