Upgraded Kuzbass nuclear sub to join Pacific Fleet in March

The submarine has undergone upgrades at the Zvezda shipyard

Project 971 strategic submarine Kuzbass is returning to the Navy, the Russian Defense Ministry has said.

"The Kuzbass multirole nuclear submarine will join the Pacific Fleet's submarine forces before the end of March and arrive at its permanent base in Kamchatka," the ministry said in a press release obtained by Interfax on March 7.

The submarine has undergone upgrades at the Zvezda shipyard in Primorsky Territory.

"The submarine's life-support systems, as well as radio and hydroacoustic armament have been renewed," the ministry said.

The submarine is now at the final stage of trials.

"The Project 971 nuclear submarine is armed with a powerful torpedo and rocket complex that can destroy both submarines and surface ships and also hit ground targets," the ministry said.

It was reported that the Kuzbass submarine has been in repair at the Zvezda shipyard in the Far Eastern city of Bolshoy Kamen since 2009.

The Kuzbass is a third-generation nuclear-powered submarine. It was laid down in Komsomolsk-on-Amur on July 28, 1991, and entered service in the Navy on December 31, 1992. Before 1998, it was called Morzh (Walrus). It is part of the tenth submarines division. The contract for the submarine's repairs was signed on August 17, 2009. Initially, the ship was due to have been restored by 2011, but the deadline was later moved to the fourth quarter of 2013.

Project 971U submarines have a displacement of around 13,000 tonnes, a speed of 33 knots and an immersion depth of up to 600 meters. The submarines are armed with four 533- and 650-millimeter torpedoes. Total armament is up to 40 torpedoes, cruise missiles and torpedo rockets.

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