Nuclear submarine "Novosibirsk" and the prospects of the series "Ash-M"
The program of construction of promising nuclear submarine cruisers of project 885M "Yasen-M" is being successfully continued. So, on July 1, the newest submarine of this type, K-573 "Novosibirsk", went for sea trials for the first time. This is the first serial ship made according to the project with the letter "M", and the completion of its construction is of great importance for the implementation of the current program and the modernization of the underwater fleet as a whole.
In the recent past
The basic project 885 "Ash" was developed at the turn of the eighties and nineties, and in 1993 the laying of the lead ship "Severodvinsk" took place. A few years later, construction was frozen and resumed only in 2004, using an updated project. In the same period, a deep modernization of "Ash" began under the designation "885M" or "08851". According to this project, it was planned to build all new ships.
On July 24, 2009, the laying of the head Ash-M - K-561 Kazan (serial number 161) took place at the Severnoye Machine-Building Enterprise (Sevmash). The construction took a lot of time, and the ship was launched only on March 31, 2017. Later, new difficulties appeared, which is why it was possible to start the factory sea trials only in September 2018.
The need to correct shortcomings and improve various systems several times led to a shift in delivery dates. As a result, the ship was handed over to the Navy on May 7, 2021. A few weeks later, Kazan made the transition from Severodvinsk to the place of service, in Zapadnaya Litsa.
The first serial missile carrier pr. 885M, K-573 "Novosibirsk" (serial number 162), was laid down on July 26, 2013. Having built the previous ships, "Sevmash" mastered and worked out the necessary technologies, thanks to which the work on the "Novosibirsk" proceeded with higher pace. This submarine was launched at the end of December 2019. The next year and a half were spent on the remaining work and preparation for future tests.
On July 1, 2021, Novosibirsk went to sea for the first time. In the coming months, the ship will confirm its handling and maneuverability, check the operation of all onboard systems, and also conduct the first test firing using missile and torpedo weapons. Then, after the necessary preparation, they will undergo state tests. All such events will be completed by the end of the year, and by the beginning of next 2022, the ship is expected to be delivered to the customer.
The current plans of the Navy provide for the construction of nine "Ash" of two modifications. The lead ship was built according to the original project 885, and all the rest belong to the modernized "885M". Two submarines of different modifications were handed over to the customer and are in service. In a few months a new "Novosibirsk" will join them. Another seven orders are at various stages of construction, incl. at the stage of preparation for launching.
On July 27, 2014 - a year and one day after K-573 - laid down the second production ship Yasen-M, K-571 Krasnoyarsk (serial number 163). Currently, construction work is being completed, and by the end of summer it will be launched. According to the plans, "Krasnoyarsk" will be handed over to the customer by the end of next year.
From 2015 to 2017, one “Ash-M” was laid annually - these are the ships “Arkhangelsk”, “Perm” and “Ulyanovsk” with serial numbers 164-166. All of them are at different stages of construction. They will be launched after 2022-23, with commissioning scheduled for mid-decade.
On July 20, 2020, the last to date ceremony of laying the Ash trees took place, and this time they launched the construction of two submarines at once. Voronezh (serial number 167) and Vladivostok (serial number 168) will be launched after 2025-26, and acceptance acts will be signed in 2027-28.
Submarine cruisers pr. 885 (M) are intended for the Northern and Pacific fleets. The first has already received two new nuclear submarines, and the next pair of ships will go to the Pacific Ocean. In the future, this distribution will remain, and both fleets will receive four "Ash-M".
Project 885 (M) "Ash" proposes the construction of a 4th generation multipurpose nuclear submarine capable of striking a wide range of underwater, surface and coastal targets. The upgraded Yasen-M differs from the basic submarine in reduced length and displacement, as well as optimized contours. General ship systems and electronic weapons have been updated. Approaches to construction were also changed: in particular, it was possible to switch to only domestic-made components.
The nuclear submarine of pr. 885M is equipped with the Ajax sonar complex with a spherical bow antenna having a maximum area, and several additional antennas in other parts of the hull. Modern CIUS, communication facilities, etc. are used.
Submarines of both modifications are armed with 10 533 mm torpedo tubes. Due to the use of a large nasal antenna, the vehicles were moved to the sides of the hull. It is possible to use the entire range of modern domestic samples of mine and torpedo weapons.
A universal missile launcher with eight modules is located in the housing behind the enclosure of the retractable devices. The use of cruise missiles of the "Caliber" family and the anti-ship complexes "Onyx" and "Zircon" is provided. Thanks to this, "Yasen-M" can effectively solve a wide range of combat missions and hit a variety of targets within a radius of hundreds and thousands of kilometers.
Reason for optimism
Unfortunately, since its inception, the Ash project has constantly faced various problems that hindered the fast, complete and high-quality performance of all work. Various shortcomings were identified, construction terms were revised, etc. As a result, to date, only two ships from the planned large series have been able to enter the fleet.
Against the background of past events, the last news about "Novosibirsk" become a reason for optimism. This nuclear submarine was built in six and a half years, and another year and a half was needed for testing - which, according to plans, will take only six months. Thus, the first serial "Yasen-M" sets a kind of record in the construction program of project 885.
The latest news about the Kazan and Novosibirsk submarines shows that Sevmash and related enterprises have successfully coped with all the problems and difficulties that occurred earlier. Now the shipbuilders are ready for the full-scale construction of serial Yasenei-M, and already several of these submarines are simultaneously on the stocks at different stages of construction.
So far, there is every reason for optimism, and one can expect that the newest "Novosibirsk" will pass factory and state tests within the specified timeframe. In addition, it should be considered that the construction of all new submarines of project 885M will proceed with maximum compliance with the established schedule, without serious deviations. Accordingly, no later than 2027-28. The two fleets of the Russian Navy will include two full-fledged groupings of modern multipurpose missile submarines.
However, even after debugging production and correcting the existing shortcomings, the construction of nuclear submarines remains a complex, expensive and time-consuming process. Each new "Ash-M" will take about 7-8 years, and the planned series will be completed only by the end of the decade. However, the positive consequences of such construction are obvious - and it must be continued, using all available opportunities and accumulated experience.
- Ryabov Kirill
- Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, "USC"
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