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Donít Sweat Russiaís Newest Nuclear Submarine
Medium.com Blog War is Boring ^ | June 22, 2014 | Robert Beckhusen

Posted on 06/22/2014 9:31:25 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

‘Severodvinsk’ is too expensive for mass production

It’s official. K-560 Severodvinsk, Moscow’s newest and most advanced nuclear attack submarine, has joined the Russian navy.

That’s bad news for most countries that could conceivably face Russia in a conflict. The expensive, quiet, 13,800-ton Yasen-class submarine is arguably one of the most sophisticated in the world—and she’s just the first of her class.

But the one country that doesn’t have much reason to worry is the United States, which has a significantly larger and more modern submarine force.

The Yasen class is also an exception to the rule in Russia, where most warships are obsolete or severely compromised by poor maintenance and training.

Russia took its time on the Yasen program. The project dates to the Cold War, as the Soviet Union planned a submarine that could hunt U.S. Nimitz-class supercarriers and also escort the USSR’s larger, nuclear weapon-carrying submarines within range of American cities.

This necessitated a submarine that was faster, quieter and deadlier than existing Akula and Sierra-class attack subs.

Then-president Dmitry Medvedev next to Severodvinsk in 2010. Photo via Wikipedia

Russia begun building Severodvinsk way back in 1993. The post-Soviet economic collapse forced the Kremlin to delay the program. But despite being years late, she’s still one of the most advanced submarines in the world.

She’s nuclear powered, for one. She has a more powerful sonar system, including a big sonar array mounted in the bow. The vessel also packs an impressive arsenal of torpedoes and 24 anti-ship cruise missiles of the Oniks and Kalibr types.

But while Severodvinsk is individually dangerous, a single submarine—or only a few—isn’t enough to defeat the U.S. Navy. The entire Yasen class is also expensive. It’s unclear exactly how much each one costs. Estimates range from $1 billion to $3 billion.

Back in the 1990s, the Russians wanted to build 30 of the class. The number has fluctuated since then and now the goal is nine, including Severodvinsk. Two of the class, Kazan and Novosibirsk, are currently under construction. That’s still enough to pose a serious threat to most countries Russia could conceivably come into conflict with.

But then you see the problem. This means Russia is spending more money than it needs to, to defeat potential foes other than America—and not enough to stand up against the U.S. Navy.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: robertbeckhusen; russia; severodvinsk; ssn; submarine; warisboring; yasenclass
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1 posted on 06/22/2014 9:31:25 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

These submarines are meant to counter any ambitions the Chinese may have on Siberian resources. Strategically it presents a challenge to defend Pacific Russia in the event of a chaotic war. The Russians would have to control the sea lanes if they hoped to successfully defend a land assault.


2 posted on 06/22/2014 9:39:46 PM PDT by allendale
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To: allendale
These submarines are meant to counter any ambitions the Chinese may have on Siberian resources. Strategically it presents a challenge to defend Pacific Russia in the event of a chaotic war. The Russians would have to control the sea lanes if they hoped to successfully defend a land assault.

Just because they are designed for a specific task does not mean they will not be used for other tasks.

I don't know how well even one would do against a carrier group, but I don't think anyone wants to find out.

3 posted on 06/22/2014 11:16:53 PM PDT by CurlyDave
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Looks like a Victor III
They make lousy subs


4 posted on 06/22/2014 11:33:01 PM PDT by mylife
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Wonder what her noise signature is.

I bet she beats and sings.


5 posted on 06/22/2014 11:37:54 PM PDT by mylife
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To: sukhoi-30mki

It took 21 years to bring to fruition?

Jeezus Louisus.


6 posted on 06/22/2014 11:45:34 PM PDT by mylife
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To: allendale

How do you figure? China shares a border with Russia thousands of miles long. If they want to grab Siberian resources, which I admit is a big Russian fear, they’re not going to load up an amphibious assault ship. They’ll attack straight across the border, probably through Mongolia.

A fancy Russian sub is not going to be much help in that kind of war.


7 posted on 06/23/2014 1:34:15 AM PDT by Ronin (Dumb, dependent and Democrat is no way to go through life - Rep. L. Gohmert, Tex)
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To: Ronin

A sub that can hit Chinese shipping and send cruise missiles into Beijing won’t be much help?


8 posted on 06/23/2014 1:37:35 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Ronin
China is an export economy. Losing a bunch of these (pictured, bottom) will be very bad for business. I doubt they can grab and hold Siberia quick enough to off-set the immediate losses it would cause.


9 posted on 06/23/2014 1:40:11 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL

Not the point, Geron. Sure, if there was a general invasion of Siberia by PLA forces, that sub would play a significant role in making life difficult for the PLAN, but I doubt if they would sic it on container ships. The Liaoning would be a much more scrumptious target. And, besides that, Russia still has a significant array of surface and submarine assets to go after merchantmen if that is indeed their desire.

My point is that if the Chinese ever got a wild hair up their butts and decided to invade and annex a chunk of Siberia, that sub is not going to be much use in the land battles that would inevitably result, so I strongly doubt it was designed primarily, or even incidentally to deter Chinese aggression.

That’s a hunter killer. A creature of the depths. It’s prey is other submarines or major surface combatants. Of course it has a strategic mission brief as well, but if they get to the point where they are flinging cruise missiles around, Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces and short ranged IRBMs would be a much more potent worry.


10 posted on 06/23/2014 2:54:30 AM PDT by Ronin (Dumb, dependent and Democrat is no way to go through life - Rep. L. Gohmert, Tex)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
escort the USSR’s larger, nuclear weapon-carrying submarines within range of American cities.

Why would they target American 'rat nests? American cities do more to destroy America than any attack could.

11 posted on 06/23/2014 4:00:24 AM PDT by Reeses
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To: mylife

One could say the same for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. They stood up that program office BEFORE I moved to DC Metro in 1992. . .


12 posted on 06/23/2014 4:37:18 AM PDT by Salgak
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Cute, Cute but with a large BS factor. At 13,800 tons it can be quiet but not fast. If the shroud over the prop is real then there is not enough prop to make anywhere near 35 knots. And Ivan has yet to work up the nerve to spend real money on sound isolating flex hose or equipment mounts. At best what it might do is block a harbor someplace. But it’s not going to keep up with a supercarrier fleet. I used to build this stuff in a former life and the numbers with respect to what one can shove thru the water and the power required really are carved in naval stone. The fact that Ivan is publicizing the launch smacks more of blufing/crowing than sending an actual message of strength. Like when they gassed up the Bears and made a few passes by Alaska a few years ago.


13 posted on 06/23/2014 11:06:03 AM PDT by cherokee1 (skip the names---just kick the buttz)
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To: sukhoi-30mki; All

Looks like a big “immersion” blender...


14 posted on 06/23/2014 4:44:06 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (Will work for a new Kidney...)
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To: Reeses

Actually, in ap political and world conquest sense, that is a very good point...

Our threat is not annihilation in a nuclear flash (if you live in a big city...

But a targeted attack from a terrorist led jihad, that is waiting for the opportunity to present itself...It is not a matter of who, or what, it is when...

Russian, Chinese...It is not in their best interest to destroy this country anymore...Only allow it to further be subjugated and put on the verge of collapse, so they can emerge as victors on the world stage...

And we become slaves to the new norm...Which in some cases we already are...


15 posted on 06/23/2014 4:48:59 PM PDT by stevie_d_64 (Will work for a new Kidney...)
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To: allendale

“These submarines are meant to counter any ambitions the Chinese may have on Siberian resources.”

This is crazy. Construction began in 1993. I am guessing that design was begun before Reagan left office.

This thing was squarely aimed at the USA.

AND FURTHERMORE, if china wants siberia, china will not go 3000 miles OUT OF THEIR WAY to try a COMPLICATED AMPHIBIOUS LANDING when china SHARES A 2000 MILE LONG LAND BORDER WITH SIBERIA.

I MEAN ARE YOU NUTS.


16 posted on 06/23/2014 7:40:06 PM PDT by staytrue
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To: Reeses

“Why would they target American ‘rat nests? American cities do more to destroy America than any attack could. “

Have you been to Manhatan, San Jose or Boston ?

These are liberal but great contributing cities not to mention the scientific elites are there at MIT, NYU and Stanford/Berkeley.


17 posted on 06/23/2014 7:45:31 PM PDT by staytrue
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: staytrue

I meant hitting their government buildings.


19 posted on 06/23/2014 7:49:57 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: GeronL

Destroying the govt. buildings, much like our govt. buildings would not hurt them that much. It might even help.

Furthermore, the Chinese govt. knows whats important and their most important govt. functions are also in Shanghai and Hong Kong.


20 posted on 06/23/2014 7:51:46 PM PDT by staytrue
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