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Russia to boost its submarine power


MOSCOW (BNS): In Russia, only eight nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines out of twelve in service are combat-capable, a Russian military analyst said on Monday.

"Out of 12 vessels, Northern Fleet's Typhoon class Dmitry Donskoi submarine has been overhauled to test new Bulava sea-based ballistic missiles, six Delta-IV class units are being refitted with modernized version of the R-29RM (SS-N-23) missile, known as Sineva, and five Delta-III class submarines are deployed with the Pacific Fleet" Mikhail Barabanov, editor-in-chief of the Moscow Defense Brief magazine, was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

"Submarines of the Delta-III class are being gradually decommissioned. About eight [strategic] submarines in total are considered combat-ready," the analyst said.

Russia two typhoon class submarines, the Arkhangelsk and the Severstal, remain in reserve at a naval base in Severodvinsk in north Russia for further repairs.

Similarly, two other Borey class nuclear submarines, the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh, are currently under construction, he added.

The fourth-generation Yury Dolgoruky was built at the Sevmash plant in northern Russia and was taken out of dry dock in April 2007. It will be equipped with sea-based Bulava ballistic missiles, although they have not entered service and are due to undergo further testing this year.

According to Barabanov, the Russian Navy has at least seven 'special purpose' submarines designed for testing of new technologies and weaponry. Some open sources earlier reported the existence of Project 20120 B-90 Sarov diesel-electric submarine, which has a nuclear reactor as a supplementary power generator.

The vessel was commissioned in 2007 and according to some reports may be used by Russia's Northern Fleet as a spy vessel in northern waters.

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