February 20, 2013

Yuri Dolgorukiy first of the Borey Class SSBNs Enters Service

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The Yuri Dolgorukiy SSBN, lead vessel of the Borey Class, in port.

Since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 the construction of new Russian SSNs and SSBNs has been severely constrained by lack of money, movement of skilled labour to other industries or overseas and a consequent partial loss of "corporate knowledge" on how to develop new submarines  and new ballistic missiles.

With Yuri Dolgorukiy  now in service this may indicate the Russian submarine industry is reviving. Nevertheeless open sources are unable to reveal essential elements, such as the effectiveness of submarine sensors, SLBM stealth and the quality and morale of submarine crews.

 Customers like India have been essential in injecting money into Russian submarine programs - particularly of the Akula class SSN.

Ten Borey Class SSBNs are planned. Less numerous than the 18 submarine US Ohio Class . The future US SSBN-X Class, with only 12 planned, follows the trend towards fewer SSBNs with fewer SLBMs.

Because the Yuri Dolgorukiy is the lead vessel of the Borey Class it is also known as the Dolgorukiy class after the name of the lead vessel

The Voice of Russia, January 22, 2013 reports: http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_22/Borey-class-nuclear-powered-ballistic-missile-submarine-Yuri-Dolgorukiy-will-provide-Russia-with-effective-nuclear-deterrent/ :
"Borey-class nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine Yuri Dolgorukiy will provide Russia with effective nuclear deterrent"

 On January 10th Russia’s next-generation 'Borey'-class nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN) 'Yuri Dolgorukiy' officially entered service with the Russian navy’s Northern Fleet.

Professor Thomas Fedyszyn, the Chair of the Europe-Russia Studies Group in the US Naval War College, suggests that the development of 'Boreys' is the first crucial step in Russia's attempts to modernize and revitalize its aging military-industrial complex. As a first move towards modernization, the production of new submarines is likely to encourage construction of other sophisticated machines which will be able to protect Moscow's economic interests in the Arctic.Equipped with the most advanced weaponry, the new submarine will also provide Russia with an effective nuclear deterrence capability. Crucially, while the might of the new submarine cannot be underestimated, the expert argues that for the moment 'Boreys' should not be viewed as Moscow's bid for naval dominance nor a threat to the NATO." WHOLE ARTICLE

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