Russia has unveiled its army’s most powerful submarine to date, capable of carrying hundreds of torpedoes and reaching speeds of up to 31 knots.
The new Yasen-class nuclear powered attack submarine, called the Kazan, is armed with torpedoes and long-range Kalibr cruise missiles. The ship was launched at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, northern Russia.
According to Russia’s state news agency TASS, the new submarine has been designed to destroy an enemy’s submarines, surface ships, naval bases and ports, among other targets.
The ship reportedly carries a crew of up to 90 men and can be at sea for 100 days. It measures at around 139 metres long and can reach depths of around 600 metres underwater.
The vessel has space for eight Oniks and Kalibr cruise missiles and 300 torpedoes, and can reach speeds of up to 31 knots.
A single-shaft steam turbine nuclear power unit is understood to be part of the ship’s design, giving it a capacity of 43,000 horse power, and its arsenal is thought to be capable of hitting targets up to 1,500 miles away, The Mirror reported.
The Russian military had fallen on hard times after the 1991 Soviet collapse when it was forced to scrap many relatively new ships and keep most others at harbor for lack of funds. The military has revived its strength thanks to a sweeping arms modernization program amid tensions with the West over Ukraine.
At the launch of the new submarine, Admiral Vladimir Korolyov claimed the new ship is the most modern in the world, emphasising how hard it is to track due to its low-level noise.
“It represents the cutting edge of nuclear submarine design,” he said.
The launch comes at a time when Russian submarines combat patrols have reached levels not seen since the Cold War. Crews spent more than 3,000 days on patrol last year, which Admiral Korolyov called “an excellent level”.
The submarine is expected to be placed in service by next year and Russia’s navy intends to commission a total of seven of the submarines to be put into service by 2023.