Russia's Yasen (aka Severodvinsk) class SSN up to 40 (8 x 5) SLCMs using the VLS, 8 x 650mm torpedo tubes (and 2 x 533mm). Deep diving to 600m.
Inside an Akula 2 (commentary in Russian). Youtube uploaded April 2011. Large 8,500 tons (surfaced). No command center digital displays shown. Like other Russian weapons it looks low-tech but this also means "rugged" less delicate electronics to go wrong. After the Nerpa disaster there is a gas drill.
MHalBlaub's and Vigilis' have been having an interesting discussion at Current Heavyweight Russian Torpedos, July 1, 2015. This has prompted me to write about Russia's potential use of its most potent current torpedo, the over-the-horizon Type 65 650mm. This torpedo is unlikely to be used alone with its host submarine. Instead the host submarine for the 650mm (which seem restricted to Akula and Yasen SSNs) would launch these torpedos as part of a swarm attack also involving cruise missiles launched by that submarine This may be in the context of a medium intensity war against high value targets, especially strike or amphibious carrier groups.
It appears Russia would logically take on a carrier group with a swarm attack both for targeting (directing or redirecting) weapons and to overcome the defences of the escorts. Technological change has improved the ease of targeting. There are also improvements in Akula and Yasen launched cruise missiles (eg. the SS-N-27A "Sizzler"/Klub-S and a future SLCM the SS-N-26 "Strobile" (aka P-800 Oniks/Yakhont related to the Indo-Russian BrahMos)). These SLCMs need not be individual actors but can work as a team eg. a higher altitude Klub working as scout to direct a simultaneous attack of sea-skimming Klubs and pre-launched 650mm torpedos to complicate the job of the carrier group escorts.
The scouting Klub could coordinate the other missiles with direct radio links and coordinate the torpedos via satellite, mother sub and other links in the Russian SeaWeb. Submarine launched UAVs (small and stealthy) could also be part of the Russian communications (SeaWeb) network.
So Russian satellites, missiles and UAVs can all offer solutions to avoid the Russian over-the-horizon 650mm torpedos hitting the wrong targets.
China may also have the capability to organise such a swarm attack (also noting China has the DF-21D anti-ship (or anti-sub) ballistic missile.
A second Russian sub may be present that is closer to (in the path of) the carrier group. The second submarine might perhaps be a Kilo SSK that can deploy its shorter range 533mm torpedos and Klubs at the carrier group. The Kilo may also be well positioned to detect (passive sonar) any approach of a US SSN that may well be a forward escort for the carrier group. In the major task of detroying a carrier group there may be a third submarine (an SSN) for redundancy. I'm hoping the US wins of course!
The land attack capabilities of Klub, Yakhont and other Russian SLCMs also improves the prospects of attacking a carrier group while in port.
Russia has altered its SSN weapons' mix for the technical, strategic and and tactical reasons touched on in the description above.
Figures are that:
- Kilo SSKs - in Russian service since 1982 - 6 x 533mm (18 x torpedos/missiles or 24 mines).
- Akula SSNs (in service since 1984) are recorded as having 4 × 533mm torpedo tubes (28 x Type 53 torpedoes) and 4 x 650mm torpedo tubes (12 x Type 65 torpedoes)
- 32 (8x4) VLS missiles OR can launch
- 40 (8x5) VLS missiles Klub or other SLCMs
Significantly the Yasen's heavy SLCM capability is supplemented by an increased 650mm torpedo capability (8 x 650mm torpedo tubes and 2 x 533mm).
So the Yasen's increase in number of quick launchable SLCMs and 650mm torpedos implies a rapid fire swarm intent.
China, with its history of adopting Russian naval weapons and tactics, presents a special risk to US carrier groups in the South China Sea and open ocean.
"New Interceptor and Carrier-Killer Nuclear Submarines"
A report in the Moscow Times, July 5, 2015 "Russia Plans New Interceptor and Carrier Killer Nuclear Submarines" merely describes Russia's regular intention to gradually develop an SSN-SSGN replacement to follow on from the Yasen. The generalist press are attracted by the terms "Interceptor and Carrier Killer" just as the generalists have been attracted by such terms a "stealth submarine" in the past. Such a post Yasen submarine might enter initial service in 2035.