"Are the Delta IVs actually going to be refurbished? They are really long in tooth. I would expect them to be retired before they go through their next major overhaul now that new SSBNs and SLBMs are online."
I would say typical mid-life or further 10 year refurbishments are unlikely.
the 3 to 4 very old reserve (for emergencies) Delta IIIs ie K-223, K-433 & K-44
and 6 active Delta IV's whose last major overhauls ended in:
- 2 in 2012
- 2014 and
(the Delta IV converted for "special purposes" (eg. submarine cable tapping) BS-64 is excluded).
I would say the 6 active Delta IVs would be useful for a maximum of 10 years after their major
overhauls. This means each is likely to be progressively retired in 2018, 2020, 2 in 2022, 2024 and the last in 2027.
The 3 Boreys that are already commissioned replace all 3 Delta IIIs
I would say the 6 x active Delta IVs are likely to be replaced on a rolling basis by 6 more Boreys (from Borey/Borei 4 (Knyaz Vladimir) to Borey 9 (Borei-В 955В))
Then Russia will commission 3 more Boreys for a Total Borey/Borei fleet of 12, as shown on Unit Table
But still there are ambiguities.
1. Are Borey 955Вs the same as Borey IIs? and
2. Will Bs and IIs both have the increased capacity (up from the older Boreys' 16 missiles)
to 20 missiles?
All this Russian SSBN replacement schedule is worth putting in one large Table.