«Kazan» sailed out from the yard in Severodvinsk for sea trails in the White Sea in September 2018. Today, the vessel is back at the yard for repair and upgrades. Photo courtesy Oleg Kuleshov.

Design flaws delay Russia’s most high-tech nuclear submarine

The auxiliary systems onboard the Yasen-M class submarine «Kazan» do not meet the Defense Ministry’s requirements.
May 24, 2019


«Kazan» (K-561) is the first modernized multi-purpose submarine of the class after «Severodvinsk» was handed over to the Northern Fleet in 2013. There are considerable changes in the auxiliary systems on «Kazan» compared with «Severodvinsk». While construction on «Severodvinsk» started just after the breakup of the USSR in 1993, «Kazan» was laid down 16 years later, in 2009.

Yasen-M class is said to be both the most expensive and technically advanced in the Russian navy.

The question is when the Russian navy will get the submarine.

Several Russian media now report about serious technical challenges needed to be fixed before the Sevmash yard can hand over the submarine for active duty.


«According to the results of mooring tests, as well as the test sailings during the winter, it was concluded that a number of auxiliary parts and assemblies of the vessel do not meet the tactical and technical requirements set by the Ministry of Defense,» a source in the defense industry said to news agency TASS.

«Kazan» was supposed to be handed over to the navy in 2018. Then delayed to 2019. «It is absolutely impossible to do all this before the end of the year,» the person speaking to TASS said commenting on fixing the flaws.

«It’s possible that it will take the whole 2020, so Sevmash will be able to transfer «Kazan» to the fleet only in 2021.»

«Kazan» sailed out for the first sea trails in September last year.


“Kazan” sailing out from Severodvinsk on September 24th, 2018. Photo courtesy  Oleg Kuleshov 


Head of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, which Sevmash is part of, Alexey Rakhmanov told RIA Novosti that the sea trails have revealed a number of design flaws on the submarine.

«Testing submarines are not easy. First of all, we are talking about how the control systems work, which is used for the first time on this submarine. Besides, I will not hide, a number of design flaws were discovered,» Rakhmanov said to the state-controlled news agency.

When ready for patrol, the Yasen-M class submarines will carry the advanced sea versions of the cruise missiles Kalibr and Onyz, in addition to mines and torpedoes. Some of this weapons can be armed with nuclear warheads.

«Kazan» was put on water in March 2017. In the ship halls at Sevmash, the sister vessels in the class are under construction. These are «Novosibirsk», «Arkhangelsk», «Krasnoyarsk», «Perm» and «Ulyanovsk».

Yasen and Yasen-M class are the first 4th generation multi-purpose submarines for the Russian navy.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports the cost of Yasen-M class to exceed 200 billion rubles (€2,76 billion).



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