Russian fleet to receive first stealth submarine with Kalibr cruise missiles in 2018
Next year the Russian Navy will receive the first multipurpose nuclear submarine of project 971 after it has been upgraded with a Kalibr cruise missile system. This was reported by the newspaper Izvestiya with reference to Evgeniy Gladyshev, representative of the Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center.
Leopard, the first upgraded vessel of project 971M, will be received by the Navy in 2018. With their technical and military characteristics, the modernized vessels will meet the fleet requirements for a multipurpose 4th generation nuclear-powered submarine,” Gladyshev told the paper.
According to the newspaper, it is expected that four project 971 submarines will be rearmed - Leopard, Volk, Bratsk and Samara. Alongside new missiles, they will be fitted with modern radio-electric equipment and powerful hydroacoustic stations, Izvestia writes. The news outlet specified that the nuclear submarines will be fitted with a Kalibr missile system, adapted to underwater launch, similar to those on the diesel-electric submarines of project 636.3 (also known as Varshavyanka-class).
It was announced previously that the Russian Navy plans to upgrade and rearm nearly ten multipurpose nuclear submarines of projects 971 and 949A by 2020. In spring 2015, Admiral Viktor Chirkov, Commander in Chief of the Navy at the time, said that the submarines will receive new weaponry, new life support systems, hydroacoustic and navigation systems, and steering and communication systems. The service life of the submarines will be nearly doubled, the admiral noted.
The Leopard submarine has been at the Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center since 2011. Submarines of the same type, Volk, Bratsk, and Samara, went for modernization in 2014.