С новым годом ! ! Happy New Year ! !
To finish 2013, here’s some submarine news for anyone who might be a bit behind.
Yesterday Mil.ru and Interfaks reported Oscar II-class SSGN Smolensk has returned to Zaozersk, its Northern Fleet base, following two years of overhaul and modernization at Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk.
Its commander said the 24-year-old submarine successfully completed “tasks of the first phase of factory underway trials” as well as the transfer back to home base.
He said, in 2014, Smolensk will operate in “distant ocean areas” and surface at the North Pole to plant a Russian national flag and Navy ensign.
During the overhaul, the “technical readiness” of all systems, including hull and power plant, was reestablished. Radioelectronic and navigation systems were modernized, according to Mil.ru.
An overhaul of Voronezh was completed in 2011, and Orel just arrived for refit.
The Oscar II overhauls indicate Russia is investing to keep its third generation nuclear sub numbers up, as Dmitriy Rogozin said it would in early 2012.
Shifting gears to proyekt 885 SSN Severodvinsk, RIA Novosti reported an industry source claimed this first unit of new attack submarines would be accepted at Sevmash on 30 December.
Didn’t happen. But could soon.
Unit two, proyekt 955 Borey-class SSBN Aleksandr Nevskiy, however, officially joined the fleet on 23 December, according to RIA Novosti.
Mil.ru covered the acceptance ceremony. Navy CINC Admiral Viktor Chirkov reconfirmed that Nevskiy will eventually report to the Pacific Fleet’s 25th DiPL at Vilyuchinsk.
But Russianforces.org yesterday covered the arrival of Nevskiy and unit one Yuriy Dolgorukiy at the Northern Fleet’s Gadzhiyevo base. There, of course, they await the resolution of issues with their primary armament, the Bulava SLBM.
Nevskiy will test fire a Bulava again in 2014.
Unit three, Vladimir Monomakh, is supposed to enter the force in 2014.
Apparently, there was something to the General Staff source who told RIA Novosti that Nevskiy (and Monomakh) would be accepted without their complement of Bulava missiles.
Following up on this, when the situation settled, turns out the Navy accepted Severodvinsk for “experimental use.” No fanfare or press-release about it. It’s not part of the OOB, and it still has more state trials coming in April.