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Russia test-fires missile from new sub

By REN QI in Moscow | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-12-02 09:49
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The nuclear-powered Kazan sub. [RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY]

Russia's latest Yasen-M class nuclear-powered submarine, the K-561 Kazan, test-fired a cruise missile in the country's far northeast on Monday as part of the final stage of trials for the vessel.

"Today, the Project Yasen-M lead nuclear-powered underwater missile-carrying cruiser Kazan successfully fired an anti-ship cruise missile against a sea target," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement after the test in the White Sea.

The target position was struck by the warhead of a P-800 Oniks anti-ship cruise missile, the ministry said. The missile has a maximum range of 300 kilometers and can carry either a 200 kilogram HE (high explosive) warhead or a 250 kg armor-piercing warhead.

According to the statement, the vessels of the Northern Fleet's Belomorsk naval base had earlier cleared the area and provided security in the surrounding waters during test-fire.

On Nov 1, the submarine entered the final stage of trials with the crew and the assessing team on board.

At combat training naval ranges, the submarine's crew practiced maneuvering on the surface and in submerged positions at various depths and checked the sub's basic systems. During its deployment at sea, specialists will check the sub's systems and assemblies and shipborne armaments.

The K-561 Kazan is an improved version of the Yasen-class submarine. The Kazan was laid down on July 24, 2009, and floated out on March 31, 2017.

The Russian Navy has ordered eight Yasen-M class submarines, and the Kazan and the Novosibirsk have conducted sea trials; the six other subs are under construction.

The Kazan, after clearing its trials, was expected to join the Russian Navy before the end of the year. Russian state news agency Tass reported that it will be part of the Northern Fleet.

This class of vessel is built by St. Petersburg-based Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau. Based on the Akula class and Alfa class, it is projected to replace Russia's Soviet-era nuclear attack submarines.

Advanced design

According to the Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau, the Yasen-M class has an advanced design that significantly increases its ability to detect enemy vessels at speeds far higher than those of its predecessors. The bow section will be acoustically clean and will be entirely dedicated to housing sonar systems, with the torpedo systems relocated to another part of the boat.

A a new power supply and acoustic defense systems have been developed for the vessel in order to reduce the noise signature and increase its stealth capability.

The nuclear-powered submarines are designed to be armed with Kalibr and Oniks cruise missiles, and will eventually carry Tsirkon hypersonic missiles as their basic weapons.

In February 2011, then-deputy defense minister Vladimir Popovkin announced plans to develop the Tsirkon shipborne system with a hypersonic missile.

On Thursday, a frigate from the Northern Fleet, the Admiral Gorshkov, test-launched a Tsirkon hypersonic missile from the White Sea.

The test-launch was carried out "as part of the trials of new weapons", said the Defense Ministry.

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