The Russian Navy will complete its transition to fourth-generation missile carrying submarines in 17 years, a Navy Main Staff spokesman told Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.
The Day of Russian Submarine Forces is observed on March 19.
"The planned replacement of the outdated submarines by serially produced fourth-generation nuclear submarines similar to the Yury Dolgoruky (Project 955) and the Severodvinsk (Project 885) will continue up to 2030. We plan to equip all new nuclear submarines with advanced strategic missile systems," the spokesman said.
After this large-scale work is accomplished, the Russian defense industry will have to launch the serial production of fifth-generation submarines, which are currently being developed by St. Petersburg's Rubin Design Bureau, he said.
A key task today is to maintain the combat readiness of all existing strategic submarines and their weapons, he said.
The lead nuclear submarine Yury Dolgoruky has already joined the 31st division of Russia's submarine forces and will soon undergo deep-sea trials, he said.
The Alexander Nevsky, the first submarine of Project 955 Borei is being tested as well and is expected to join the Russian Navy in 2013, the spokesman said.
The nuclear submarine Vladimir Monomakh was launched on December 30, 2012.
The construction of the Knyaz Vladimir, the first modernized missile carrying submarine of Project 955A, started last July.
Specialists of Severodvinsk-based enterprise Sevmash plan to launch the construction of the Alexander Suvorov, the fifth Borei Project submarine, on July 28, when Russia marks Navy Day.
In late May 2012, the Defense Ministry and defense industry enterprises signed three contracts to upgrade Project 955A strategic nuclear submarines and equip them with advanced nuclear missile weapons.
A contract was also signed with the Rubin Design Bureau to develop a modernized version of the Borei Project's lead submarine, which should be built by Sevmash. The United Shipbuilding Corporation, for its part, will manufacture four modernized Borei submarines under a deal signed last year.
Russia's weapons procurement program for the period up to 2020 envisions the construction of eight strategic nuclear submarines - three Project 955 Borei submarines each carrying 16 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles, and five Project 955 Borei-A submarines each equipped with 20 Bulava ICBMs.
The 4th generation Project 955 Borei-class submarines have been designed by the St. Petersburg-based Rubin central design bureau. The Bulava solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles are to be the principal weapons for these submarines. These submarines can carry 16 Bulava missiles topped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle warheads, whose range is over 10,000 kilometers.
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